How To Refocus While Distracted At Work

Work can be increasingly difficult when you’re distracted by your phone, smartwatch, and emails. I call it the curse of immediacy. Ashley Janssen, a productivity consultant, said we must immediately respond to every email, instant message, text, and meeting request. She said, “My definition of focus is the ability to reduce distractions and interruptions.”

The interruptions throughout the day make it hard to focus, she said. You also likely drift away from work tasks that aren’t interesting or never-ending. Experts say there are ways to refocus when your mind wanders off from the office job. Here’s how.

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Make A Ritual For ‘Deep Work’

To help get into focus mode, Janssen recommends creating a deep work ritual that calms your mind and body. “The process helps you set psychological and physical expectations for what’s next. She explained, “Doing this regularly lets you settle into the deep work more quickly.”

Establish Boundaries With Your Co-workers

CJ Bathgate, a licensed clinical psychologist at National Jewish Health, believes setting boundaries is essential to focus at work. She said that people keep doing things until they are told not to, including your talkative co-worker who constantly stops by your desk. Tell them you’re working on something whenever they stop by, and you’ll get back to them when it’s done.

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Take Notes When You Are Interrupted

Let’s say you have a meeting during the day that you cannot miss, but you don’t want to lose track of what you were doing when you returned. Janssen suggested writing down what you’re working on and what you’d like to do next. When you get back to work, you won’t have to waste time searching for your place in a presentation or trying to remember what else needs doing.

Take Care Of Yourself

Jannsen said, “A lot of our focus challenges often come when we’re overtired, and our bodies don’t feel good.” Perhaps you don’t sleep, work too much, or skip meals. Stay focused at work by taking care of your body and mind. Janssen said taking care of yourself is crucial so you can focus on your work.