It is exceedingly easy to lose focus. Everyone knows the feeling. You try to get some work done, but a notification distracts you. Maybe a coworker walks by and you chat about a shared hobby. No matter what the inciting factor, it throws you off of your groove. You lose the momentum, and it feels like you’re not going to be productive again for the rest of the day. How do you get in the zone and stay in the zone?
Staying Focused and Productive at Work
It can be tremendously helpful to use focus aids, such as music or white noise, to help clear your mind and focus on the task at hand. Some people find their focus much greater when they meditate for a moment before starting work. A quick recitation of a mantra, a pre-work ritual and a pair of headphones can help kick your work up a notch. If your workplace doesn’t allow for headphones, ask if you can play music through a speaker to focus. If you can’t, read on.
Polite but Insistent
You don’t have to be rude about it, but when you’re in the zone, it’s okay to tell people trying to talk to you that you’re busy and trying to work. Of course, if your manager has important info for you, then you need to listen. But even your manager should know better than to come try to shoot the breeze with you while it’s time to be working.
Politely explain to people around you that you need to focus on your work and ask them to come talk to you during your lunch break or after you’re off work instead. That’s what office social functions are for!
About Your Phone
Don’t hesitate to just put your phone away while you’re working. Alternatively, if you’re waiting on an important call, you can mute all notifications that aren’t phone calls. Just make sure that you’re not scrolling on your phone infinitely or avoiding your work in order to check messages. One solution you could try, if you can afford it, is a smart watch.
A smart watch will allow you to see your incoming notifications without actually opening your phone. This keeps you from getting distracted and pulling out your phone while you’re working. Instead, you can screen your messages and see what needs your immediate attention without getting sucked into your phone.