Returning back to work after a break offers staff the opportunity to come back feeling refreshed and ready for the new working year. However, it can also present a challenge for some individuals finding that focused mindset.
Staying focused in the workplace is becoming more challenging. Whether you are in the office or working remotely, there seems to be more distractions arising that can shift your focus away from your work tasks.
An inability to focus on work can lead to procrastination or multitasking, both of which can result in stress. Considering that in 2022 70% of Australians felt stressed at least once a week when working (Safe Work Australia 2023), it’s important to address your individual focus levels to minimise your risk of work related stress.
If you have been struggling to stay focused at work, do not worry as we are here to help! We asked 5 of our team members to share their best advice on how they stay focused during their workday. The team members featured in this article include:
- Director Stephen Wight;
- Manager Daniel Neeson;
- Finance Assistant Sandy Bethune;
- Client Service Co-ordinator Bronwyn Anderson; and
- Graduate Accountant Olivia Crichton.
Our Top Tips for Staying Focused at Work
Tip 1: Take Regular Breaks
Bronwyn explains that taking regular breaks helps her to stay on track:
“Staying focused at work can be tricky, especially after coming back from holidays. To help me stay focused, I make sure to step away from my desk for a quick break if my head is feeling a bit cloudy.”
Daniel strongly agrees with Bronwyn, and reiterates how important taking regular breaks is during your work day:
“I try taking short breaks across the day to reset and recharge. This may include a walk up the street, exercise and general check in’s with staff on non-work related items. This helps to refresh the mind and allows me to be better focused when I get back into a job.”
Tip 2: Regular Team Workflow Meetings
Daniel’s additional tip for staying focused at work is to have reoccurring check ins with your team throughout the week:
“At Davidsons we start our days with what we call a ‘daily huddle’. This is where team members catch up to discuss their goals for the day and share if they are stuck on any tasks which other team members may be able to assist in resolving. This simple process allows us to have a focused approach to our daily tasks and encourage clear communication between team members.”
Tip 3: Write a To-Do List
To help stay organised throughout the day Sandy recommends creating a to-do list to track your daily tasks:
“For me one of the key strategies I use to stay focused at work is to ensure I have a to do list for the day. I often have a lengthy number of tasks each day so I make sure I prioritise these tasks and mark them off when completed. This has helped me reduce feeling overwhelmed and improved my time management.”
Similarly, Olivia states that a daily to-do list helps her to not get distracted by other tasks:
“To maximise my productivity and stay focused at work, I like to make a to-do list each morning before I start work. This creates a clear picture of what I plan to achieve for the day. As I complete tasks, I check them off my list creating a sense of accomplishment.”
Tip 4: Prioritise Tasks
Stephen’s best advise for staying focused at work involves organising his to-do list in priority order:
“The first thing that I do each morning is to review my task list and prioritise the most urgent items to be completed. If required, I will allocate and block out time in my calendar to ensure that I stay focused on the task at hand.”
Tip 5: Clean Workspace
They do say a clear workspace = a clear mind! Olivia’s second piece of advice for keeping focused is to have an organised and distraction free workspace:
“I like to keep my workspace clean and tidy. Removing clutter and distractions helps increase my ability to focus on the task I am completing rather than things around me.
I also listen to music as it blocks out distractions and boosts my mood. Anything with a slow tempo seems to improve my focus and concentration, particularly in the afternoon.”
Tip 6: Be Kind to Yourself
Our final tip comes from Bronwyn, who emphasises the importance of being kind to yourself when returning to work:
“Everyone is different so you need to figure out what works best for you and remember not to be too hard on yourself if you have a bad day!”
This article was written by Marketing Coordinator Meghan Carr.
Safe Work Australia (2023, February 7). KEY WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY STATISTICS AUSTRALIA 2022. Safe Work Australia. https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/key-work-health-and-safety-statistics-australia-2022ia.