According to a study done by Psychology Today, people who spend 11 minutes working intently on a project before being interrupted will take 25 minutes to return to their task, if at all. Their study revealed that this statistic was true for students, for people working in an office or someone doing a household task. Maintaining focus is challenging for everyone. How can you encourage your employees to have clarity and focus during the day?
Get regular exercise. Opinions vary about the best time to exercise, but most productivity experts agree: regular exercise in bursts of at least 20 minutes can help to get your blood pumping and improve mental processes.
Eat a healthy breakfast. Your body and brain need fuel to function. Starting each day with a healthy breakfast with protein and healthy fats will ensure that you’re giving your body what it needs to function.
Remove distractions. As technology use becomes more prevalent, it adds to the noise of distractions that can keep you from performing at their best. Limiting the use of technology to only what is essential will help you keep focused on the task at hand. This includes cell phones, music, television and web usage.
Create work blocks. Decide how long you want to work for a specific block of time without stopping. Turn off your ringer, close the office door and focus on one specific task. Use a timer so you know when to stop.
Take short, frequent breaks. After you’ve finished your work block, take a quick break. Go for a short walk to the water fountain, stand up and stretch or do some deep breathing exercises. Give your brain a moment to rest before switching gears.
Snack through the day. Quality snacking throughout the day can give you the necessary fuel to keep working. A handful of almonds, fruit or cheese can be just enough to give you a boost without making you tired.
Get a good night’s sleep. Adequate sleep is a critical component in maintaining focus. Many of the most successful individuals credit their productivity to getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. While it seems counterproductive (“I have so much to do, I need to work late/get up early”), getting enough sleep will help you to focus and get more done.
Use goal setting. Written goals (both short and long term) can help you stay motivated and focused. Write daily goals each morning to help guide you through your daily tasks. By achieving small, daily goals, it can help wire your brain for success. Every time you meet a goal, you get a “high” from the release of dopamine. As a result, you’ll continue to work towards your goals.
Maintaining focus is essential to productivity. When it comes to employee wellness, establishing a workplace that cultivates productivity is paramount to success.
Giving your employees the tools they need to perform at their peak can not only generate more productive employees, it will create a culture where everyone can succeed.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.