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Be Mentally Present

Being focused in the workplace is taking center stage now that we are heading into the end of the year and 2014 is coming to close. However, with the onslaught of news and pings of social media calling your attention, staying focused is becoming more difficult in the workplace. This has resulted in many people learning to multi-task, which surprisingly, is not as productive as many would believe.  Being “mentally present” is the key to being focused. According to a “Happiness” study by Mathew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert, letting the mind wander to other matters, will deter you from completing the actual task at hand. In this month’s issue, we have compiled a short list of tools that can help you finish this year off strong.

A few apps and websites that you may want to try:

  1. Self-Control (Mac User) / Cold Turkey (PC)

Do you have a hard time concentrating because you’re distracted by things happening in the background of your computer? If this is a common problem, Self-Control and Freedom are both free apps that allow you to block website usage, social media and anything else you deem a distraction. Cold Turkey has free and paid versions depending on how you want to use it.

  1. Toggle (Web based)

Do you want to know how much time you spend on certain activities? Toggle is a web based system that helps you track time spent doing your work. This is great for teams in the workplace to get a clear timeframe and realistic view on work habits. Keep track of your work with this easy to use system. There is a 30 day free trial and afterwards is $5/month/user.

  1. StayFocused (Google Chrome extension app)

Unlike Toggle that tracks how much time is spent on work, StayFocused is a productivity extension that can be installed on Google Chrome. It helps you to stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once the allowed time is used up, the sites will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.

  1. Calm (Website)

Sometimes you need to take some time out of your day to take the back seat to get a better view of the path ahead. Calm’s website allows you to set an amount of time (2 – 20 minutes) where you can listen to soothing music and take a mental break. This is a great exercise to incorporate into your daily routine to get your mind clear and focused.

These listed apps and tools are just a small snapshot of what is available. Whether you try any or none at all, just remember that the first step of getting focused is being mentally present. Stop yourself from engaging in too many projects at one time and you will find yourself working smoother and making the most of your valuable time.