According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total factor productivity (TFP) in the U.S. dropped by 1.2% in 2022. This is terrible news, as TFP measures an employee’s hourly output of goods or services. So the lower it is, the less a worker produces during a workday.
There are many reasons for low productivity, and a worker’s inability to stay focused is one. This can lead to more errors, missed deadlines, and work-related stress.
If so, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve shared our top strategies for staying focused at work, so read on.
1. Remove All Types of Distractions
The shocking cost of workplace distractions can range from $124,000 to $36.6 million yearly. The lower end is for businesses with five employees, while the upper tier is for companies with at least 1,000. Such losses also affect workers since they can force a company to cut costs through layoffs.
Distractions, including auditory, cognitive, manual, and visual, are costly because they impair focus. These include noisy surroundings, clutter, and non-work use of phones, to name some. They can all prevent you from giving full attention to your work tasks.
Therefore, eliminating or limiting distractions is necessary to stay focused.
Start by using headphones to help drown out background noise. You can also post a polite note to discourage conversations while working hard.
To reduce cognitive and visual distractions, fix and declutter your desk. Also, avoid using your gadgets for personal purposes unless you’re on break.
2. Schedule Tasks Based on Priority
Creating a list helps lower your odds of forgetting tasks you must complete. Ranking them based on priority then gives you a clear picture of how much time you have to finish each. Lastly, scheduling allows you to devote time and attention to that task alone.
Those strategies also give you a sense of urgency, encouraging you to stay on top of your tasks.
Just as vital, however, is to include at least one micro-break in your hourly schedule. Breaks of 10 minutes or less per hour of work can help boost performance and ease fatigue. It can also raise energy levels, which you can then focus and spend on completing your tasks.
3. Reward Yourself for Each Accomplishment
Every time you finish a task on time, celebrate by rewarding yourself. It’s an excellent way to acknowledge your hard work and motivation. Think of it as a message to your brain, reminding it that you’re competent and worthy of success.
That message then helps reinforce your mindset and positive behavior. You can look forward to focusing on future tasks and rewarding yourself after.
You can base your rewards on the intensity and length of work you accomplish. For simpler or shorter ones, you can treat yourself to coffee or one of your favorite meals. For more complex tasks, celebrate with a day at the spa, a nice dinner, or even a weekend getaway.
Follow These Brilliant Tips for Staying Focused
As you learned in this guide, staying focused starts with removing work distractions. The fewer interferences you deal with, the easier you can give full attention to your tasks. Likewise, schedule and prioritize your must-dos, and lastly, reward yourself for being awesome.
For more work and lifestyle tips and tricks, browse and read our other informative guides!3