As you know, in my day job I work at a PR agency. That in itself can be quite the hectic environment. Telephones ringing, people talking to journalists day in, day out and running around, trying to make deadlines. Additionally, the agency has grown quite a bit in the last 6 months. We are now up to almost 40 people, trying to fit into an open plan office that is honestly much too small to hold everyone comfortably. You can imagine how that can affect everybody’s concentration for the worse.
Due to the situation, I had to find different ways to help me get into my zone and keep my productivity on fleek. In this post, I want to share some of these methods, to hopefully keep you concentrated as well.
Clean your Desk
In all honesty, I have to admit that I am quite messy and scattered when it comes to my desk at the office. (To my co-workers reading this, trying to mend my ways guys. Promise!). However, whenever I have a hard time concentrating on a task, cleaning my desk is the first step I take. Here is why:
The Princeton Neuroscience Institut has found that clutter can be a cause for distraction. According to the study, having various visual impulses within your field of vision will cause the impulses to compete against each other for the attention of your brain. This will lead to unnecessary distraction. Therefore, having a clean desk can help clear your mind and focus on the important tasks at hand.
Organize + Prioritize
Often when I get distracted from work, I just have too much on my mind. I attempt to do three things at once and end up not accomplishing anything at all. To overcome this problem I try to get a structured mind, before jumping into a task. I do this with these two steps:
- To Do List
I dump out everything that I have to do, keep in mind and think about on a piece o paper. This clears up space in my head and gives my brain back some breathing room. Without having to constantly keep these To Do’s in the back of my mind, I can focus on the actual assignments.
To make sure that deadlines are met and every task is finished when needed, it is now time to prioritize. The most time sensitive or crucial assignment should be your number one on that list. Following with the second important task and so on and so on.
As mentioned in the beginning of the post, my work environment is temporarily pretty chaotic. That said, it is tough to always drown out every distraction completely. There are however a few things, that can be done so spike your concentration. Here is a list of examples:
- Turn your Skype on “Do not Disturb”
- Switch your phone to silent. If you are not expecting an important phone call, you can call them back.
- And now put it away. You don’t need to see the flashy light of an incoming notification. Your Instagram followers will survive a few hours without you.
- Turn off your e-mail notifications. That way all mail will still be coming in. You can then check and respond after you have finished your task.
Turn on the Music
The last step before jumping into the first assignment is to zone out from the rest of the world. For me, it sometimes even helps to just put on my headphones. Why? My co-workers will be under the impression that I am busy and therefore far less tempted to disturb me for meaningless chatter.
If I really need to get into my headspace though, I put on a playlist. Usually, I turn to classical film tracks. To learn more about my favorite tracks for concentration and follow my work playlists, check out my post on “The best Playlists for every Girlboss”.
I hope these tips can help you with your concentration to stay on top of your productivity. Let me know if you have any other techniques or tips for staying focused. Be it in a noisy office or at home in your workspace. I would love to hear about them!