It isn’t always easy to focus at work—especially when our environments are full of distractions! Between the flurry of emails, phone notifications, water cooler chats, and the ever-dreaded brain fog, the quality of our work can suffer if we don’t give it the level of attention it deserves. As Winnipeg’s top recruitment and staffing firm, we have plenty of industry insights to help you improve work performance.
Ready to Improve Your Focus at Work? These Eight Strategies Can Help.
Sharpen your focus, increase your work output, and improve productivity by implementing a combination of these strategies at work!
1) Carve Out Time for “Heads Down” Work
Some jobs might require you to attend lots of virtual meetings, client calls, and other responsibilities that can pull you away from your primary tasks. Carving out a time slot for “heads down” work can allow you to focus deeply on projects requiring your full attention. Even just one hour a day of distraction-free work can improve your performance.
Turn off your phone and email notifications, and if necessary, wear a set of noise cancelling headphones. If your office uses a communication platform like Slack or Microsoft Teams, you can set your status as “Heads Down” so colleagues will know to respect the time you’ve allotted for deep focus.
2) Add Plants to Your Workspace
Research shows that having live plants in your office can significantly boost focus and work performance! If you don’t have windows in your office space, you can set up a small sun lamp with a self-timer to give your desk plant the perfect amount of light to thrive. Some of the best low-maintenance houseplants for offices include:
- Snake Plant
- Heartleaf Philodendron
- ZZ Plant
- Chinese Evergreen
- Jade Plant
3) Pause Your Social Media Notifications
It’s common for people to need access to their personal cell phone at work—but the constant “pings” from mobile apps like Messenger, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are super distracting. The problem can persist even if you put your phone on silent mode. Have you ever grabbed your phone to search for work-related information, only to get distracted by a text message or a funny meme, then forgetting what you were searching for in the first place?
Many social media platforms have a temporary “quiet mode” feature that you can use to pause notifications—but you can also go into your phone’s settings and turn off notifications for select apps.
4) Make Time for an Outdoor Recess
Recess breaks aren’t just for kids—they help everyone! After sitting at a desk for several hours, it’s normal to begin feeling restless, no matter our age. Brain scans show that just twenty minutes of outdoor activity can boost cognitive function. Making time for an outdoor recess is a terrific way to gain that second wind, helping you get through the rest of the day.
5) Save the Starchy, Sugary Foods for After Work
Don’t get us wrong—we love spaghetti just as much as the next person, but the post-meal crash after a heavy lunch can lead to some major brain fog. Try to stick to high protein meals to help keep you full, with plenty of fruits, veggies, and nuts. Then, once you’re home, you can enjoy all the noodles and garlic bread your heart desires.
6) 10-Minute Meditations
Anxiety and stress can seriously hinder work performance. While these experiences may sometimes be unavoidable with the busy demands of life and work, they’re much more manageable if you develop healthy coping skills. YouTube is a fantastic source for free, guided meditations—just stick your headphones in and do some breath work at your desk!
7) Try Alternative Seating
For folks with ADHD—or anyone who struggles to sit still for long periods—alternative seating can be extremely helpful. The best alternative seating methods should ideally engage the core muscles, improve posture, and allow for movement while remaining seated. Some popular options include:
- Exercise balls
- Wobble chairs
- Wiggle seat cushions
Switching to a standing desk can also help you improve your focus—and they’re great for preventing shoulder and neck strain! To maximize results, place an anti-fatigue mat in front of your standing desk to further boost your focus.
Not every method of improving focus is suitable for everyone—but a little trial and error can help you find what works for you! For more tips on how to improve your work performance, browse the Pinnacle blog and follow us on LinkedIn!
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