Struggling to focus at work? One of these reasons may be why

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images
If your mind starts to wander while you're supposed to be on the job, try making a few easy adjustments to find your focus and get back on the right track

Nothing is worse than having a poor concentration day. You know, the ones where you catch yourself gazing out of the window, or scrolling through your phone for hours. Off days happen to everyone, after all, we’re only human. But what happens when these off days turn into weeks on end? Then, we have a problem. 

There are many different aspects that can impact our moods and concentration, so if you’re keen to snap back into focusing on the important things in life, try to identify what is holding you back. 

 

You’re burnt out 

Sacrificing your weekends and working an extra few extra hours each day soon adds up. Deloitte published a survey sharing that 77% of workers said that they experienced burnout at their current job, and 83% believed that burnout can negatively impact personal relationships. 

What can you do about it? 

If you are feeling overwhelmed with work, speak to a senior member of staff or someone in HR to communicate your concerns. Your company should then work to support you, to ensure your workload is manageable.

Also be sure to take time before, during and after work to unwind and do something to relieve your stress. Even once we’ve shut our laptops, it can be easy to continue thinking about work, so try to select activities that completely take your mind off things, so you give yourself a well-earned break.

 

You need to find your passion

If you lay in bed on Sunday evenings dreading the week ahead of you, or you find yourself counting down the minutes until the end of the day, chances are, your negative feelings towards your job are why you can’t focus. This is when the lack of focus can seem very similar to procrastination — if you don’t enjoy doing something, it’s hard to force yourself to do it everyday. 

What can you do about it? 

This may not be the most comfortable answer, but you have two choices: Knuckle down and bite the bullet, or pursue a different career role.

If you choose the former, there are a number of techniques that you can try to increase your productivity. We would recommend starting here. But if you chose the latter, take some time to really reflect on what you want to do, and how you want to shape your career path. This could be as simple as striving towards a promotion, moving to a different company, or starting a completely new career. 

 

You need a lifestyle shift

Going to bed late and waking up early, eating an unbalanced diet and not exercising will have an impact on your ability to focus. Most of us will probably agree that once we’ve had a good night’s kip, followed by a nutritious meal and some fresh air, our minds and bodys thank us. But if that’s not convincing enough, The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine released a study that explained the direct correlation between sleep deprivation and impaired cognitive function, including how it impacts memory speed. 

What can you do about it?

Of course, it’s not always as simple as ‘get more sleep and eat more veg’ – each of us have our own challenges that can form different types of obstacles. But if we set these aside for a moment and go back to absolute basics, to improve our lifestyles we need to get a little more organised. 

This is literally as simple as avoiding procrastination (again, putting down the phones), prioritising exercise (or at least some form of exercise) and finding time to cook healthy meals. Try making small lifestyle adjustments to begin with, and see if you feel better over the next few days.

 

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