Chances are, if you ask someone why they aren’t getting much done at work, a lack of focus will be somewhere on their list. In addition to distracting work environments, overbearing bosses and changing roles, not being able to focus can put a serious dent in a professional’s ability to deliver on tasks and stay ahead in their workload.

This doesn’t have to be the reality, though; by making a few small tweaks to your habits and your schedule, you can regain your focus and find yourself sailing ahead of schedule on your list of tasks.

To help you take the first step towards the focus you crave, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips below.


Working in an office where you both like your co-workers and have things in common with them is far better than being stuck between four walls 40 hours a week with people who bore you to tears. Liking our co-workers is a huge part of a healthy office environment and can help immensely when it comes to critical office procedures like collaboration and brainstorming. Having cool co-workers can also make the task of spending so much time at the office much more enjoyable, which is perhaps the most valuable part of it all.

Unfortunately, liking your co-workers can lead to focus-killing banter that lasts throughout the day. Consider setting aside designated times to catch up with your office buddies, share the funny online article you found or discuss your ideas for the Christmas party. When you know you have a window coming up for chatting with co-workers, it’s easier to structure you schedule and focus on work more efficiently.


We know that checking your email can sometimes seem like the most important part of your day. And that missing an important, urgent email can have serious effects on the overall scope of a project.

But similarly, being a slave to your email can equal a near constant distraction. When you have your email tab open all day long, breaking your concentration on a task or project is as easy as clicking over and getting involved in a long email chain that takes up a chunk of your time.

Set particular times each day to check your email, and make sure that your co-workers are aware that you only check your email at certain intervals; doing so will ensure that anything truly urgent will warrant a visit to your office or a text to your cell phone instead of email.


You might not realize the monumental effect your office chair is having on your productivity, but if you’re sitting in an uncomfortable chair, your focus is definitely suffering. If your back is killing you every day by 1 pm, you are certainly not going to produce as much work and you’ll likely be distracted when are attempting to get things done.

Our advice is to invest in a truly comfortable, ergonomic chair that supports you back and posterior and allows you to get your work done un-distracted by an aching back.


Distraction begins and ends with the environment around you. If your office is cluttered and messy, you’re less likely to enjoy laser focus when you work; instead you might find yourself overwhelmed and feeling claustrophobic.

It’s also harder to be productive when you can’t locate important documents or tools due to the mess. In this capacity, it’s absolutely vital that you stay organized.

If you want to take the step towards organizing your office, you can begin with creating a filing system for the various documents and papers you undoubtedly have in various places. Consider buying a white board so you can express your most important daily tasks through a visual list. Perhaps most importantly, segment your day into tasks according to what is most urgent; when you do this, you ensure that you have a game plan, leading to an easier format for your day.

How do you stay focused while you’re at work?

photo credit: Melissa Venable via photopin cc