Sometimes all it takes is one glance out your window to see the sunshine or other people enjoying themselves to make you wish you were outside enjoying the day rather than stuck inside in front of a screen.
When those blue-sky days happen to be a work day, the urge can be pretty strong to ditch your lengthy to-do list and play hooky from your job.
But for most of us, that’s not an option. Whether you’re working remotely or sitting in your office, the secret to staying put and getting your work done has a lot to do with mentally preparing yourself for the tasks at hand.
Here are some easy tips to help you keep your focus when you’d rather be heading outside to play.
Rethink your workspace
Take a hard look at the spot where you do the bulk of your work. Whether it’s an office space, an at-home desk or a table in your favorite coffee shop, what is in your line of sight?
If there is a television, a window inviting you outside or a heavy traffic area that draws your eye, consider turning your space around to help you focus.
Also, make sure you have everything you need to do your job within arm’s reach. Keep water, coffee or another beverage at your desk so you won’t be tempted to wander off in search of it later.
Keep distractions to a minimum
Distractions are everywhere, whether you’re working from home or in an office. You can improve your ability to focus by shutting down some of the biggest ones before you dive into your work. Try these three things first:
Separate yourself: If you’re working from home with others in the house, try setting up your work space in an area away from them. A separate room with a door is best, but any spot away from others that will allow you to concentrate should work. The kitchen table might be a comfortable spot, but it’s the place where you’re most likely to be interrupted.
Mute the noise: Start by turning off the background distractions. Shut off the television. Close your windows if you are in an area with a lot of street noise. If you need some kind of sound, try instrumental music on low volume or white noise. Need total silence? Try noise-canceling headphones.
Ditch social media: Checking your favorite social media sites can be a huge time-waster when you’re trying to get work done and it doesn’t take much to get sucked down a rabbit hole of comments. Shut off your notifications and close those tabs so you can focus on the work in front of you.
Try a nutritional supplement
Sometimes you might feel like you need a little help focusing. That could mean a shot of espresso for a caffeine boost, or a supplement like the new n* by Nutrilite™ Slay the Day gummies or drink shot. Powered with ginseng, these help support your concentration when you need it most.†
Break your workday into manageable parts
A little planning can help you get your work done faster. Creating a daily work list allows you to organize your tasks, then cross them off as you get them done. This way, you can focus on one thing at a time.
Break the list into pieces. If you’ve got phone calls, video chats, conference calls and meetings planned, mark those down with the times attached so you can make sure you are prepped for each event. Schedule your lunch and break times, too.
Reward yourself with breaks outside
Make sure you’re rewarding yourself by getting out into the sunshine when it’s time to take a break. A brisk walk, a short bike ride, or just a lunchtime stroll are all great ways to relax and recharge. That mental break will help sharpen your focus when you head back to work.
We all have days when the urge to get outdoors is strong. With a little planning and a few strategic changes, you can shift your focus to getting your work done quickly so you’ll be free to head outside and enjoy the rest of your day.
†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.