Are you reading this at work? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Every day, we struggle to maintain focus on our jobs. With distractions at the press of a button or swipe of a screen away, it’s easy to get side tracked with minutiae or browsing – and often even harder to get back on track.
In this article, you’ll kill two birds with one stone – learning new tricks for retaining your focus and getting back to brokering when your mind does wander. Let’s begin.
1) Find some space
It’s easy to double down on work when distracted, but it may not be the root of the problem. Research from Gensler has shown that office spaces are slowly shrinking, and that proximity to others (or general lack of space) may make you feel confined or unable to focus.
The solution: take five minutes. Go for a walk or do a quick job in a different space. When you return to your usual workstation you might find you’re re-energised and ready to take on the day.
2) Have a dedicated ‘Do Not Disturb’ time
Phone calls, visitors and instant messages are near-constant – by having an hour during which you turn all of these off, you could intensify your focus.
Try having a ‘Do Not Disturb’ hour where you don’t get interrupted by calls or messages – you might be surprised by how much you get done in that time.
3) Turn off the music (but keep your headphones on)
Headphones are a universal indication not to disturb you, but music itself can easily take your brain down a garden path. Split the difference and use your headphones without necessarily playing music you usually listen to.
Alternatives could be white noise, or wordless music that doesn’t engage your brain as directly.
4) Implement Pomodoro timing
25 minutes on, 5 minutes off. The Pomodoro technique is well-established as a successful method of time management, but many still don’t use it. By blocking off your time like this, you set miniature deadlines with regular breaks, which can be a massive boon to your ability to concentrate.
The concept behind Pomodoro can easily be applied to the day-to-day of a mortgage broker.
5) Keep what you need within arm’s reach
Coffee, water, snacks – we love to take breaks for the little things. But by keeping them at your desk (without cluttering your space), you can minimise the risk of losing focus as you take two minutes to fill up your bottle or mug.
There are so many little ways to improve concentration while at work – try just one of these, and you’ll be amazed at the change that occurs.