Improve your concentration at work

by By Latashni Gobi Nathan (latagn@sph.com.sg)
published on 21 June 2016

After consecutive stressful work days, long hours, and handling many personal commitments, sometimes you may find it difficult to concentrate at work. You may take longer to finish an assignment, or realise that you could have done things better.

Ms Loo Mei Yee, a professional certified coach and general manager of a coaching company said concentration at work can be affected due to changes in your personal life or work place.

She said: “The balance in your life can be affected when something out of the ordinary happens,. Big events that cause a change in your environment can affect your concentration, like weddings, family emergencies or significant milestones in your life. You can also be overwhelmed by changes in work duties or the people around you at work, which forces you to adjust to a new way of doing things.”

Ms Loo also said that many people tend to take care of others more than they do of themselves, causing them to overlook the state of their health.

“Not getting enough rest or having a healthy diet can push your body to a level where it affects your concentration,” she said.

What you can do before work

Having a routine to relax yourself before you sleep. It can positively impact your ability to perform the next day.

Ms Loo said: “Before you go to bed, try to do some relaxing activities. It could either be meditation, reading an enjoyable book, going for an evening walk or any other light activity. Doing it for 10 minutes to 15 minutes will help your mind relax and let you have a more restful sleep. When you rest well, you find that you can take on the pressures of the day better.”

You can also try is to leave a pen and notebook by your bedside. Note down things to remember for the next day or the following week. Set aside all thoughts about work and attend to your personal matters.

“Writing down a to-do list will help you to cope with stress and the things you need to get done. You can go to bed knowing that you will not miss out on anything important,” Ms Loo said.

In the morning, try to get up earlier. This will give you more time to do personal things like having good breakfast with your family or friends, or even having a quick exercise session that will pump your energy levels and leave you feeling refreshed.

While at work 

At work, start handling emails or tasks that are the most importance first. Write down at least three major things you should complete by the end of the day apart from your daily work. This will allow you to focus all your energy on those few tasks rather than worrying about everything that you have to do.

Ms Loo said: “Before you head home, plan for the next day. Use scheduling programs to sort out your time and tasks. The more organised you are, the more focused you will be.”

Having good emotional support is also really important.

If you feel overwhelmed by work matters, talk to someone who can see things objectively. Having a listening ear and someone to give you sound advice can help you can get back to work feeling better without having your concentration for the rest of the day affected.