With so many people currently working from home, focusing on work can be problematic. It’s important to be able to concentrate on work when it needs to get done. There are strategies and tools to help you with this. Some may work for you; others may not. The point is to think about ways to improve your concentration and decide which options are helpful to you.
Strategy: Don’t multitask
Pros. Many experts say to do just one thing at a time. Trying to juggle too many tasks simultaneously merely breaks concentration. Schedule tasks so you can handle them sequentially.
Cons: Working on more than one task at a time can keep you interested in what you’re doing. Some of the tasks may be less interesting than others, but spending a little time on each can help you focus on all of them. For some people, multitasking is a natural behavior.
Strategy: Work in total silence
Pros: Some people prefer a quiet work environment in order to concentrate. And for these folks, there are strategies to achieve complete quiet:
- Close the door to keep distractions away
- Use a headset
- Use white noise apps
Cons: Listening to music can improve concentration. It’s helpful to block out background noise with music. But the type of music you choose is important. Best choice: classical music or nature sounds. Next best option: other soft music without lyrics.
Strategy: Avoid caffeine
Pros: Some experts suggest that caffeine may be only a short-term stimulant to help you concentrate. In the long run, it’s unproductive.
Cons: There’s research to show that some stimulants, such as matcha (a type of green tea) improve cognitive function. Other caffeine sources include coffee and dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao).
Strategy: Stay put until completion
Pros: Stopping and starting a task can lead to lost thoughts and having to reconstruct ideas that were previously at hand.
Cons: Block out work time periods, followed by breaks. It may be that you’re only able to concentrate for a certain period of time (15 minutes? an hour?). Also, moving about can help to recharge your ability to focus.
Strategy: Practice concentration
Pros: Use games, puzzles, and other similar activities to train your brain to concentrate.
Cons: Keep activities within your comfort zone. If these activities are too challenging, they can be overwhelming and won’t accomplish what you intend.
As Lee Iacocca said: “The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything.”
I’ve found some motivators to concentration are having deadlines and setting goals. You need to find what works for you.
The information in this blog was derived from the following articles: