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6 tips to improve your concentration at work

Concentration is the act of focusing one’s attention. When you concentrate, you focus your mental effort on one subject, thought or object.

While doing so, you exclude any unrelated feelings, thoughts, ideas or sensations. Learning how to concentrate at work is essential for succeeding in your career.

1. Scrolling through social media

Wake up, check Instagram. On the bus, go on YouTube. Bored, look at Twitter. It’s a routine that many of us are familiar with. Though going on social media can be an interesting way to occupy your free time, it often extends to much more than that.

Beat it: Instead of going on your apps at work, try to only do it on breaks. Not only will this set a fixed time for you, but it will also ensure that nobody will see you checking out a funny Facebook post during your working hours.

2. Always checking your phone

Similarly, your phone notifications take you away from work. The loud ringtone can be hard to ignore and whenever you pick up a call, it can last for many long minutes. People get to convey more messages when they are talking, which makes it easier to prolong the call or get sidetracked, especially if you are talking to someone you are familiar with.

Beat it: Turn your phone on silent and get caller ID. This way, you will only answer important calls and ignore the ones that can wait. If you miss an urgent call, they’ll probably drop you a message or email to follow up anyway.

3. Feeling bored

The only thing worse than having too many things to do is having too few. In a fast-paced society, things that do not pique your interest get tossed quickly to the side. Even at work, your mind and body will find ways to distract yourself when you feel bored.

Beat it: Combat this by using timers once again. Sticking to a task for half an hour will make it feel easier than it is. And once you get started, you might be able to power through until you complete it.

4. Overthinking

You’re bound to get distracted from your current task if you’re thinking of problems at home or with people you know. Things that happen outside of work might hold more personal value to you, which makes you more emotionally attached to them.

Beat it: It’s impossible to switch off your thoughts, but you can try to calm down by writing down a list of things you have to do, so at least you’ll know exactly what you are going to do once you leave work. Pay extra care to those things when you are not at work – you may be able to solve them so you won’t have to worry anymore.

5. Being stressed

Like overthinking, stress gets in the way of your work as it affects your focus. Stress can also lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as tight shoulders, headaches, and an increased heart rate.

Beat it: Finding a way to deal with stress is easier said than done, but there are many options you can explore. Physical practices include exercise and going outdoors, while mental methods include meditation and therapy.

6. Taking medication

Some medication, such as drugs used to treat depression and other illnesses, can interfere with your ability to focus.

Beat it: If you feel that your medication clouds your concentration, check with your doctor. You might not have to go off the medication, but take a different dosage or class of it.

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