Many people work long hours and realize they haven’t accomplished even half of their to-do list at the end of the day. Studies show that our productivity decreases over time, so working long hours doesn’t always translate to more profits. The key to improving your productivity at work is to enhance your ability to focus on the tasks at hand. In this article, Scott Crockett, Everest Business Funding’s CEO, suggests seven ways you can accomplish just that.
Tip #1. Exercise daily
Research shows that physical activity such as walking or jogging improves concentration and focus during work hours. It also helps with memory capacity and staying energized and motivated during the day. If running is not your thing, consider other forms of exercise such as swimming, yoga, biking, or HIIT.
Tip #2. Clear your space and your mind
You may be surprised, but your surroundings influence your productivity just as much as your state of mind. If your desk is a mess and sticky notes cover your entire computer screen, your mind is going to be preoccupied with stress and worry, not the task at hand.
Every morning before you start your workday, declutter your desk and put all of the sticky note reminders where they belong – on your to-do list. Then take a few moments to breathe deeply and clear your mind from any distractions that may occupy it. Meditating even for two minutes before you get started on work can increase your focus and decrease your anxiety levels.
Tip #3. Make one to-do list
Many people tend to have separate do-to lists and calendars, resulting in double bookings and high stress. You may be tempted to write some goals in your notebook and the others on your phone, but gathering all of your to-dos in one place is the best way to stay organized throughout the day. Even if you feel overwhelmed with all of the things you need to get done, having your tasks in one place will give you the clarity you need to organize, delegate, and reschedule them if required.
Tip #4. Batch your tasks
We mistakenly think that multitasking is key to productivity. However, when we work on several tasks simultaneously, we are not focused on any of them, and our brain is switching from one activity to another. The American Psychological Association conducted research that suggests that multitasking decreases productivity by as much as 40%. The study suggests that it takes on average 23 minutes to get into the task after the distraction. Batching tasks into groups of similar sub-tasks will help you get more done in one sitting since you won’t have to get distracted by any co-occurring tasks.
Tip #5. Turn off the notifications
Keep your devices away while you are working. Since it takes 23 minutes to get back into the groove after a distraction, you must keep your attention away from incoming emails, texts, or Slack messages. While it may seem like a quick text won’t disrupt your flow, it is essential to dedicate the time to batch respond to incoming notifications instead of taking your attention away from the task every time your phone buzzes.
Tip #6. Take regular breaks
Studies show that people are only productive for less than three hours without a break. It may be tempting to use this as an excuse to get a cup of coffee or a snack every 30-mins, but a better way to go about it is to schedule your breaks ahead of time. During your break, get moving, and stretch your legs and your arms.
For those of us who skip on breaks altogether, it’s essential to remember that taking breaks doesn’t take away from productive time; instead, it helps you stay focused and accomplish more.
Tip #7. Fuel your body
Your brain needs fuel just as much as your body, so don’t skip your lunch break. Try to balance your meals to include protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats for optimal focus. Bringing a snack to work, such as fruit, nuts, or granola bars, will help you stay full between meals. Ensure that you drink enough water, especially if you also have coffee during your workday and work at the computer.
Staying focused at work starts with proper nutrition, daily physical activity, and proper planning. Follow these tips to increase your productivity, focus, and well-being on the job.
About Scott Crockett
Scott Crockett is the founder and CEO of Everest Business Funding. He is a seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in the finance industry. Mr. Crockett’s track record includes raising more than $250 million in capital and creating thousands of jobs. Scott has founded, built, and managed several finance companies in the consumer and commercial finance sectors.