8 Ways to Improve Your Concentration at Work

Do you always find yourself running late for office? Do you find it difficult to maintain your focus and concentration on a single task for long enough? Do you take several hours to complete a straightforward task? Experiencing these issues occasionally is no big deal, but if staying on top of details at work seems an endless struggle, you may be suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

When you have ADHD, you are going to have a difficult time on job. In fact, your earning potential may drop due to restlessness, limited attention span, and distractibility. Studies suggest that college studies with ADHD are likely to earn $4,300 less each year, as compared to their peers who are not suffering from ADHD. Therefore, it is important to take steps to improve your concentration at work.

The Ultimate Problem

8 Ways to Improve Your Concentration at Work, woman at computerThe biggest problem for workers with ADHD is that they have a hard time getting in touch with their inner executive. Difficulty setting priorities, poor time management, and other job-related difficulties bedevil people suffering from ADHD.

A set of cognitive abilities help you handle these problems, and these abilities arise from the brain’s prefrontal lobe. This particular part of the brain does self-monitoring, and tells you if you are doing what you should be doing at this time and if you are doing it in an efficient way. That prefrontal lobe is generally under-aroused in people with ADHD, which impairs the ability to monitor behavior.

With poor executive functioning, you may end up wasting several hours on simple tasks. You may also get distracted easily. Your colleagues and boss may think you are disorganized, irresponsible, or downright lazy, but the truth is that you may be working harder than most to keep up. In order to connect with your inner executive and improve your concentration at work, be sure to try the following tips.

Tackle Your Emails Sensibly

No matter how focused you think you are, the incessant ping-ping-pong of your emails can distract you in no time. Things can get worse if you already have issues concentrating on tasks at hand. The best way to deal with it is to set a specific time of the day to read all your emails at once. By designating time for emails, you will be in a better position to budget your time properly.

Do not stop what you are doing just to send a reply to a new email message. You may take a couple of minutes to reply, but it may make it extremely difficult to return to what you were doing. Even worse, you may have received a spam email, which is only going to hurt your concentration. You can tell all your contacts that they can expect a reply within 24 hours, and you can stay within this timeframe just by putting aside 20 minutes before leaving work.

Do Not Let Meetings Ruin Your Day

Meetings can be big time-sucks, but the fact is that people still arrange them, attend them, and then complain about them later. Research suggests that office workers spend about 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings. If you already find it difficult to concentrate, attending those unproductive meetings is only going to make matters worse. Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself if it is really important. Avoid meetings if you can accomplish the same tasks or goals via phone, email, or even web-based meetings. Alternatively, you can have standing meetings because they are likely to have decreased territoriality, increased group arousal, and improved group performance.

Pay Attention to Your Work Space

8 Ways to Improve Your Concentration at Work, woman work spaceYou are only going to make yourself vulnerable to distracting stimuli if you do not always choose to work in the same location. Your mind can quickly get used to the space you use to work, and this can lead to a significant increase in your productivity. It is also important to ensure that you have selected a quiet place to work. Having a private office is the best thing, but you can take steps to make your small cubical as distraction-free as possible.

For instance, you could share your space with someone who spends more time on computer than phone. You could even ask them to conduct meetings in open spaces. Similarly, it is equally important to keep your workspace clean and free of clutter.

A neat workspace will work amazingly well to improve focus and organization, but be sure to know exactly when to clean your work space, as spending too much time to de-clutter your space can keep you from focusing on the real task.

Follow a Work Schedule

Drawing up a schedule and staying on it will help be more productive at work. You can ask your supervisor to help you design a schedule, and then you can check back with them to ensure that things are moving in the right direction. Keeping everything in a proper structure is the key to success. You should work with your seniors to prioritize the day. This will keep you from making impulsive commitments, because you know you already have other things on your plate.

Set Realistic Goals

There is nothing wrong in setting ambitious goals, but it is extremely important to ensure that they are realistic enough to be achieved within a set timeframe. A simple idea is to have a to-do list and see if you can achieve all those tasks in a timely manner. If you can, you may want to create ambitious goals to challenge you a bit more. Setting higher goals and having higher expectations can certainly help you be more satisfied once you achieve your goals.

Just ensure that you set a realistic deadline to achieve that goal, or else you will feel disappointed when you fail a goal. Also, you need to understand the difference between professional and personal goals, and know that your professional goals deserve more attention when you are at work.

Work to End Distractions

8 Ways to Improve Your Concentration at Work, man avoid distractionsYou should do whatever you can to end workplace distractions. You have to find a strategy that would help you work at peak efficiency.

Sometimes, you have to try something different and unique. For instance, you may notice that you are more productive when it is quiet around you. If that is the case, you may decide to come in early to work to handle important tasks.

When working, stay away from the digital world. It is important to avoid taking phone calls for some time, and let voicemail take messages. You can always return those calls later. Try to limit visual distractions by facing your desk toward a wall.

It is important to work on internal distractions as well, which could hit you as a creative idea in the middle of unrelated work. If your work depends heavily on creativity, just jot those ideas down on a pad to review later. Just do not get sidetracked by those ideas. It is also important to enjoy your work, because uninteresting work can lead to daydreaming and make it difficult to concentrate.

Learn Relaxation Techniques

If you know you have issues feeling relaxed at work, you may consider learning and using relaxation techniques when you feel restless. It is easy to get under stress when you have ADHD. Not being able to meet your goals or worrying about missing your deadline can put you under serious stress, and leave a dent in your productivity. Simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, and even working with imagery can help keep you on track. It is also important to include moderate exercise in your routine and try yoga, meditation, and other relaxation exercises to calm your nerves.

Pay Attention to Diet to Control ADHD

8 Ways to Improve Your Concentration at Work, woman eating wellIf you find it difficult to concentrate at work because of ADHD, you may benefit from paying attention to your diet. What you eat will have a direct impact on how you feel and behave throughout the day. For instance, it is a good idea to avoid simple carbs, and include complex carbs in your diet.

Your brain relies heavily on glucose, and your body uses carbs to make glucose. However, your body can quickly convert simple carbs into sugar or glucose, which can overwhelm your brain and make you a stressed-out, hyperglycemic individual, who will find it difficult to concentrate at work.

Similarly, you should avoid foods with artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, as they can cause you to be less attentive and more hyperactive. The best thing is to start your day with a breakfast containing some fat, some protein, and complex carbs.

It is also a good idea to increase your intake of omega3 fatty acids. Studies show that omega-3s can help improve cognitive skins, behavior, and focus in people with ADHD. In fact, some studies have also found that supplementing with omega3s may actually be as effective as stimulants in treating ADHD symptoms. It is important though to talk to your doctor first, because you should maintain a balance between omega3 and omega6 fatty acids.

Similarly, zinc is another important mineral to include in your diet, because studies have found that people suffering from ADHD usually have lower levels of zinc. Including zinc in your diet may help reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity and make you more productive at work.

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