A lack of concentration can be costly, as research has shown. However, this focus is not always easy, especially in the stressful everyday work: There is the lecture, the processing of which has been postponed week after week; the apartment that needs a thorough cleaning or paperwork that has long required processing. At Action Buddy have collected seven best tips for you on how you can make progress in a concentrated manner despite a lot of work.
- Turn off distractions
Distractions can arise both in the head and in the environment. Therefore: not only the desk should be tidied up regularly, but also the thoughts in the head. Psychologists, therefore, advise you to write down all the ideas that are in your head once a day. At the same time, all external influences should be switched off: This can be the email program as well as Skype, the telephone, or all social media profiles. After all, it is enough to read your email two or three times. By the way: Flashing or buzzing cell phones should also be banned from a room in which you want to work concentrated.
- Start with the worst
It will first get on your nerves and then give you an additional boost in motivation: But early you should start with the worst projects or the most unpleasant emails. Otherwise, there is a risk that thoughts will block each other. The reason for this is the guilty conscience that you still haven’t done your job. To-do lists, which are also divided according to priorities, can help. Sometimes a simple distinction between “now” or “better later” is enough. A flow chart should also help you concentrate on one thing, and with every piece of work that’s done, the list gets smaller and the feeling of accomplishment better, too.
- Get an accountability partner
Accountability partners are a source of external motivation. Essentially you set your goals with your accountability partner else and then have a deadline – they can check-in with you and make sure you finished your goals. You’re more likely to get stuff done if someone else knows about it (and they are going to check up on you. We at ActionBuddy have some tips on how you can find an Accountability Partner.
- Consciously choose your place of work
Working in your apartment, maybe even in bed? Such is tempting, but it can disrupt both productivity and concentration. A library, your favorite café, or a coworking space around the corner can help. This has partly the advantage that you won’t meet anyone you know and who can distract you from your work. It is crucial that you feel comfortable. At such a place of work their way also special requirements: Ticking clocks and those should be banned or turned off with second-hand and screen savers. Because in any case, they will reduce concentration.
- Turn music on or off
It’s a question of type: some people work best with music, others need absolute silence around them. If there is another person in the room, headphones should be worn, and the music should be turned down so that it does not disturb the other person’s concentration. Studies meanwhile show that classical music, in particular, helps to concentrate better. Why this so has not yet been found out.
- Eating healthy and drinking a lot
The saying “A full stomach doesn’t like studying” also applies to work-life, because of nutrition influences concentration more than you think. Such is why breakfast is particularly important so that you can concentrate on the first tasks of the day. Fruit and vegetables and mostly light foods should also be eaten throughout the day. Drinking is also essential: it is known that everyone should drink between two and three liters per day. That strengthens the concentration.
- Think roughly the day before how the next one should go
It starts with preparing breakfast, and even the things I will wear the next day can make a difference in how I start the day. You can still change your mind in the morning, but this way the start of the day is more comfortable and the reason is free for the critical decisions of the day. At the same time, small goals also help to work through essential projects first: For example, I can plan not to read or write any emails or surf the Internet until noon or until the end of the project.
- Use a reward or a penalty to motivate you
Everyone is motivated in different ways. You can set yourself a reward for yourself e.g. I will buy a new hat if I finish my tasks this week. Another option is to set a penalty e.g. I will donate $25 to an evil politician if I don’t finish my tasks this week. We at Action Buddy like to pair up the idea of loss aversion with an accountability partner. That’s how we have managed to launch multiple start-ups in a short period of time.