How to Stay Focused at Work
Reduce distractions by increasing your analog approach to business success
The Case Study:
In our internet-crazed world, attention is drawn in a million different directions at once as we multitask through every day. In a single 5-minute span, the average person will divide their time between working on a task, checking email, chatting with a couple of people, keeping an eye on Twitter, monitoring their smartphone, and interacting with co-workers.
This type of ADHD-like behavior causes stress levels to rise and lowers productivity. How do you ever find peace? How can we stay ahead of the game?
When was the last time you read a book or a substantive magazine article? Do your daily reading habits center around tweets, Facebook updates, or the directions on your instant oatmeal packet? How many other things are you doing while you’re reading?
“According to one survey, 67% of university students were able to multitask while reading digitally, compared to 41% of print readers. But if your goal is to fully grasp and comprehend the text in front of you, that isn’t necessarily a good thing.”
Suppose you’re one of the countless people who doesn’t make a habit of reading regularly. In that case, you might be missing out: reading has many benefits, and just a few of them are listed below.
Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of (or possibly even prevent) Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Keeping your brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power. Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind.
No matter how much stress you have at work, in your personal relationships, or countless other issues faced in daily life, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story. A well-written novel can transport you to other realms, while an engaging article will distract you and keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax.
Reading is the window to the world. It is an excellent form of learning from others’ expertise and opening your mind to new ideas and strategies when it comes to business. It stimulates the brain and can create new growth-producing success strategies.
The more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and they’ll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary. Being articulate and well-spoken is a great help in any profession and is key to success. It could even aid in your business, as well-read, well-spoken, and knowledgeable on a variety of topics tend to be able to engage on a higher, more varied level than those with smaller vocabularies and lack of awareness of literature, scientific breakthroughs, and global events.
When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, nuances, and the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through every story. The truth is that every new memory you create forges new synapses (brain pathways) and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall and stabilizes moods.
Improved Focus and Concentration
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story–the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every detail you’re absorbing: “…with a print book, there’s no chance of getting distracted by links or getting sucked down an internet rabbit hole…”
Better Writing Skills
Readers have better writing skills and more fulsome vocabularies. They speak better and have more robust critical-thinking skills.
In addition to the relaxation that accompanies reading a good book, it’s possible that the subject you read about can bring about immense inner peace and tranquility.
Now that you know how to be productive and focused, get going!
Focus and distraction are opposite sides of the same coin. Even the most disciplined of us can become preoccupied when our attention is drawn one way or another; alerts, notifications, pop-ups, pull-downs, headlines, messages, emails, kitten pictures, and TikTok dance videos.
There are a gazillion other things to look at, read about, try out, do, comment on, or investigate. Don’t do it! Remember how disappointed you feel after falling in a rabbit hole for an afternoon; then remember you know how to avoid the siren song of the interwebs.