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To get any serious work done, focus is needed. That means, simply enough, that the ability to concentrate is all-important in the workplace. Meeting the demands of managers, satisfying customers, and having a good career depend on being able to concentrate well.

However, staying focused is not easy. Work can be dull and both mentally and physically tiring. Staying zeroed in on tasks is a perennial problem for workers. This is especially the case for white-collar employees who are trusted to get work done without close supervision.

Matters have been made even worse by the modern work environment. The internet means that an infinite ocean of distractions is permanently just a few clicks away for anyone who works at a computer. The rise of wide-scale remote working has made staying focused even trickier for many.

If you find yourself struggling to stay focused while on the job, don’t despair. Difficulties in this area are a common plight that, luckily, has plenty of solutions too. Here are six effective, practical ways to improve your concentration at work.

Limit Digital Distractions

Digital distractions are probably the biggest barrier to focus now. The funny thing is that even digital tools designed to increase productivity can have a deleterious effect on focus. The perfect example is email. Sure, communication is important, but is checking your email once every two minutes worth the damage to concentration? And a quick check of your social media can turn into half an hour wasted. If the web is a problem for you, consider using productivity software to make browsing time-wasting sites impossible.

Get Help From Colleagues

A little accountability goes a long way. It would be nice if self-reliance on its own were sufficient, but it’s a simple fact that the opinions of others affect us greatly. If someone else knows you are slacking off, you’ll feel worse. That’s why asking a colleague to check in to make sure you are focusing will itself make staying zeroed in easier. Having a partner with whom you mutually provide accountability is a great idea too.

Consider the Value of the Work

If your work doesn’t feel like it matters, you will be much less motivated, which will in turn damage your focus. Relying on an internal, subjective sense of satisfaction makes it harder to stay focused when boredom and ennui develop. Instead, think about why your work matters. Think about how your work is valuable to the customers, your team, and the company as a whole. Remember that focusing is ultimately your duty, whether you feel like it or not.

Handle Bodily Needs

Staying focused might seem like purely a matter of mental will, but nothing is further from the truth. If you are tired, in pain, hungry, or otherwise uncomfortable, concentrating for long periods is virtually impossible. That’s why proper ergonomics, for one, is important. If you don’t sit up straight in a chair with proper back support, you will become fatigued and achy. Similarly, healthy eating (so you don’t have focus-sapping sugar crashes) is indirectly critical to staying focused.

Take Breaks

Sitting down and focusing deeply for hours and hours straight is simply not realistic. Paradoxically, it is taking breaks that ultimately allows you to sustain concentration over a full work day. Breaks allow you to recharge your mental batteries just a little. But don’t just sit at your computer for your break. Get up, stretch your legs, and perhaps have a brief chat with a coworker. Staying in your workspace (even if you aren’t working) won’t feel like a real break.

Set Small Goals

Motivation and reward are crucial ingredients to remaining focused. Set yourself small goals that can be accomplished quickly to sharpen your concentration. For example, you might aim to make a certain amount of progress on a project before lunchtime. Breaking down larger projects into mini-tasks will also make them seem more manageable. With something to chase after, you will naturally be more focused.

Motivations for working can vary. You might work because your job provides personal meaning, you believe the work is good for society, or because you are ambitious. You might just do it for the money. However, one way or another, being productive is important. Since getting projects done efficiently requires strong focus, you need to be able to concentrate well. Follow the six tips seen above to improve your focus at work.