Staying focused at school and work

17 Mar 2021

It is remarkable how easy it is to get distracted whilst trying to get some work done. The pandemic has kept most people indoors: work and school has now made a major shift towards remoteness, making it even easier to lose concentration. "If you put off everything till you're sure of it, you'll never get anything done." How can you stay focused and motivated during the day? Is there anything to can do to stay motivated? Whether you are in school or at work, the lack of productivity will leave a negative impact on you. It is true that what is not done today will have to be done tomorrow, but it also means a bigger workload, causing further stress. 

It’s not just work!

Your idea of your task will easily influence your attitude towards it. If your perception of your job is “boring” or “unrewarding” it will be easier for you to feel a lack of motivation to compete it. Therefore, find the fun aspect about it. Why are you doing this particular task? What is it about it that is important? The next step is to be creative and imaginative to find something fun about it. “I don’t think about it as hard work. I think about it as part of making myself into who I want to be. Once I’ve made the choice to do something, I try not to think so much about how difficult or frustrating or impossible that might be; I just think about how good it must feel to be that, or how proud I might be to have done that. Make hard look easy.” You could also think of your task as a challenge – something to motivate you to keep going until you manage through. Your work may be repetitive and thus, boring, so it will help to change your perspective about it. The more different your thinking of the job is, the more creative you can get which will result in a better sense of enjoyment. 

Goals, goals, goals!

This is similar to the previous point but setting goals for yourself will keep you hungry for more. Research also backs the idea of goal setting: when you have a particular target in mind, it will be easier to reach your goals. Studies have highlighted how when salespeople had targets, more deals were closed whereas fitness levels were increased more when individuals made daily exercise commitments. However, if you are setting goals, keep in mind to be specific. A very basic idea of such goal setting is the new year resolution. If you set a goal to do something enjoyable every week, for example, start every Saturday morning with a jog, research has showed that people are more likely to keep up the habit. Less enjoyable targets are less likely to be kept. “The trick is to focus on the elements of the work that you do find enjoyable.” * Moreover, Nelson Wang suggests, “You should have a really big, audacious goal. But make sure you break down that goal into bite-sized, consumable goals.” And remember to take on one goal at a time!

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Yes, your time outside from work and school also affects your productivity. Make sure to get 8-10 hours of sleep every night. Avoid being sleepy when you should be productive – and this needs practice. Train your body by going to bed at a certain time, according to the time you need to wake up. Stay disciplined. Go to bed even if you are not tired. Studies also do not recommend using your phones, TVs and computers an hour before going to sleep. Furthermore, keep a healthy diet. Give your body the energy it needs to last a good day! You cannot up your productivity if you are not motivated and tired. Ensure to start your day with a good balanced breakfast and strengthen your body with the right vitamins. 

Exercise

Physical exercise can easily fall under the healthy lifestyle point, but we want to emphasise how important training is. This was also backed by scientific research, which conveyed a connection between exercise and improved productivity. It pointed out that exercise helps to minimise stress and fatigue which in enhances performance in return. Your energy capacity is benefitting and growing every time you exercise as well as keeping blood, glucose and oxygen levels high. In short, sit less, move more. 


*Harvard Business Review