In the legal industry, things are rarely quiet and relaxing. In fact, the work we do is often so high-stakes and fast-paced that a moment of peace can feel completely out of reach! From answering client emails to chatty coworkers to scheduling mishaps, we have so many high priority tasks that it actually becomes hard to get anything done in the face of distraction. With that in mind, we’ve compiled five tips to help you get the most out of your workday.
1. Keep track of your distraction triggers
One of the first changes you can make is identifying what causes you to lose focus. This can be hard to pinpoint, but when you start looking for the information, you may find that there is a common theme. Does your mind tend to wander when you get hungry or tired? Are you more prone to taking Twitter and texting breaks? If you can identify the catalyst, you may be able to combat impromptu distractions by scheduling Twitter breaks or keeping a stash of protein bars near your desk.
2. Reverse your focus
For most of us, when we begin work, we tend to start with the easiest tasks and work our way up to the hard stuff. We think of focus like an athletic workout, starting with a warm-up and building to the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, when it comes to the brain, this is actually the opposite of what we should be doing. Smaller tasks drain your energy and lower your focus because even little decisions have a tiring effect on our brains. It’s actually most effective to work in reverse order, starting with difficult and creative tasks when we’re at our most fresh.
3. Block out external stimuli
In a noisy office, it’s incredibly hard to focus. We suggest using headphones or earplugs to block out external sound. Even if you can’t focus while playing music, you can always improve your focus by cutting down on distractions.
4. Start your day with a plan
You know your own attention span, so make a list of the things you need to do during the day, and plan the toughest tasks for times when you tend to be the most focused. Generally, people focus in the morning and late at night. Whenever possible, try to align your natural schedule with the one you need to keep for work.
5. Cut the DSL cord
It should come as no surprise that many distractions come from the internet. Whether your attention is drawn to the occasional clickbait or whether you’re getting notifications from social media, it’s likely that you can improve focus by unplugging for a while. If there is work you can do without an internet connection, disconnect for a little while and power through it!
We hope these tips allow you to improve your workday focus!