Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tips for Getting Focused - Part 2

olympia break timeImage by féileacán via Flickr
As I mentioned yesterday, focus is an important part of any job.  So here are some more tips for staying focused:

Keep Breaks Short But Regular

If you don’t take regular breaks your mind will start to wander. We’ve all experienced that. But if your breaks are too long, it is hard to get back into work mode. So keep your breaks to ten minutes and make sure you get one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Don’t get suckered into long conversations at the water cooler though. Otherwise that 10 minute break might turn into a 20 minute break and by the time you get back to your desk you are out of work mode and in break mode.

Group Similar Tasks

It is easier to concentrate on similar things so try to group them together. Every time that you change to a different task you have to switch your train of though. Moving from something repetitive to something creative requires a big switch and the more extreme the change of thought the more time it will take to move between tasks.

Develop a Routine

Our brains crave routine and if we know that we are going to be doing specific tasks at the same time every day it will be easier to get into the right frame of mind. Routines are also good for training our co-workers to know when we are available and when we cannot be interrupted.

Get to Work Early

This can be one of the best ways to get focused for the day. Get to work a good 15 minutes early. Get your coffee, say hi to your co-workers, take a quick glimpse through your emails – by the time you should be starting work your brain will be prepared to get right into work. If you come in right as you are supposed to start your first 15 minutes are going to be wasted getting into the work frame of mind.

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