Working from home is certainly good, but this feeling of comfort makes it difficult to fully concentrate on work-related tasks. Besides, our homes are filled with distracting factors, from kids turning the house upside down to a TV remote control somehow jumping into the hands. As a day slips away, you can’t but admit that your performance tends towards zero, with all the planned tasks halfway done. To solve this problem, you must, first of all, motivate yourself.
- Put your work on hold
Even if you like your job, it is very difficult to continue performing a task for several hours in a row without a pause. At the end of the day, you might feel like you don’t want to do anything at all. To avoid losing concentration, it is worth taking short breaks. Get up from the table for a few minutes, drink some water (it will help your body stay hydrated), do exercises (to prevent muscle spasms and congestion), or go out in the fresh air (to give a bit of oxygen to your brain). You will feel much better after a break, and the desire to get back to work is likely to descend on you.
- Reward yourself
Promise yourself a reward when you finish a certain part of your tasks. It can be anything you like — the main idea is to switch to another activity that will be pleasant and relaxing. If you love sweets, eat a pint of ice cream or bake a portion of muffins. If video games are your passion, play a round or two, watch a short stream with new gameplay, or refresh your own page quickly using an online Twitch banner maker. With a reward system at hand, you kill two birds with one stone: you will be more motivated to get the job done and give yourself a chance to take a fresh look at problems you need to solve.
- Give up multitasking
Although the human brain is able to control several things at the same time, it does a poor job of splitting the focus. Multitasking reduces a person’s efficiency and makes them work slower. When one of the perception channels is loaded with a task, other channels cannot drive home extra information. As a result, the people do much less than they could. If you have a lot of work to do, make a list of the tasks in order of importance and stick to that plan.
- Ditch social media
Since the most common distraction factor is a mobile phone with all the social networks and email boxes stuffed in it, lower its sound, turn it off completely, or leave it in another room. Try to stay focused on your assignment to maximize your efficiency until you feel that productivity drops. When you start feeling tired, it is the right time to switch to socializing – make a few calls and check your email or Facebook page. However, don’t get stuck in liking and sharing; set a timer to make sure you will return to work in half an hour.
- Turn it down
The brain is easily activated by external irritants, one of which is sound. To lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, you need to turn down the volume in your workspace. It is necessary to exclude distracting sounds, such as other people’s conversations, TV, and so on. If it is not possible, try using earplugs or headphones to fence yourself off the outer world. However, background music can be a good alternative to dead silence, the more so that it can blanket more distracting noise like news on TV in another room. Also, ask your family to refrain from bothering you while you are working, but be sure to allocate some time for them during your breaks.
- Keep it clean
Clean up the entire space within your field of view. Start with your table and make it free from any things that are not required for performing your tasks. You will feel how much easier it will be for you to concentrate without all those items popping out in your face. Any unnecessary piece of stuff on the table or around it is an intruding thought that distracts the brain from what is important. And as was mentioned above, our brain can think of only one-two things simultaneously. A large number of personal belongings in your workspace creates information chaos in the head and makes it more difficult for you to stay engaged. As soon as you pay attention to something on the table, the flow of your thoughts is immediately interrupted, and you will need to start all over again.
- Use stimulants
It has already been proved that small doses of caffeine can help improve concentration. So, a cup of coffee won’t hurt as well as a piece of bubble gum. The mastication process increases the flow of oxygen to the brain areas responsible for attention. Chewing gum also improves long-term memory and raises blood insulin levels for extra energy.
However, if you are not satisfied with your work, do not get enough sleep, and experience stress, you may suffer from the loss of concentration more often and may need to take more drastic steps than those offered.