Happy Friday to our Esquire follower family! Today, we’re here to recenter on a topic that will consistently bring value to your career: staying focused. In the digital age, and whilst being surrounded by media and technology at all hours of the day, it’s far too easy to become distracted or fall into a multi-tasking rhythm at work. While we’re huge proponents of taking breaks throughout the day, we encourage you to read below so that you can ensure you’re tuned in while working, and differentiating time to mindlessly scroll.
Staying Focused and Minimizing Distractions!
- Ditch Your Phone: First things first, your phone will almost always be your main point of distraction. Whether this is from personal calls, texts, or social platforms, our phones keep our eyes glued to screens. Whenever possible, instead utilize online work chat platforms like Microsoft Teams or Jabber, and ditch your phone! The best way to completely mitigate distraction is not to create the opportunity for it at all. If this feels drastic for you, we recommend scheduling ‘phone breaks’ throughout the day instead of keeping it next to your desk: explore 10-minute breaks every few hours or a gap for lunch as our top strategy!
- Stay Hydrated and Nutritious: Another key component of staying energized and motivated is hydrating your body and eating a nutritious breakfast! Meal prepping the night before to ease the effort required to create a hearty meal is a great way to minimize your to-do list for the next morning. And, we highly encourage you to purchase a reusable water bottle (maybe even one specifically for your work desk!) so that you can continuously refill and have easy access to water throughout your work day. Keeping a clear and healthy mind, and stomach, will place you on a fast track toward staying focused.
- Create Schedules: Another way to stay accountable is by creating daily schedules highlighting goals, tasks, deadlines, and other priorities of your work, week, or even month! Doing so will help you stay in line with an organized list and also keep you from getting lost among a variety of tasks and ideas. Even better, use sticky notes or other physical forms of paper and paste them onto your screen or a spot in your constant view to serve as a consistent reminder.
- Be On… and Off! When you’re on… be on. And when it’s time to be off,… be off! There is nothing more important than making time spent in and outside of your job meaningful. Trying to spread yourself across both responsibilities at once will leave your productivity and outcomes at half the value that you can truly reach! Always remember, you’re not expected to work around the clock for a reason, so put in effort when appropriate, and know when it’s time to unplug.
- Time blocking! A key phrase that’s been gaining serious traction over the last few years is “time blocking.” So, what does it mean and how do you achieve this strategy of time management and optimization? We encourage you to batch out certain obligations or facets of your role across different points of the day. Maybe this means you dedicate your morning hours to necessary meetings, your afternoon to online training courses, or your lunch hour to a walk away from your screen. This will take time and practice, but entering a workday and having that sense of organization will allow you to optimize your time and focus on certain tasks without having intrusive thoughts about what you “could be doing” in addition!
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