Having difficulties concentrating while working from home? Finding yourself staring blankly at an email you need to write, or scrolling through Instagram for a break from the struggle? You aren’t alone. Although we’ve managed to adapt to working from home, this new setup isn’t without its unique set of challenges.
Fortunately, with a few simple changes, we can boost concentration levels, improve productivity, and feel our best at work and at home (even when they’re the same place!) Let’s dig in:
1. Break Time
With no colleagues strolling by your desk asking if you want to grab a cup of coffee or what you’re doing for lunch, it can be easy to forget to take breaks at all when working from home. Or, on the other hand, to have one’s breaks consist of doing laundry and washing dishes – not particularly restful activities!
In fact, research has shown that frequent break-takers get more done and have more focus during the workday. The human brain naturally provides a burst of energy and attention, but it eventually needs to wind down. Some research suggests 52 minutes of work-time followed by a 17 minute break is ideal, while others suggest 25 minutes followed by a five-minute break works best.
Often the simplest changes can have the biggest impacts on our health and well-being. And drinking more water is one of them. Research has shown that dehydration has a number of negative neurological and psychological effects. Even mild dehydration can affect our concentration, memory and ability to think clearly.
To get in the habit of staying hydrated, be sure to keep a glass or bottle of water on your desk for easy and regular sipping.
3. Take a Stand
When we are at work surrounded by others, seeing our colleagues stand up to stretch, or go for a walk, can remind us to do the same. And that’s a great thing because standing and moving throughout the day increases overall energy levels, and physical exercise improves our cognitive abilities and mental well-being.
Consider building this habit of standing or moving by setting an alarm on your phone or leaving a post-it on your computer. When the alarm goes off, stand up, give your body a little stretch and shake, maybe even head out for a quick stroll. Take a few deep breaths and get your blood pumping so you can return to work with a reenergized mind and body.
4. Nourish Your Brain
Our brains can’t do much concentrating without proper fuel. Aim to fill your plate with a variety of whole foods. This includes carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and grains, proteins like seeds, eggs, meat, or fish, and healthy fats from sources such as avocados, nuts, coconuts, or olive oil. Try to consume a mix of these foods throughout your day to ensure your body and mind feel nourished and satisfied.
Need More Concentration Tips?
If you found these tips helpful and want to learn more about how to improve your concentration at work, consider booking our Boost Your Productivity While Working From Home session for you and your team.