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How to improve concentration at work

Posted in Career Articles

Do you have difficulty concentrating on your job? With so many distractions, it’s easy to fall into the trap of passing time on non-work related pursuits. Here’s a few tips to help keep your focus and career on the right path.

Mobile Phones

I always put my mobile phone out of my direct line of sight. This is so I don't get as distracted by it. If it's in sight, I'll get tempted to check emails, calls, Facebook and other apps on my phone. The temptation can still be there if it's near you, but if you can't see it then it's not in your mind as much.

I also put my phone on the Vibrate setting - the ringtone is turned off, but the phone vibrates when a call or message is received. This way, I can still get notified if I receive calls, it's not distracting other people in the office with my ringtone, and in turn it helps improve concentration at work.

Leave Personal Browsing For Lunch Breaks

I'm sure you have a lot of things going on outside of the workplace. I can sometimes have things that need to be organised, or web sites that I like to visit to catch up on the latest news or facebook. However, I could spend hours doing things like that - which then eat into my work time. I've set myself a rule - I only browse these sites during my lunch break.

I eat my lunch, I come back to my desk for a little while, do some personal work or browsing if I need to (within reason), and then get back to work.

Your personal browsing will then be grouped or segmented into a certain part of the day. It helps to break things up as well, giving your mind a break between working on tasks, which is a great way to improve concentration at work.

Eat Well During The Day

When I first started work, I found it hard to concentrate consistently for eight hours a day. I had such a short term approach to my day. When I felt tired, I would get a can of Coke or some chocolate or some other snack. I would then get the buzz from that for a little while, then it would wear off.

Since then, my diet has improved, and lately I've been eating even healthier. Have several snacks throughout the day (I usually have bananas, apples or muesli bars), eat a health lunch, drink plenty of water. I'm no health expert, but I've read and been told that this has multiple good effects on your body, one of which is the energy, which in turn helps concentration at work.

Get A Good Night's Sleep

I think the thing that has the biggest impact to your ability to concentrate at work is the amount of sleep you get the night before. I've had nights where I've had four hours or less sleep, and I've felt like I've been hit by a truck. I slouched around the office, feeling like a zombie, not concentrating at work and counting down the minutes until home time.

I've also had days where I've had a solid eight hours sleep, woke up feeling fresh, and put in a great day of productive work. Sleep is important - getting a good night's rest is vital to improving concentration at work. Your requirement for the number of hours you need will vary - I believe the recommended amount is 6 to 8 but as long as you feel refreshed the next day, the exact amount of hours isn't that important.

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