8 tips to help you give your employees more focus
Every 5 minutes, we are interrupted in our concentration by something or someone. Whether you're at home or in the office, it's a challenge to stay focused with so many distractions. What are the biggest distractions, and what tricks can help you maintain your focus? We'll tell you more about it.
Don't get us wrong. Having focus is important for doing your work well. But you can't be switched on 24/7. Focus can only exist when there is relaxation as its counterpart. What you can train, however, is recognizing situations where you lose focus and taking action to address them. And the ultimate goal: creating situations where you enter that wonderful state of flow. Let's go through the workday with you, using the body and senses as our guide.
Don't look at the pink elephant. We find it difficult to ignore stimuli that send information. If you find it tempting to read every incoming message or email, it's better to prevent them from coming in constantly. Many devices have a feature to enable a work focus mode. Notifications are temporarily blocked, allowing you to read an article or adjust your project plan with full concentration.
Keep your eyes healthy. Train yourself to take a 20-second break from the screen every 20 minutes. Choose a point in the distance (around 6 meters) and gaze at it.
Research tells us that employees who take breaks every 90 minutes are 30% more attentive, 50% more creative, and feel 46% healthier. By taking breaks, you become more productive, have more space for new ideas, and feel better.
Keep your brain healthy. The timing of when you need a break varies for each person. You'll recognize it in yourself when your thoughts wander and you find it harder to get things done. Don't feel guilty if you chat with a colleague or take a short walk. It's good to clear your mind at that moment. However, don't use this break to attend to personal matters, as your brain still won't get a break.
Getting physically active is a great way to regain focus. More and more (home) offices have the option to switch between workstations with sitting or standing desks. There are often different spaces available for work as well. The distinction between these spaces is important. The area where you relax should not be used for tasks requiring focus, and you don't evoke creativity in the silent room.
Keep your body healthy. Think about which space you need for optimal performance. Conduct that one meeting while standing or on a call outdoors, and experience what it does to your energy, focus, and creativity.
Oxygen is key! The more oxygen reaches your cells, the fresher and more energized you feel. This increases your focus and allows for clear thinking. A healthy breath is a gentle and calm breath through your nose.
Keep your breath healthy. During stressful moments or when you lose concentration, it's good to check your breath. Try to slow down your breathing and bring it down from your chest to your belly. Take a few minutes for this and don't do anything else in the meantime!
Hacks for a workday
In addition to what you can do for yourself, there are various "hacks" you can employ throughout a workday to create more focus.
Start your workday with a top-3 list. These are the tasks that must be done. This way, you work more purposefully and make better use of your time.
When planning your day or week, block off focus time in your calendar. For example, label it as "do not disturb" or "focus hour." This way, everyone knows not to interrupt you during those times.
Sometimes, start the 10:00 am meeting in a different way. For example, play some music, ask a philosophical question, or play a short game. The focus in your team will improve afterwards.
Keep a note next to your desk to write down things you don't want to forget but can't address immediately. This way, you ensure your thoughts don't keep wandering.
During lunch, completely disconnect from work. Chat with colleagues or have a sandwich outdoors.
If you experience an afternoon dip after lunch, work standing up for the next hour. If you have a meeting, you can do it over the phone.
To stimulate your brain, engage in microlearning. Many online academies have existing content for this. For example, Rakoo has a Library full of learning activities on the competencies you need to acquire knowledge and perform well in your work.
End your workday with a check-out. Did you accomplish your top-3 list? What factors played a significant role today? Is there anything you want to do differently tomorrow? By reflecting on your workday, you get to know yourself and your focus preferences better.
Want to learn more?
If you want to know more about how online learning activities can contribute to better focus, explore our Library to see the Learnings we offer on this topic.