Woman in a grey shirt working on her laptop and staying focused

The art of staying focused

The art of staying focused is not an easy task. However, with strategies like meditation, exercise, and more, you'll be able to master the art of staying focused.
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Jugal Shah
2018-04-16

I recently did Skillsoft’s course – “The Art of Staying Focused” and it gave me some great pointers on how to be more efficient at my workplace by implementing a few simple practices. High levels of productivity are directly proportional to focusing on a task as opposed to doing multiple things at once.

The art of staying focused all day is not an easy task. The human brain is frequently on over-drive, thinking about several things at once. Meditation is something I personally do to help me keep a calm and collected mind. In a workplace environment, there are quite a few different forms of distractions that can hinder your efficiency. I’ll attempt to cover a few here and also go over Skillsoft’s solutions (which I heavily agree with) to those problems and how to get more stuff done within limited time frames.

Procrastination & Temptation

Almost everyone is guilty of procrastination. One way to overcome this is to set up simple rewards/motivators at the end of each task. For example – If you have 60 minutes to get a task done. Break your time into 2 slots. Consciously work hard for the first 25 minutes and then take a small/coffee break for 5 minutes. Repeat this again and you’ll notice that by applying the focus-reward principle, you will have achieved more.

Multitasking and Fatigue

Prioritize your most important tasks first. The 80-20 rule states that 20% of your activities account for 80% of your results. It’s important to realize what your 20% is and assign more priority to those tasks. Another factor that might hinder performance is fatigue which can be countered again by taking small breaks. Get some fresh air, walk around the office space if you have a job in front of a computer screen.

Blocking distractions

Turn off notifications for all your social media applications. Attempt to physically move away from busy/noisy areas in the office space. Grab a meeting room when doing tasks of high priority. Set a ‘Do not disturb’ status within your company’s internal chat/communication channels when you’re doing something important.

Exercise

Exercising is great. Even if it’s for 30 minutes, taking a break to go out and work out has been known (and scientifically proven) to make you more energetic in your workspace.

How to say NO

It’s okay to say no sometimes. If you’re over-worked and your colleagues keep piling on more stuff for you to do, there are ways to decline it in a polite way. If it’s your manager assigning you a task when you have other high tasks priority going on, it’s good to ask your manager “Do this task take priority over the other tasks I’m currently engaged in?” Telling your colleagues that you’re over-committed helps you from adding additional pressure on yourself

These are just some of the tips you can easily integrate into your work life. Personally, I’d also recommend taking 20 minutes off during the day to practice some simple breathing techniques or meditation practices. Find some quiet place outside where you’re not likely to get distracted and focus on nothing. Blank your mind and just breathe. I’ve seen great results from that. All the practices mentioned above and easily be implemented. It might take a little bit of practice. However, the results are worth the minimal effort you put in 

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