Stay Focused: Ways To Boost Your Attention Span at Work
Even if you’re super excited about your job and you actually love what you do there are the days in which nothing goes by the plan. No matter how much you try to keep your focus in check, nothing seems to be working, and you’re simply failing to do even the easiest tasks. But there’s no reason to worry. It has happened to us too! The pill which will instantly boost your attention span doesn’t yet exist; however, we discovered few amazing ways to boost your attention span at work which actually work. In this article, we will share our tips for improving your focus, so keep on reading.
We all resemble a goldfish…
… and we shouldn’t be proud of it. It’s actually about the decrease in our attention span from 12 to 8 seconds in just 20 years, to match the attention span of an average goldfish. That’s why almost every one of the newspaper headlines became clickbait, or banners flashier and why we’re used to seeing bold colours everywhere. Modern era made great pressure for us to stay tuned, and among all those distractions out there they need to find a way to keep us interested. One recent study found that the digital workers can keep their focus for just 40 seconds before switching tasks, and measured that we, on average, check our emails 74 times a day. Whoa!
If you want to boost your attention span at work, maybe it’s about time to hit the gym
No kidding. Besides improving your overall health, regular exercise will boost your attention and focus by releasing the chemicals in the brain that affect learning and memory. So, why don’t you start your day with some quality exercise?
Yes, it can be pretty hard to wake up in the morning and go to the gym straight away. We understand it, who doesn’t hit the snooze button at least once in the morning. However, by making an exercising part of your daily routine, you will be able to focus for longer and be more energised than usual. Just try doing it for a month, and you will see how easy it is to become hooked on that sudden feeling of alertness and boosted energy from early morning.
Boost your attention span by staying hydrated
Can it be more obvious? By a study published in The Journal of Nutrition from 2012 frequent cause for attention decrease hides in dehydration. It can happen quite a lot that we overlook how much thirsty we are, leaving us to become dehydrated. Be sure always to have the bottle of water on your work desk and drink it through the day.
Our desks at works tend to become over jammed with all kinds of things. You might be thinking how you’re successfully managing to work in the “creative mess” you’ve created; however, we’re sorry to tell you, you’re fooling yourself. Just think about it logically. If you have plenty of stuff at your desk, how many times your attention was cracked because of it? Clean office desk, clean mind. Start working on that. Clear your workspace from the unnecessary things, and you will feel almost instant results.
Stop multitasking if you want to boost your attention span
During the past few years, multitasking became a regular part of our day. We’re pressured to do it at work, and we’re doing it when we come home. No matter what your boss says, you’re not a superman! Doing a few things at the same time will only make you less productive. Instead, just try focusing on one task at the time and stay focused on it until it’s finished.
Making a to-do list, you’re guaranteed greater focus
Being super focused means being super organised. To boost your attention span at work try prioritising tasks before you start doing them. Write them all down. Decide which tasks you will do first and stick to your list until you’re finished.
Have regular breaks
As we’ve said before, we are not machines, and we are just unable to work non-stop with the same intensity and efficiency. To be more productive and focused try taking regular breaks. See what your coworkers are doing, scroll through your Facebook feed… Whatever suits you the best, just take a break from work.
All the big shots are doing it, why wouldn’t you? Former president of the USA, Barack Obama used to read for at least one hour in the office. And even the famous Warren Buffet advised to students to read 500 pages a day to prepare for their future career. You don’t have to learn as much as Warren Buffet recommends, however, by scanning for at least 30 minutes a day you will significantly boost your mind game which means better concentration and improved brain function.
Even though it might sound like the advice from a lifestyle magazine, practising mindfulness (or to put it merely meditating) can actually boost your focus. Companies like Apple, Nike and Google even offer free mindfulness training to its employees! One study also found that mindfulness improves attention and cognition, among many other things.
If your attention is at its worst during meetings
… we want to tell you that you’re not alone. By some statistics, nearly half of employees think conferences are a colossal waste of time. So to keep your attention in check during the meetings spotless try planning at least one question to ask. Besides keeping your attention levels during the session asking questions will help you be more engaged and can even level up your happiness at work.
Keeping your headphones on may help you boost your attention span at work
And not just any music! A study from Stanford University showed that listening to short symphonies activates parts of the brain involved in attention and memory. Do you see yourself listening to Mozart already?
Or try chewing gum
While it may be annoying to your coworkers chewing gum can actually improve your attention. If you look into this, it’s quite logical. Chewing itself is arousing because it signals the body that the food is on its way and it makes you more alert by itself. So if you feel your attention is poor, grab some gum and start chewing it ASAP.
Try intermittent fasting
If you still haven’t heard about it, then you must have been living under the rock for the past few years. The buzz word among the nutritionist and health coaches, intermittent fasting became one of the most popular diet plans ever. And it’s actually a whole lot easier than it sounds. The main principle is to eat in the 8-hour window and fast for the other 16 hours of your day. And instead of being busy with digesting the food your body will be able to focus on other things.
Set small daily goals
Many people focus on the greater picture only, losing from the sight the small (yet important tasks). Be strategic in what you do and break one task into small pieces. Not only the steady completion of the lower task will give you a sense of accomplishment, but you will be able to stay more focused and alert.
Boost your attention span by sleeping
We talked about this when we discussed the productivity. And this topic is definitely connected to it. You just cannot be productive without being focused. So, to boost your attention span at work be sure to have enough quality sleep. By sleeping, you’re enabling your body to rest properly and get ready for the challenging day ahead.
Take regular vacations
Burnout is a dangerous thing! There are so many reasons why taking time off is good for you. To work better, sharpen your focus and prolong your attention span you need some distance from your work. And you can get it by travelling. Use your vacation wisely and regularly and come back to work refreshed and relaxed. However, coming back to work from vacation is not an easy task, so be sure to read this article to stay on top of the game.
Before we say goodbyes
And we came to an end. Staying focused is hard, but achievable task every one of us needs to complete. By achieving the focus, you can actually work less and achieve more. And that’s a fact. Be sure to follow our tips, and the results will follow. If you have some tips on focus and attention, please share them with us. We would like to hear it and include them as a part of our daily routine. Until our next article!
A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.