Is there a secret to being productive and maintaining concentration?
Starting a task can be the biggest barrier to productivity. We often highlight the most difficult part of a task and therefore distract ourselves with easier more simple tasks; or other things that may not be work-related! — We cannot rely on our willpower as it is an exhaustible source.
Below are Lexxic’s 10 top tips for maintaining concentration and staying productive throughout your working day:
1.Block out time in your diary
Where possible block out time in your diary for repeated tasks or set admin days where you can stay focused on task for a set period of time. This will help create structure to your working week and create a sense of routine.
2. Put your phone on silent
If a task requires a high level of concentration put your phone on silent or in a drawer and set a time slot to deal with messages and phone calls.
Where possible find a quieter area of the office or private meeting room — these can often be like gold dust in the modern day open-office, but if you can find one great! Alternatively, find a quiet area of the office to shut yourself away from distractions.
4.Play music through headphones
Listening to classical or concentration music can be an effective way of blocking out external distractions and can prevent your mind from wandering when working on tasks.
5.Turn off email pop-ups
Email pop-ups and notifications can be a bigger distraction than you realise. Once distracted it can take up to 23 minutes to regain focus! Receiving a high number of email pop-ups throughout the day will make for a lot of time wasted. Turn these off to maintain focus.
6.Check emails at set times
Checking your emails 20 minutes three times per day will ensure nothing is missed and that you keep on top of your email management. To avoid the fear of missing any information, check your emails at intervals during the day and file them accordingly.
Dipping in and out of tasks without finishing any can be an easy trap to fall into. It’s more effective to focus on one thing at a time.
8.Chunk up tasks
You will be more effective if you chunk up your day and focus on difficult parts of tasks in short bursts, instead of diluting our concentration throughout the day working longer hours.
9.Use the tomato timer technique
This is an effective way to aid you in chunking up tasks. Focusing on a task for 25 minutes (the postulated time that we can concentrate for) and taking short breaks in-between will help maintain focus, ensure breaks are taken and increase your levels of productivity.
10.Hydrate and give your brain the right fuel
It is important to drink plenty of water and eat well throughout the day to give our bodies and brains the nourishment they need to maintain concentration and stay productive. The post-lunch dip will always crop up, however what we eat can make a difference on how heavy we feel the afternoon lull.
By Amber Williams, Business Psychologist as Lexxic