When you want to be able to focus your mind on the task at hand it pays to have the right working environment. If you want to give your powers of concentration a boost so that you can be more productive it’s about more than a big monitor, comfy chair, and a purpose built office. It’s all about how you organise your space so that you can get the most out of it.
Keep One Central List
Too many offices are littered with sticky notes and to-do lists that seem to be stuck to every possible surface. If you have so many reminders of stuff you need to do then you’re just asking to be distracted. What you actually need to do is keep things simple by centralising all of your notes in a single location. This could be a Word file on your desktop, a note pad on your desk, or a checklist on your phone. The choice is up to you, but by putting everything you need to organise your day in a single location you’ll find that you get more done and you’re less prone to distraction.
Keep the Toys Off the Desk
For those of you who feel like you spend your working life behind a desk it’s understandably nice to add photos of the family or souvenirs from your travels. There’s nothing wrong with this but don’t go mad with it. Whilst it’s great to show your fun side at work, if you have too much crossover with your home life you’re going to get distracted. This actually means you’ll end up spending less time doing the things you love as you’re more likely to have to work late to catch up with your work.
Throw Out the Rubbish
Ever heard the phrase ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’? Well, it’s true, and it’s something that will make a bigger difference to your powers of concentration than you may think. If you’re surrounded by piles of old paperwork and coffee cups, then it’s all too easy to lose your train of thought or to feel overwhelmed. If you adopt a simple rule of chucking out old lunch wrappers or out of date reports within 5 minutes of finishing with them then you’ll find that your desk stays rubbish-free with what feels like no extra effort on your part.
Put Everything in Order Just Before you Leave
When you leave at the end of the day your head is right where you want it to be: focused on your work. The secret to longterm success is to engage with this feeling the moment you clock on in the morning. If you come into an office that is a bit of a mess and lacking organisation then it can knock you out of your stride and lead to a fairly directionless start to the day. Make a spare 5 minutes at the end of every day to ensure you can give everything a quick tidy. That way you’ll be able to hit the ground running in the morning and pick things up where you left off.