In the era of constant digital interruption, use of smartphones and social media, not being able to focus for a prolonged period of time. Our brain gets hundreds of stimulations from outside worlds, let alone our own cognitive processes. However, this may affect the way you work and influence where you are heading with your career. Ability to concentrate allows to finalise projects on time and not only see a bigger picture of it, but be attentive to the details and find better solutions at work. Ability to concentrate and be attentive increases awareness and, in some cases, lowers stress level.
Let’s look into what affects your ability to focus at work.
Generally speaking, an open space office is more difficult to concentrate in because of the constant interaction with others and level of noise (phone calls, colleagues’ conversations, printers, etc.). Sometimes, the nature of a job does not allow long attention spans. For instance, when the role itself entails dealing with incoming calls from customers on a daily basis.
Speaking of environment, it’s important to emphasise the need for good dynamics in the office. A friendly environment and transparent culture help to support healthy professional interactions. People in such companies feel confident to approach their managers, colleagues or even their CEO. When it comes to solving an issue or asking a question, they will go ahead and do so, instead of postponing due to knowing it’s difficult to receive support and listened to.
Some aspects that we cover in the article might be less tangible because we look deep into organisational psychology.
– Analyse your work and choose an appropriate time for each task.
– Set up your desk in a way that you know where everything is.
– Take regular breaks and make sure to go outside at least once per day.
– Find someone in the company you can approach easily and ask for support when required. Maybe there is someone who could potentially become your mentor?
Providing employees with good quality equipment to perform well at work is essential for the success of any modern business.
Such little details, as not having a second language keyboard, may dramatically decrease an employee’s productivity. If the internet is slow or unstable, it delays working. When an admin has to work on an old computer, it takes a longer time to write or edit documents. Not having a second monitor when employees work daily with large volumes of information may influence performance.
– Report IT problems on time. Have IT contact numbers and emails nearby.
– Communicate with your manager if something does not work right or if you require extra support, such a newer computer. Do it in advance so that it can be added to the budget.
Constant usage of smartphones dramatically influences our ability to concentrate for long periods. Constant interruptions became the norm. However, there are a few easy steps to take if you decide you want to improve your concentration:
– Read at least one page a day regularly (of a paper book or magazine).
– Work with a timer. Choose a task and focus on it for 15 minutes without interruption. See if you can go for the full 15. Increase it to 20, 30, etc. when it becomes easy to focus.
– Write down the steps of what you have to do in order to complete a task. Big tasks or projects may feel intimidating and we tend to procrastinate because we’re unsure of just how best to approach them. Cutting these down into small pieces makes them doable step by step.
– Learn to meditate. Do it just five minutes every day and see the difference.
– Exercise. As little as 20 mins per day makes a major difference.
There is a constant flow of information and interaction with others in our daily lives, however, it’s up to you to choose how to work and how to achieve your career goals amidst all of it. Being able to concentrate on tasks will help you to learn quicker and better and you will progress faster. Being able to concentrate helps you to complete what is important and, eventually, create your own career around the skills that you will manage to obtain in focused, concentrated work.