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Staying focused, enhancing productivity and beating the post-lunch slump

It is natural for office workers to experience peaks and troughs in their concentration levels throughout a typical working day

While many of us arrive for work in the morning feeling pumped up and ready to go, the NHS suggest that by 2.16pm many workers begin to feel drained and demotivated. It is important to avoid these energy slumps, or at least find ways to battle through them productively, and here are some tips to help you remain focused all day long.

Breaks are important

Psychologists confirm that the longer we spend on a task, the poorer our decision-making ability becomes. Taking time out gives our brain a much-needed pit stop and improves the quality of our work when we return; therefore, don’t feel guilty for taking those ‘little and often’ breaks. When it comes to lunchtime, research shows that eating lunch away from your workspace and ideally getting some fresh air and exercise can improve your mood, cognitive function and concentration levels on your return.

Utilise your downtime

No matter how focused you are, there are always going to be times when your concentration wanes. Accept this and don’t force yourself to power through; otherwise, you will end up feeling stressed and exhausted. Find ways to fill these slumps with simple-yet-necessary tasks so that your downtime is still productive.

Smaller tasks

When working on larger projects, the sheer volume of work to complete can make us feel a little overwhelmed. A good way to stay focused is to break down your work into smaller, more manageable tasks that feel structured and more achievable. Experts also suggest that rewarding yourself for each step completed can help you to stay on track.

Time management

Setting yourself timescales in which to complete your tasks is also a great way to stay focused. If you give yourself a deadline of an hour to complete five tasks, any distractions you incur are permitted provided that you get everything done within the allocated time limit.

Picture your goals and how to get there

When you begin to feel demotivated, it is useful to picture the end result of your labours. Imagine how you will feel when the task is completed to the best of your ability. Once again, planning each physical action you need to take to make the image of success a reality is a good starting point.

Different techniques work for different people; however, setting personal timeframes and goals is a good way to stay focused on the bigger task and the smaller steps required for its completion.

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