5 Tips To Stay Focused At The Office Or At Home :)

How to stay focused in a busy office
How to stay focused in a busy office
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Some people thrive in a busy office, but not everyone is cut out for working in a distracting atmosphere. If you’re struggling to get things done at work, there are plenty of ways to be productive without chaining yourself to your desk and swearing off all social interaction.

The most precious commodity in today’s world is focus: holding undivided attention to the task at hand. But how do we get there when we’d much rather “focus” on Facebook or watching funny cat videos?

Don’t despair. We’ve prepared these 5 tips for focused work to help you slay your workday and make your colleagues jealous.

1. Race against yourself

Using a timer as a motivational tool is very powerful, especially if you’re a competitive person. Even if you don’t have external pressure to finish specific tasks, you can set mini-deadlines and use a time tracker to track the interval you’d like to stick to.

Parkinson’s law states that any task expands to fill the time we allow it. Most of us don’t even schedule our work, and wishful thinking won’t get things done. Strive to do quality work in the shortest time possible and you’ll surely enter a deep state of focus.

2. Leverage peer pressure

Most of us have an innate desire to please people, so we may as well use it to our advantage. Just like accountability partners and workout buddies can help us reach goals outside work, we can mimic the same peer pressure inside our office environment. If you hate working alone, spend time with a like-minded colleague who values efficiency and productivity.

Want to take social pressure to the next level? Tell your boss, manager, or coworker your plans to finish a certain project by the end of the day. Afraid this approach will get you into trouble? Good. You’ll work extra hard just to avoid embarrassing yourself in front of others.

3. Listen to focus-inducing music

If you’re working in an open space, you’re probably aware of this magical device called noise-canceling headphones. They might make you look a little silly, but they’re a good defense against that coworker who wants to hang out by the coffee machine for the millionth time. Unlike him, you might actually get some stuff done.

But since you’re already shutting out the outside world, why not go a step further and feed your brain some hypnotic waves? Binaural beats are proven to increase cognitive function, improve memory and strengthen neural connections. You can choose from plenty of playlists on YouTube and Spotify and feel your mind enter its zone of genius.

Listen to focus inducing music
Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

4. Schedule uninterrupted time

The single biggest enemy of focus is interruption. Interruptions can come from your team, your phone or e-mail, and even yourself. Distractions and unforeseen situations will never stop occurring, but it’s in your power to make yourself unavailable.

Block uninterrupted time in your schedule and let your coworkers and even superiors know that you’ll be unable to respond during that specific time unless it’s a true emergency. Place your phone on airplane mode and out of sight. Shut your e-mail and notifications off. This might seem scary or selfish at first, but you’ll get a lot of work done, and you’ll barely be missed.

5. Use apps to block distractions

Okay, so you’ve taken care of other people distracting you. Now, you need to take care of your own interrupting behavior because, when it comes to focusing, even mindlessly clicking online for a few moments can ruin your state of flow.

Breaking deeply ingrained habits like picking up your phone or scrolling on social media to soothe yourself when you’re stressed or uncomfortable isn’t an easy thing to do. That’s why using apps that block those specific sites can be so beneficial. You can try Freedom, FocusMe, or SelfControl, just to name a few.

Apps are an integral part of our life today. As your work gets more focused, you’ll want to have all your efforts on record. Our Time Tracker for Salesforce is a great way to keep track of the work that you’ve done.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a habit of efficiency. The longer you procrastinate on work, the less time you’ll have to truly disconnect, engage in meaningful conversations or even leave home early. Not to mention that you’ll feel so proud of everything you accomplished. Try these ideas for yourself, and may the “focus” be with you! 🙂

7 tips to beat the Monday morning blues!

As you head out for your weekend, are you already dreading Monday? Does the

Beat the Monday blues
Beat the Monday blues

idea of starting the work week trigger panic and anxiety attacks? Do you feel sluggish and lack motivation?

If you’re nodding “yes” to any of these questions, you might have a case of the Monday blues.  Your Monday blues can hamper not just your own productivity and performance, but that of your co-workers as well. But there are ways to get around it. So don’t lose heart.

But first, if you find yourself facing the Monday blues most weeks, then that’s a sign that you are unhappy at work. You need to identify the issues that are making you unhappy and fix them. Or move on and find another job.

But if it’s occasional bouts of Monday anxiety, then here are some tips that can successfully cheer yourself and others up and make an otherwise dreary Monday, brighter and happier.

  1. Prepare on Friday. Try to make sure that you complete as many potential “dreadful” tasks on Friday. The idea of tackling these “dreadful” tasks on Monday is a daunting one. Take care of the things that you least want to handle. If you do have unpleasant tasks on Monday, finish them off early, when you are fresher. You don’t want them hanging over your head all day. At the end of the day on Friday, make sure that your calendar is synced and you know exactly what needs to be done the following week. Make sure you clean your desk of clutter before you leave on Friday.
  2. Unplug and have fun. As far as possible, try to avoid checking work emails and voicemail over the weekend. If you’re not going to get to it until Monday anyway, why mess up your weekend? Drawing clearly defined boundaries between work and personal time can help you manage things better. make sure that your weekend has enough outside and indoor time. Go out on Friday evening say and hang out at home with family or friends on Saturday. We have a family movie night on Saturdays. Netflix or Amazon Prime anyone? Or catch a game on the TV.
  3. Be well dressed
    Be well dressed

    Plan ahead on Sunday night and get plenty of sleep. Lay out your favorite outfit. This can help build confidence and get you compliments. Make sure your Monday lunch is packed or prepped. Try to get get between seven and nine hours of sleep.  Make sure that you set your alarm again. And set it 10 – 15 minutes earlier than other days. Give yourself a few minutes of “me time”, rather than feeling trapped in a time crunch.

  4. Get some exercise. Hit the gym early or
    Get your endorphins up
    Get your endorphins up

    walk or run. Whatever is your exercise picker-upper. Exercise ramps up your endorphins, so try getting some early morning exercise in for a great start to the work-week. In a time crunch? Try this great 10 minute workout. Will get you off to great week.

  5. Be positive.  Start the work week recognizing and appreciating the things that you enjoy abut work. Pump yourself up on your commute with your favorite songs. Some high-energy, upbeat music is just the thing to get you going. When you get in to work, don’t be a complainer. And don’t listen to other people’s Monday morning complaints. Not only will you be more positive, you’ll make the start of work week more positive for people around you.
  6. Make someone else happy. Promise yourself that you’ll do something nice for someone on Monday morning. So pay a compliment to a co-worker, bring some donuts in to work, say something positive and smile at your barista or help out a stranger on the street. Doing nice things for others is one of the greatest mood lifters.
  7. Keep your Monday schedule light and take small breaks. Knowing that Mondays are going to be busy, keep your schedule as light as possible. Try to schedule long, involved meetings for Tuesday or Wednesday. Finish off some easy tasks early on Monday, so you start off with a feeling of accomplishment.  And don’t stay glued to your desk or cubicle. Take a walk and get some fresh air. Don’t eat your lunch at your desk. If you have the time, hit the gym for a quick workout.

The key to beating the Monday blues and starting the work week on a great note is organizing your work for maximum leisure over the weekend. You really need that time to relax and de-stress. Try out these 7 habits and prepare yourself for a great work-week. If you have other tips and tricks that you use, share them with us in the comments.