7 Ways to focus on work or school

It is sometimes difficult to concentrate even on the most interesting task – there are constant distractions: Facebook notifications, emails, chatting colleagues. Pink offers 7 proven ways to finish work faster and avoid mental overload.

Get your desktop in order

There is a direct link between the quality of work and the state of the workplace. Free access to all the necessary things is very important for concentrated activity. To avoid unnecessary distractions, leave on the desk only what you really need. Try to find a suitable place for each item, with the most necessary placed as close to the center of the work area as possible. Clearing out drawers, clearing away piles of old files and disguising tangled cords can create a cluttered space and a sense of clutter. There are plenty of devices on the market that will hide cables. For example, Velcro strips or clips that can be used to secure wires wherever it’s convenient. Organizers and shelves help to unload the work surface.

Close tabs you don’t use

Your computer desktop needs to be kept clean, too. Instead, many have it buried under a dozen programs, dialogues and web pages that distract from important tasks and do not contribute to the working mood. According to psychologists, the digital clutter due to the large number of open tabs at times reduces the productivity of even the most disciplined employees. Therefore, when working at the computer, do not be lazy to close all the things that are not used at the moment. Try downloading one of the programs that closes all tabs if they are inactive for a certain period of time. Or install a browser extension that limits the number of tabs. And to avoid wasting time searching for frequently used documents, create shortcuts and bookmarks.

Eliminate distractions

Today’s work environment is filled with many distractions. Not just unnecessary tabs and things on your desk – try to eliminate any irritants that interfere with your work. If you’re busy with important business, let your colleagues know that you don’t have time to talk. Are you used to working in silence? Use earplugs or headphones. For those who find music disturbing, nature sounds are a great solution. And with special extensions, it’s easy to block out any distracting sites. For example, social networks. If you’re too attached to your smartphone, hide it in your bag. Soon you’ll notice that you check messengers less often and get distracted by push notifications. Don’t be afraid to miss important things: those who need to contact you can always call.

Concentrate on one task

Try to concentrate on only one task. Our brain is capable of performing several tasks at once, but it’s best to avoid it – multitasking makes us less productive. Besides, according to numerous studies, it reduces our ability to effectively filter out unnecessary information and contributes to the development of distracted attention syndrome. Neurophysiologists are convinced: the human brain cannot work on several things at once with full dedication. What’s more, if you are constantly looking through emails while talking on the phone or writing on the go, your brain wears out more quickly and exhausts itself. When one channel of perception is engaged, information from the others does not reach the mind. As a result, we get much less done in time than we could.

Make task lists

When you come to work, the first thing to do is to make a list of tasks in order of importance. This is one of the simplest and most working tools for effective workflow organization. It allows you to quickly prioritize, focus on upcoming tasks and do not miss anything. The main thing is that such a list should not be too long: it is demotivating. You can keep it in one of the special mobile planning applications or in a compact notebook that is easy to carry around. It is very important to cross out the tasks that have already been completed. According to psychologists, this causes a release of serotonin and dopamine, which further stimulates us to do everything we want to do. If you regularly make to-do lists and follow them, you will soon notice that you manage to do much more.

Do what you like to do

If you do the same monotonous activities for a long time, you will become bored. You will start to be distracted more often, get tired faster, and the quality of your work will decrease. Besides, it can lead to emotional burnout. If you are so used to work that you do it almost “on automatic”, your brain is in a passive mode. Think about how you can diversify your activity. Practice shows: even the most familiar business can be found a creative approach. Take on new responsibilities or distribute different types of tasks by days of the week. If this is not possible, try to take on a complex new project, change the order of the daily tasks, install a new screen saver on your desktop, or buy something unusual for lunch. This way you avoid fatigue and keep your professional skills toned down.

Don’t forget to rest

In order not to lose concentration and interest in work throughout the day, you need to rest well. Try to take short breaks every 25-30 minutes of active work. Checking social media is not the kind of rest you need. Instead, take a walk around the office, talk to your colleagues, drink a glass of water, do a couple of eye exercises, or let your brain switch to something pleasant. For example, watch a video of kittens. It’s also important not to ignore your lunch break and be sure to get out from behind your desk. This helps to rest and energize you for the afternoon. People who don’t go to lunch or eat in front of a monitor are more likely to suffer from chronic stress and emotional burnout. Besides, sitting in one place for several hours is bad for your health.