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Online Resources To Help You Stay Highly Focused At Work

Online Resources To Help You Stay Highly Focused At Work

Technology provides access to just about everything we can imagine — but that instant gratification is a double-edged sword. When it comes time to buckle down and get to work, it can be difficult to stay distraction-free and keep our minds from wandering.

According to one study, our minds wander 47 percent of the time. Combine this with noise and other distractions around the office, and it should come as no surprise that the average office worker is disrupted every 11 minutes.

Luckily, there are several online resources that can help you silence the chatter, eliminate distractions, boost productivity, and stay focused at work.

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Start the Day off Right with 7-Minute Workout

Exercise is good not only for your physical health, but also for your memory and ability to focus. For many of us, hitting the gym in the morning before work isn’t possible. With the 7-Minute Workout app for iPhone and iPad, you can get your heart pumping in just a few minutes, track your activity, and set goals. The basic version of the app is free to download, but you can pay to upgrade and access various other features, including alternate workouts.

    Avoid Internet Browsing with SelfControl

    Whether it’s Facebook, a blog, or email, we all have our online Kryptonite that distracts us from getting any work done. SelfControl, a free, open-source OS X app, can fix this. With SelfControl, you can set a timer and block selected websites and mail servers, which is great for when you are on a deadline. Set a timer for four hours and you won’t be able to access your “blacklisted” sites — even if you restart your computer.

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    Focus Booster

      Master the Pomodoro Technique with Focus Booster

      The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management method that breaks down work into intervals of 25 minutes, followed by five-minute breaks. This is believed to improve concentration and mental agility. The Focus Booster app is based on this technique, helping you manage your time and dedicate specific time increments to projects. After a free 15-day trial, Focus Booster costs $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year.

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        Write Without Distractions with FocusWriter

        When you are on a deadline and falling prey to writer’s block, even the battery icon and clock on your toolbar can prevent you from focusing on the page. FocusWriter is like a full-screen Microsoft Word, eliminating all distractions. You can look at only the page on which you are working. Available for both Windows and Mac, FocusWriter is free to download.

          Relax to Ambient Sounds with Soundrown

          Silence isn’t always conducive to productivity. While breakroom chatter or a silent office may work for some, others require the fine balance between sound and noise. With Soundrown, you can choose the type of ambient sound that best helps you focus and boost your productivity. Currently, the free-to-use website offers 10 different options that range from Coffee Shop to White Noise.

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            Find Your Center with Mental Workout

            Sometimes, we need to embrace our inner hippie and meditate. Meditation can increase your ability to concentrate by helping you relax, de-stress, and clear your mind. For new practitioners, meditation can be harder than it looks. The Mental Workout app, which was designed by a meditation teacher and psychotherapist, offers an eight-week guided meditation program for beginners. It also has more advanced options for experienced practitioners. Along with inspirational talks and body scans, the app is well worth the $1.99 download fee.

              Conclusion

              Beyond using apps that help you focus, set yourself up for success by using the right tools. Make sure your computer is running efficiently and that you are regularly backing up your files. You may also consider investing in a good set of headphones when you need to drown out office noise. Lastly, don’t forget to ensure that your Internet connection is fast enough for your productivity needs. Videos that take too long to buffer and delayed website load times can quickly distract you from the task at hand.

              By staying focused at work and using apps to boost your productivity, you can get more accomplished in less time. Start by trying some of these tools at your place of employment to see which ones work best for you.

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              Published on April 16, 2019

              How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

              How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

              When was the last time you did something for yourself?

              Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

              Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

              However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

              And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

              So how can you make that happen?

              Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

              Listen to Yourself

              The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

              This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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              What is your purpose?

              Have you ever thought about this question?

              Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

              In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

              Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

              All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

              If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

              But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

              For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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              If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

              How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

              Seek Out Continuous Education

              Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

              It’s Super Practical

              Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

              You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

              When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

              Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

              You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

              You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

              You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

              Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

              With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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              In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

              Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

              People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

              We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

              “Knowledge is choice.”

              Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

              Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

              Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

              Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

              Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

              Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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              When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

              Habits Make Your Time a Priority

              How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

              It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

              This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

              Your Well Being Comes First

              We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

              If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

              The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

              Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

              Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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