In many ways, advances in technology have made our lives easier. But the convenience they provide also comes at a great cost to our ability to focus: the ubiquity of always-on technologies, like the internet and smartphones, means that we have more distractions in our lives than ever before.
For us to be alert, our brains need the right level of norepinephrine, the chemical that’s triggered when we are scared. Fear activates our alertness, and alertness is a crucial part of being focused. And for our interest to be aroused, our brains need just the right amount of another chemical: dopamine. Dopamine is triggered whenever we experience something new. For our brains to function at their peak, it’s crucial that the levels of these two chemicals in the brain are just right: not too high, not too low. If the levels of these two chemicals are in the “sweet spot”, this generates a positive level of stress which helps to focus our attention.
To help you overcome challenges and make the most of your office time, here are easy and quick tips to stay focused at work.
- Look after your wellbeing. You may already be aware that what you eat and how much sleep you get affects your physical well-being. But you might know that your eating and sleeping habits can also affect your focus.
- Avoid multitasking. While multitasking is sometimes viewed as a valued skill, focusing on one task at a time is more efficient, according to Forbes.
- Use a To Do List to stay focused throughout the day. Everyone has plenty to do in their workday and interruptions are an everyday occurrence. Being able to stay focused allows you to not only get things crossed off your To Do List but gives you a sense of real accomplishment at the end of the day.
- Take regular breaks. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task. The brain is built to detect and respond to change. Prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance. Research shows that humans naturally move from full focus and energy to physiological fatigue every 90 minutes.
- Redirect yourself when distracted. Practice self-awareness and pay attention when you start getting distracted. The simple tactic of taking a few deep breaths may be all you need to reground yourself and bring your focus back to the task at hand.
- Find an accountability partner. An accountability partner will motivate you to achieve the tasks and goals that you and your partner have discussed and set. There are no more excuses if you want to get ahead with your business, and your accountability partner is there to keep you focused, motivated and on task.
If you think you would benefit from having someone take on all those tasks that are distracting, save you time and scale your business, contact us today to find out how we can help you grow your business.