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Desk Habits


Work, for most of us, can mean hours behind a desk, whether at the office or at home. Ideally, you start each day with some things that you need to do and accomplish those tasks by the end of the day. There are days, however, when you may feel that there is just not enough time to get everything done. At other times, you may feel like you are able do only so little or that time seems to pass you by so quickly without getting much done. This may be due to a lack of focus on matters of importance.

Focus is the key to becoming a highly effective worker, employee, businessman, or professional. Here are some tips to improve your focus behind your desk:

1. Clear your desk

Remove clutter and objects of distraction. Your desk should only contain tools and things that you need for work. Keep pens, pencils, writing paper, paper clips, stapler and other office supplies nearby if you regularly use them for your work. Store other items that you rarely use so that you are left with a neat and orderly table top. While some people maintain that they work well with what they call "organized clutter", their concentration may improve further without the distractions of a messy desk.

2. Have a daily list of things to do

Making a list at the start of the day mentally prepares you for the work to be done. The same list will also serve as a handy reminder of what you still need to do during midday. Once you feel like slacking off, simply refer to your list of things to do to get back on track.

3. Use a good chair for your neck and back

A chair that provides stable but comfortable support for your back and neck enables you to work straight for long hours without feeling any tension or stress around your shoulders.

4. Keep a small notebook for instant ideas

Creative spurts come when you least expect it. The best way to capture those ideas as they enter your head is to write them down on a small notebook that you can refer to when it is time to focus on them. After jotting notes down, make sure that you return immediately to the task that was interrupted by your random thoughts.

5. Stimulate your brain with scents

Studies show that certain aromas stimulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain which relieve stress or increase mental alertness. Peppermint and eucalyptus, for example, can stimulate the brain and increase alertness. For others, the scent of coffee keeps them awake. Keep a bottle of peppermint scented oil at your desk for a quick pick-me up when you need it.

6. Work near bright daylight or bright artificial light

Natural daylight regulates your circadian rhythm or internal body clock so that you stay awake during the day and sleep at night. To increase focus and alertness at work, let natural daylight in as much as you can or where getting natural daylight at your desk is not possible, use a bright lamp while working.

7. Have healthy snacks on hand

Nuts and fruits give you enough energy to work on a task while keeping you healthy. Have a bottle of water nearby to keep you hydrated at all times. Water is an essential fluid that your body and brain needs to function well. Avoid sugary or 'energy' drinks that provide you with temporary bursts of high energy as these may leave you feeling tired once the sugar wears off.


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