A More Focused Employee Is a More Productive Employee

Do you feel like you're constantly putting out fires at the office? All it takes is finding different ways of focusing your attention to boost your productivity.

1. Plan Your Day

Planning your workday before it begins can help with productivity, especially if you can schedule certain tasks for specific times and set deadlines for yourself. Try using your morning commute as a time for planning out your day.

2. Dodge Distractions

It might sound crazy at first, but when you really need to get in "the zone" and complete some work, turn off unnecessary notifications (e.g., email, social media, text messages). After all, when you're trying to meet a deadline, noticing the payment due email for your credit card or auto financing can be distracting. Ask your colleagues to avoid you at certain times, or hang a "Do Not Disturb" note on your door when you need to concentrate. Productivity can be hindered by something as simple as a co-worker popping in to say hello.

3. Avoid Multitasking

It may seem like a good idea to multitask while you're doing it. Having several projects going at once can give the illusion that you're getting a lot done. However, it can also make you feel like you have a lot of unfinished work hanging over your head (which is more accurate). It can also distract you. When you work one project through to the end, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment and it'll be lifting one weight off your shoulders when you finish. This way, you'll feel like you're productive because you are. Place your focus on one project until it's complete. Try to limit as many distractions as possible as you're working.

4. Time Block

Separating your work time into blocks is all about keeping your mind fresh and focused on boosting your productivity.

Studies have found that people who work more than 90 minutes without a break tend to be less productive than people who work in no longer than 90-minute intervals. People tend to lose some focus after 90 minutes of work, so it helps to take short breaks to walk around and stretch or get a drink refill.

The two-minute rule makes the most of the tiny bits of time you have, such as between meetings or just before lunch. Any task you're certain can be completed in two minutes or less should be done immediately upon noticing that it needs to be done.

Some people find the Pomodoro Technique to be beneficial. For this method, it helps to work in an environment that typically has very few distractions. Work for 25-minutes without interruption. Then, take a five-minute break. Go back to work and repeat the process. Working in this manner helps you focus intensely without losing mental stamina and productivity.

5. Set Deadlines For Yourself

Most people find it difficult to accurately gauge the amount of time they spend on certain tasks. Usually, they discover that they spend a great deal more time than they realize on specific duties that shouldn't take much time (e.g., reading and composing emails). Setting self-imposed deadlines can help meet your goals, as long as you keep them realistic. Whether work gives you a deadline for the project or not, setting your own can help you complete it more efficiently and faster.

6. Recharge

If you're going to perform at your best, you must first take care of your health. Remember to get some exercise every day, keep a healthy diet and get enough sleep every night. Taking a moderately brisk walk outside every day at lunchtime can make a huge difference in your energy level and mood. Try to eat healthy by eating more proteins (nuts are a great snack) and fewer carbs to keep you going strong all day. One of the most important things is to make sleep a priority. Not getting enough restful sleep can negatively affect your daily life and your overall health. Create a bedtime routine to wind down each night so that you can feel rejuvenated for a productive new day.

Related: 5 Ways To Eliminate Routine Tasks From Your Workday