Quick Hacks to Boost Your Concentration
Even the most focused and dedicated workers can get distracted at the worst times. Students’ minds wander when they’re supposed to review for a test while employees mentally plan vacations instead of preparing major reports. Getting distracted is inevitable, but if it becomes chronic, your performance could suffer.
The next time you need to bunker down and get work done, follow these four productivity hacks. You might find that your focus improves and that you impress your boss or professor with your overall performance.
Drown Out Distracting Voices With the Right Headphones
Image via Flickr by scui3asteveo
If you work in an open floor plan or prefer to study at the library or in a coffee shop, then you might get distracted by the noise around you. Your co-workers gossiping, peers planning parties, and even professionals having business meetings can make it hard to stay focused on the task at hand. In this case, your best bet is to drown it out. Find a quality pair of earbuds or JBL headphones from a carrier such as T-Mobile and find sounds that help you study.
You don’t have to listen to your favorite band to increase your productivity. Some people listen to classical music without words and other play white noise like rain hitting a window. You might even use the noise canceling features to block sound out and work in silence. Test different options and see how they affect your focus and performance.
Set Goals for Yourself With Rewards for Reaching Them
It’s intimidating to think about studying multiple chapters or completing a whole presentation in one sitting. If you feel like there are hours of work ahead of you then your brain might want to do anything else. However, if you break the work up into small chunks then you can take the process step by step instead of feeling overwhelmed.
Try to schedule breaks at least every hour. Once you reach the top of the hour (or whenever you reach an important milestone) then stretch, take a five-minute break, and prepare to start the next section. Depending on what motivates you, you might create rewards to push yourself to hit a milestone. A few rewards include:
- Playing on social media sites or browsing the Internet for five minutes.
- Eating a piece of candy or cookie as a reward.
- Standing up and performing a few yoga stretches.
The smaller goals will keep you focused, and the constant rewards will also motivate you to knock out another chunk even when you don’t want to.
Change Your Tasks Regularly
Along with taking regular breaks, try to change what tasks you work on so you’re not doing the same thing for more than a few hours. If you’re reading and taking notes, then switch to a video format if possible. If you have multiple assignments, switch between them in order to stay fresh.
It’s hard for the human brain to focus on one task for more than a few hours, so this will keep your mind sharp and focused.
Close Any Unnecessary Tabs
Some people have dozens of tabs open throughout the day. Each tab has mental notes for things to do, social media channels, articles to read, and actual work assignments. These tabs are one of the fastest ways to get distracted throughout the day. All you have to do is see a Facebook notification or accidentally click on a fashion blog instead of your main reports to get distracted for several minutes.
Try to break the tab habit and only keep tabs and windows open for necessary project tasks. This means closing your email window too. If you have windows open as part of your research of the project you’re working on, consider bookmarking the content instead of returning to it when you actually need that piece. Otherwise, the tabs will get confusing and distracting.
Not all of these tips will work for everyone. Someone people need to motivate themselves with small rewards while others will find the interruptions even more distracting. Try a few of these tips to see what works for you as you create your productivity pattern.