HEALTH & WELLNESS
How to stay focused & more productive at work
Taking time to take care of yourself, mitigate distractions, and create an ergonomic environment can help to improve your focus and productivity at work.
The way in which people work has changed tremendously in the past 200 years alone. In the 1820s during the peak of the industrial revolution, the average worker was working laboriously in assembly lines spending hours on end in a single workday. With technology and innovation, many of those jobs are now accomplished by machines and automation.
Today the average Joe is more likely to have a job that mainly involves being at a desk. This trend towards more sedentary jobs may seem like one for the better, but people are not built to sit still and stare at a screen for 40 hours a week.
One of the largest issues concerning work today is staying productive and focused while at work. The recent transition that many have made to a work-from-home environment is also not helping the situation when it comes to staying on task and getting work done during business hours.
Below are some great strategies to help you have an easier time focusing and staying productive throughout the workday. It can be easy to slack off and procrastinate but, ultimately, staying focused and getting your work done during dedicated working hours can allow for a healthier work-life balance.
One of the hardest parts about working in front of a screen is that humans are not meant to stay seated for eight-plus hours a day. From an evolutionary perspective, humans have mainly been shaped by environments very different from office cubicles. Hunting and gathering made up a large portion of time for humans, which involved quite a bit of moving, physical exertion, and adapting to changing environments. The office chair, desk, and computer screen are a stark contrast to these environments.
While humans were not made to sit for hours at a time, there is an entire field of study known as ergonomics that looks at the best way to position the body to allow for proper blood flow and optimal comfort all while reducing the wear and tear that sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause on the spine and body as a whole.
Below are specific ergonomic tips you can utilize to optimize comfort while seated and get the most out of your productivity. Having an uncomfortable workspace can impede your ability to sustain long periods of focus and by taking a moment to make some small changes you can make it much easier to stay focused for longer.
Optimal typing position
Keyboards are a mainstay for nearly every remote or desk job. Typing in an awkward positioning can lead to undue hand pain and can reduce your ability to stay productive.
There are a number of different ways people attempt to improve their typing experience including the use of wrist rests, but oftentimes they are utilized ineffectively and only worsen an already bad typing experience.
The best typing ergonomics is to have your elbows at the same level as the keyboard and desktop. Essentially when you are typing your elbow should be at a right angle. Additionally, rather than utilizing a wrist rest, you should utilize your palms as it is less likely to reduce blood supply to the rest of the hand.
Chair positioning is also another hot topic when it comes to ergonomics. While it may be tempting to try and sit up as straight as possible, the reality is that many people will slowly begin to hunch when trying to sit straight as an arrow.
A better solution is to place the chair in a slight recline. Placing the chair in a slight recline can help to reduce the weight that is bearing down on the spine and relieve some of the back pain associated with sitting for prolonged periods of time.
After adjusting your chair to accommodate a proper typing experience you may find that your feet are unable to sit flat on the ground. In instances like this, it can make for an uncomfortable experience as the edge of your chair cuts off circulation to the rest of your leg.
Utilizing a foot stand, yoga wedge, or other platforms can allow your feet somewhere to rest provide you with a more comfortable sitting position.
Distractions can be a real concern when trying to stay focused and productive at work. Staying focused at work involves being able to overcome and avoid distractions. Workplaces can be a place full of distractions but the home can be even worse.
At home, you have all of the things you do in your leisure time available to you — your TV, favorite snacks, pets, and even the people you love in most cases are all usually right around the corner ready to take your attention. While it can be fun and enjoyable to have all of it right next to you, it can also be an immense source of distraction that can pull you away from getting your work done.
Below is a closer look at some methods and productivity tools you can utilize to minimize distractions and maximize your focus.
Working an eight-hour day is typically the norm, but when you really break it down, you are unlikely to be working for all of those eight hours. Many people like to think that they can stay focused on a task for hours at a time but oftentimes people’s ability to focus is much shorter.
Work cycles utilize this to their advantage by having you alternate between periods of intense focus followed by short breaks.
One popular work cycle that many utilize today is the Pomodoro method. With the Pomodoro method, you set all distractions aside such as your phone, and start a 25-minute timer. In those 25 minutes, you are supposed to work without switching your attention to another task. The relatively short work timer allows you to stay focused on a singular task or goal. After the 25 minutes is up you are allotted a 5-minute break where you can check your phone, walk around, and do whatever it is you’d like. After that timer, you go back into another work cycle.
Utilizing the Pomodoro method as well as other work cycles can make it easier for you to sustain your focus and productivity all day long. Rather than working yourself to the bone throughout the day, work cycles provide you with short and much-needed breaks in attention and focus.
Most people get worn out by the 3’oclock slump, but with work cycles, you can effectively prolong the amount of time you are able to get work done efficiently.
Outside noises are another area of concern when it comes to distractions while working. The hum of the air conditioner, the sounds of cars outside, or your kids running around in the next room can act as distractions that attempt to pull your attention away from your work and make you less productive.
Noise-canceling headphones can be the perfect way to close you off from the world around you so you can have an easier time staying on track and productive. If noise-canceling headphones aren’t within your budget you can also opt for some earplugs to get the same isolation effect.
Take care of yourself
One of the best ways you can promote focus and productivity is to take care of yourself and take action to support a healthy lifestyle.
Taking time out of your day to take care of yourself can yield a two-fold benefit. The first benefit is that you will have a better sense of wellbeing and the other is that you will be better prepared to stay focused and productive at work.
Below are a few strategies and ways you can take care of yourself and potentially improve your ability to focus and stay productive.
As stated before, sitting around at your desk all day is not ideal. An excellent way to take care of yourself and get a boost in productivity is to get up from your desk and move around. Whether that is going outside for a small stroll or getting in a lunchtime game of fetch with your pup, simply getting up and stretching your legs can provide immense benefits in motivation, productivity, and energy level.
Support natural energy
Another plight that many people encounter is feeling down on energy. Even if you have the best intentions of having a productive day, not having the energy to back it up can be a recipe for disaster.
MitoQ is an excellent means of supporting your energy levels at a cellular level. MitoQ can help to support natural energy by supporting the underlying cellular pathway for energy production. With supported energy at a cellular level, it can help to provide you with the energy you need to stay focused and get more done with your time.
Staying focused and productive can be a challenge no matter where you are working. Taking time out of your day to mitigate distractions, take care of yourself, and create an ergonomic work environment can all help to facilitate a more focused and productive workday.
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