Have you been struggling with concentration at work and would love to learn how to improve this?
You can picture the scenario.
Maybe it happens to you very often.
You get to work that morning feeling ready and excited to start the day’s activities.
The day started well, and you are already recording success in your line of duty.
But there is a problem.
Just a few hours into work, your mind begins to wander, straying away from the task before you.
Many things might have caused this.
You probably got distracted by your mobile phone notification or something happening around your surroundings.
It could also be that thought crept into your mind, and you struggle to let it off.
One thing is sure, though.
At this point, you are beginning to lose concentration.
If you experience this sometimes while at work, you are not alone.
A lot of people struggle with keeping their concentration at the optimum level while at work.
More so, it doesn’t even matter if you work for an organization as an employee or manage your own business.
This is a challenge that anyone can experience.
However, ascertaining the factors responsible for lack of concentration at work will help you manage and avoid most of these factors.
You can also take several practical actions to improve your concentration and get things done when due.
Thereby improving your productivity at work.
Not to worry, all of these we would show you as you read on in this article.
How to Improve Concentration at Work – What Does Concentration Mean?
Concentration refers to that action that involves focusing all of one’s attention on a particular thing.
It is sometimes used interchangeably with focus.
Usually, this is a conscious effort to ignore all distractions and give all your attention to a single subject or object.
Concentration doesn’t come easy, as the human brain is designed to attend to more than one thing at a time.
Therefore, it might be a huge challenge sometimes to concentrate on just a single thought or project.
This is because there might be a million and one things begging for your attention even at the workplace.
Some of these might be essential matters but do not deserve your full attention at that time.
Others might be less relevant things that are also competing for your attention.
Hence, it is an immense battle to give a particular thought, project, or object the attention it solely deserves.
However, a high level of concentration is essential in every area of life, especially at work.
This is because of the many advantages it offers to the person doing the work and the organization they represent.
Let us quickly consider a few of these advantages.
Improving Concentration at Work – Why is it Beneficial?
If you are struggling with keeping a high level of concentration at work, it is not something to take with levity.
In a similar vein, if you are an employer and have an employee with focus and concentration issues, you should be concerned.
This is because many benefits come from having high concentration levels, especially when at work.
Hence the reason you should be committed to doing all you can in improving this vital aspect of work.
Here are some of the benefits or advantages of having improved concentration when at work:
It Increases Productivity
Increased concentration levels usually result in you being able to do more within a short period, reflecting productivity.
Productivity means the output or outcome of your activities on a given task, assignment, or project.
When you can’t concentrate at work, you will find that your mind starts wandering from the tasks you have at hand.
Because of this, your input slows down as your attention gets divided.
More so, when the input is not enough, the output can also not measure up.
This is what results in a reduced level of productivity.
On the other hand, if your concentration is top-level, you will do more work within the allotted time.
This would proportionately increase what you can produce, which inevitably increases productivity.
It Makes Work Faster
Speed of work completion is another thing you gain when you work on improving your concentration at work.
Has it ever happened to you before that you have many things to do at work, and before you know it, the day has ended, and you couldn’t complete the task?
It could be surprising, especially if it’s something you know shouldn’t take you the entire day to complete.
If you take a moment to think hard about how the day went, the chances are high that you were distracted at some point.
When you lose concentration at work, your work efficiency will drop, and you get slower.
On the other hand, a high level of concentration leads to a faster work pace.
It Increases Quality of Job Output
Not only does concentration help you do more and complete tasks on time.
It also ensures that you produce excellent results with each task that you handle.
With each time you’re distracted, valuable time is taken off your work hours.
This might lead to you falling behind on the deadline and having to rush through the task.
Consequently leading to poor quality work.
On the flip side, when the concentration level is high, the attention isn’t divided.
Likewise, you can stay focused, take your time to complete the task appropriately, and produce excellent results.
Less Margin for Errors/Mistakes
Another benefit that comes with improving concentration at work is that there is a lesser margin for mistakes.
Many of the mistakes made at work, especially the avoidable ones, can be traced to a lapse in concentration.
This is especially important when your job is a sensitive one that calls for full attention and focus.
If you can improve your concentration, you will find that you can easily avoid silly mistakes.
And therefore, you would not be putting yourself or your organization under challenging situations.
Great Attention to Details
Specific jobs require you to pay close attention to details, even the minutest of them.
This is required because you need those details to function correctly and get the desired results.
Additionally, there might be things happening around the office, and you need to keep tabs on them, especially if you are a senior staff.
Without the right level of concentration, you are going to miss out on all these details.
However, with good concentration levels, you will most likely take careful note of these things and not miss them.
It Improves your Memory Retention
For a long time, focus and concentration have been proven to boost memory power and retention.
Why do you need good memory retention at work?
One reason is that you would need this to remember daily operations and handle your assigned tasks.
Also, the organization you work for might organize training and seminars, which are beneficial to you as an individual from time to time.
It is equally the culture of some organizations to imbibe good reading habits in their employees.
Therefore, you’ll need good memory retention if you remember all these things and recall them when you need them most.
Above all, the only way to make sure your memory doesn’t fail you when it matters is by improving your concentration level.
It Reduces Stress Levels
One of the disadvantages of poor concentration is that you will most likely miss deadlines and default on tasks given to you.
Hence, delayed or postponed projects will be piled up for you.
In a bid to meet up with expectations, job completion, and deadlines, you will now need to work extra hard.
Additionally, if your struggle with concentration is a consistent problem, that means the workload keeps piling up.
This can cause you great stress, both physically and mentally, as you worry about seeing the work to completion.
How to Improve Concentration at Work – What Causes Poor Concentration at Work?
There are different factors responsible for poor concentration at work.
These factors could either be physical, psychological, emotional, and sometimes even health-related.
Also, the frequency at which you experience concentration problems might be a great indicator of the underlying problem.
For example, if your poor concentration happens sparingly, it might be more of a physical or emotional problem.
On the other hand, if you struggle with concentration regularly and consistently, there might be more serious reasons for that.
Perhaps it is a sign of a health challenge or psychological disorder.
Once you can identify which factor(s) discussed under this part is responsible for your lapses in concentration, you are one step closer to improving your concentration.
Here are a few of those factors:
Body and mental fatigue or tiredness are some of the reasons why you might struggle to hold your concentration levels at work.
This might be because you engaged in many stressful activities a day before that day at work, causing you discomfort.
When either your body or your brain is tired, it might be tough to concentrate, as there is just enough the brain can do at a time.
Lack of Sufficient Sleep
Sleeping on time and for long hours has been scientifically proven to help in improving concentration.
This is because when we sleep, we relax our minds, let go of our worries and rejuvenate our energy and mind.
You would probably notice that your most productive hours are after having a long time of rest and sleep.
On the contrary, when you deprive yourself of adequate sleep, it can sap your energy and weaken your body.
And as a result of that, you might find your concentration levels drop the next day at work.
An emotional factor that might be making it difficult for you to concentrate at work is anxiety or depression.
When you are anxious, there is a tendency for your mind to wander very often, and it’s hard focusing on one thing at a time.
This anxiety might be due to ill health, either personally or of a loved one.
It could also be a result of financial difficulties, which are making you anxious.
When anxieties are left unchecked, it can result in depression.
These two are big enemies to concentration at work, and if you think you are suffering from either of them, it’s good to ask for help.
Distractions are everywhere, and the workplace is not an exemption.
Sources of environmental distractions include co-workers or friends leading you into a conversation during work hours.
Additionally, the source of distraction might be another work going on around the office space, which seems to capture your interest and attention.
Your mobile phones can also be a source of distractions through phone calls, text messages, and social media.
All these are also responsible for concentration problems at work.
Lack of Interest
If you will attain a good concentration level, especially when at work, you need to love what you do.
When you engage in activities or tasks that you are passionate about, you are more likely to concentrate better.
This is because you love doing it, and you want to get the best out of it.
However, when you are involved in something that doesn’t interest you, you tend to wander off the task now and then.
If you are not used to struggling with concentration before, and it’s suddenly becoming an issue, could it be a side effect of medications?
Some drugs or medicines can make one feel weak, nauseous, or tired and shouldn’t be taken during work hours.
Be sure to check the label and pack of the medications you take to ensure they are not responsible for your lapses in concentration.
Multitasking; Doing a Lot at a Time
As enticing as multitasking might sound like a skill for efficiency, it also has its demerits.
Poor concentration is one of the disadvantages of this.
When multitasking, it might be difficult for your brain and mind to determine which activity is the most important.
Your attention becomes divided, and so is the focus.
Because of this, you cannot concentrate on either of the tasks you are engaging in, and the most important ones might even suffer more.
The points mentioned above are majorly environmental, emotional, and psychological causes of lapses in concentration.
In addition to these, certain factors are more related to health challenges.
Some of these are:
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Low Red Blood Cells (Anaemia)
- Menopause e.t.c.
How to Improve Concentration at Work – Practical Steps to Take
Here are some practical ways you can improve your concentration at work starting immediately:
Get Enough Sleep The Night Before Work
We cannot overemphasize the importance of good sleep in improving concentration at work.
No, this is not a “good” sleep during work hours.
Instead, it’s a good sleep night sleep before work the next day.
If you have the habit of staying up late at night or partying into the night when your job resumes in the early morning, then there is a problem.
There is a massive chance that you would struggle to stay with concentration at work the next day.
On the other hand, when you sleep very well, you can relieve your body of the workday’s stress and prepare it for another day.
If your work involves working at night, your sleep hours would be sometime during the day.
The bottom line is to make sure you get sufficient rest before the commencement of work every day.
Prepare Your Mind for Work
Experts have noted that taking out few minutes before starting your work to think about the work helps in improving concentration.
You can think about what you want to do, why you are doing it, and how you want to approach it.
This is more or less like a meditation process.
What it does is calm you down and set your focus on the job you have at hand.
Also, it can help you concentrate throughout the day.
Remove all Distractions
Distractions are some of the leading causes of a lapse in concentration at work.
You’ll need to be proactive when it comes to avoiding distractions at work.
Being proactive involves finding out in advance what could distract you and taking action to avoid it.
If certain colleagues are the source of distraction, you might ask to move your desk to a different place if it would help you concentrate better.
You can also have a conversation and tactfully let them know how much you value time during work and fewer distractions.
Additionally, if your distractions come from technological gadgets such as your mobile phones, you can turn off notifications.
Some even find it beneficial to put away their phones during work hours to concentrate better.
Leave your Desk at Intervals and Take a Walk
Spending the entire day at work rooted in your chair is anything but a help to focus and concentration.
Sometimes, you might notice a drop in your concentration level at later parts of the day after a long day at work.
There is nothing wrong with taking time to rest at intervals during work.
You can leave your desk and take a walk.
This time allows you to take your mind off the work for a while and refresh yourself.
When you later come back to resume your work, you would find that you can concentrate better.
It is not also out of place to use your break time for a short nap at work if you feel too tired or weak.
This is so you can recharge and get back to work fresh.
Leave Personal Problems at the Door
This could be difficult as our problems and anxieties seem to be a part of us as individuals.
However, if you are to concentrate at work better, you need to leave your problems at the door.
Train your mind to recognize the work environment for what it is; a place to work.
Therefore, you should focus on the duties you have to carry out and do not worry unnecessarily about other things.
Having a positive outlook can help you do this effectively.
Identify your Most Productive Hours/Time
This is more effective if you are someone who works as a freelancer or has flexible work schedules.
Could you be struggling with concentration because you are working at the wrong time of the day for your productivity?
You should study your work and productivity patterns and see when you are most productive.
It might be the early hours of the morning, and for others, it could be late at night when others sleep.
The goal is to concentrate and focus while working, and choosing the best time of the day to work would help the cause.
Exercise Every Morning Before Work
Is exercise a regular part of your daily routine before work?
A lot of people do not see the reason to exercise or consider it a waste of time.
However, it can also help you in improving your level of concentration at work.
And when we speak of exercise, it shouldn’t necessarily be highly demanding ones.
You can do a few cardio exercises that would help your body stay stronger and refreshed.
A day starting with such a routine would set you up nicely to have a great day at work, with maximum concentration.
Take One Task at a Time
We know you probably impressed your employer during the interview for your present position by stating that you multitask well.
Well, that is fine, as it is usually an excellent skill to have during work pressure.
However, if you want to improve your concentration, you must have a scale of preference for the tasks before you.
You can’t do everything at once, as that would split your attention, and everything would suffer.
Instead, take it one task at a time.
That way, you can see the complete important and urgent tasks before moving on to the next one.
That way, you can concentrate more on your tasks and duties.
If you want to improve your concentration at work, you can also set rewards for yourself whenever you can complete tasks in record time.
These rewards do not have to be massive
The goal is to serve as an incentive for you to focus and concentrate on the tasks you have on your table.
For example, a reward plan might be something like this:
“If I complete this article before noon, I can text that friend and chat with him/her for 15-30 minutes. If not, I won’t go on social media”.
This instills discipline in you and gives you that push you need to concentrate on the task and complete it so you can enjoy your rewards.
If Serious, Seek Help
As noted earlier, your concentration problems might be more than physical or environmental factors.
If the concentration issue is becoming more severe and adversely affecting your personal life and work-life, it’s time to seek help.
Speak with a medical practitioner who will be able to assist you.
They can do this either with activities to engage in or medications to improve your condition.
The fact remains that lapses in concentration regardless of the cause is not a death sentence.
You can improve it with the right methods.
Wrapping Up on How to Improve Concentration at Work
Improving your concentration at work will improve your productivity level, and your job output will also be exceptional.
Therefore, if you find that you have limitations in keeping a high level of concentration, apply the steps we’ve discussed so far to improve on it.
Before long, you will find that keeping your attention fixated on the most critical tasks at work would become more manageable.