Improve your focus at work with these hot tips.

The office can be a distracting place. Chatty colleagues, emails, instant messaging and constant background noise are just some of the contributors to attention loss. Add in YouTube and the biscuit jar, and there goes your afternoon budgeting session. To save you from bunking down after hours, we’ve compiled a few hot tips to keep your mind on the task at hand.

Dedicate set times to emails

You know the feeling – you sit down at your desk at 9am to check your emails and by the time you look up the clock’s hit noon. Emailing can take up precious work time and more often than not, some conversations can wait. Try scheduling dedicated email time as often as you need to every day, being sure to switch it off outside those hours. It’ll save you from getting sucked in to distracting threads and place your full concentration on your work.

Turn off notifications

Sam sent you a message! Mum’s trying to ring you! Someone liked your photo! Just knowing that we’ve received a notification is enough to take our mind from the task at hand. Switch your smartphone to silent mode (that’s fully silent – sans vibration) or even better, turn off notifications altogether. And after a few days of initial apprehension, you won’t even notice they’re not there.

Be snack savvy

Don’t succumb to its temptations of the office kitchen! Instead, make sure your desk is stocked with a ration of healthy snacks for the day and plenty of drinking water. Your boss and your wellbeing will thank you for it.

Wear headphones

Even if they’re not playing anything. Most people recognise that a colleague with headphones means business, and will stay away unless it’s urgent. If you’re playing music, make sure it’s at a respectable volume for your co-workers around you. And if background noise distracts you, invest in a pair of sound-cancelling earphones.

Take breaks

We’re only human. A well-earned break can make a world of difference for the body and mind. Stretch your legs every 20 minutes, take your eyes away from your screen and get some fresh air and sunshine. You’ll come back feeling reenergised and better equipped to complete the job.