Companies have gone back to the office or adopted hybrid work schemes, but that doesn't mean employees don't have to log on to the internet at their jobs. And there are plenty of distractions when you work online, or even when you're just trying to deliver digital outputs. Indeed, it’s tougher now to stay focused at work than before.
Why Is It Hard to Stay Focused at Work?
It can be hard to stay focused when you've got Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites just a click away. And with the constant flow of new information and notifications, it's easy to get pulled into a rabbit hole of internet surfing instead of completing your work tasks.
Even if you're not spending hours on social media, there are still plenty of other ways to procrastinate when you're working online. Maybe you start working on a task but then get sidetracked by researching something related to the task at hand. Or maybe you get caught up in email chains or messaging threads that have nothing to do with your work.
How to Stay Focused At Work
To be productive, it's important to find ways to stay focused when you're working online. Otherwise, you'll end up wasting time and not getting anything done.
One way to stay focused is to set a timer for yourself and work on one task for a certain amount of time before taking a break. This can help you avoid getting sidetracked by other tasks or spending too much time on one thing.
Another way to stay focused is to keep a list of things you need to do and check off each task as you complete it. This can help you stay on track and prevent you from forgetting what you need to do.
If you find yourself getting distracted by people, it might be helpful to work in a quiet place where you won't be interrupted. And if you can't focus because you're feeling overwhelmed, try breaking down your tasks into smaller steps that you can complete one at a time.
How to Stay Focused at Work (When It’s Online)
Staying focused when you're working online can be difficult, but it's not impossible. Besides using the techniques described above, you can also try the following:
- Mute phone and computer notifications – We may be used to the constant buzzes, bells, and dings that come with notifications these days. However, it doesn't mean they're harmless. These alerts fracture our attention and slow us down at work. If possible, mute all unnecessary notifications while you're working. Only allow alerts from your work messaging platform to come through during work hours.
- Keep "office hours" – Speaking of work hours, another way to stay focused is by working during a specified time frame. When you limit yourself to working only during a given period, you create boundaries. Having boundaries is good for your mental well-being and also triggers your creativity.
- Leverage productivity tools – A great way to keep yourself on task, especially when working online, is by using tools and software designed to keep your attention from wandering.
Stay Focused at Work with These Tools
If you find it difficult to stay focused at work, consider trying out some of the software and apps listed below. These tools enable remote teams and business owners with virtual assistants to work smoothly and efficiently with each other.
Leverage Video and Image Recording Tools
Sometimes, people just learn better with video and images, and these tools let you include both in your materials. Recording tools like these let you create detailed blogs, vlogs, and explainers for virtual assistants, colleagues, and prospects.
Vimeo Record is a Chrome extension that lets the user record and share video messages. With just two clicks, you can start and stop recording right from your browser window. The app allows unlimited recording and sharing, lets you change privacy settings on your recorded video, and allows you to collect feedback through video comments and reviews.
This extension takes screenshots of your entire browser window. GoFullPage scrolls through the whole page and assembles the shots it takes into a recreation of the entire window. You can export the image to JPEG or PNG or turn it into a PDF.
This Chrome tool combines the functionalities of Vimeo Record and GoFullPage, providing a screen recorder and a screenshot tool at the same time.
Loom is a screen recording tool that lets you easily capture your screen, webcam, and microphone all at once. You can use Loom to create quick video tutorials, product demos, or answer common questions from customers.
Stay Focused at Work with Task Management Tools
Project management and task management tools help remote teams stay focused by organizing work, tracking progress, and keeping everyone accountable. These apps let you create to-do lists, set deadlines, assign tasks to team members, and track progress.
Todoist for Chrome is a task management tool that helps you stay organized and on track with your work. The app lets you create to-do lists, set deadlines, assign tasks to team members, and track progress. You can also use Todoist for Chrome to stay focused on your work by muting notifications or setting office hours.
ActiveInbox for Gmail is a productivity tool that helps you stay focused on your work by organizing your email inbox. The app lets you prioritize your emails, set reminders, and snooze messages. You can also use ActiveInbox for Gmail to track your email productivity and see how much time you're spending on email each day.
T-boards is a Chrome extension that helps you stay focused on your work by providing a visual overview of your tasks and deadlines. The app lets you create boards with columns and cards to organize your work, set deadlines, assign tasks to team members, and track progress. T-boards also provides a kanban view of your work, so you can see your tasks and deadlines at a glance.
Use Helpers & Shortcuts to Stay Focused at Work
Extensions that provide shortcuts & more accessibility to frequently-used functions can also increase a team's efficiency. These tools help users easily navigate the screen, which is perfect for those who spend long hours in front of their computers.
CrxMouse is an extension that provides mouse gestures, rocker support, and an on-screen keyboard. With CrxMouse, you can easily navigate the web by simply moving your mouse. The app also provides shortcuts for frequently used functions, so you can stay focused on your work.
Speechify is a Chrome tool that converts text to speech. With Speechify, you can listen to articles, emails, and webpages. The app also provides options for adjusting the speed and pitch of the speech, so you can customize it to your needs.
The Pinterest Save Button is an extension that allows you to save images from websites and share them on Pinterest. With the Pinterest Save Button, you can stay focused on your work by quickly saving images and sharing them with your team. The app also allows you to add notes to your saved images, so you can remember why you saved them.
This is a tool that allows you to view, edit, and convert PDF files. With Smallpdf, you can stay focused on your work by easily viewing and converting PDF files. The app also provides options for editing PDF files, so you can make changes to them without having to download and install a separate PDF editor.
Use Blocking Tools to Keep Yourself Productive
There are several tools that you can use to block distractions and stay focused on your work. These tools range from apps that block specific websites to extensions that allow you to customize what you see when you open a new tab in your browser.
Unhook is an extension that helps you stay focused on your work by blocking distractions. The app lets you block specific websites, set a daily limit on the amount of time you can spend on distracting sites, and receive notifications when you've reached your limit. You can also use Unhook to block all internet access for a set period.
uBlocker is an extension that keeps your browsing experience free from ads or tracking scripts. With this blocking tool, you can stay focused on your work by denying yourself access to distractions and keeping your browsing experience private. The app also provides options for customizing your blockers and whitelisting sites.
This is an extension that prevents popups and other unwanted content. The app lets you customize your popup blocker, so you can block specific types of popups or allow certain sites to display them. You can also use Popup Blocker Pro to block other types of distractions, such as video autoplay and social media widgets.
This Chrome tool replaces your Facebook news feed with a quote. With News Feed Eradicator, you can stay focused on your work by removing the distractions from your news feed. The app also allows you to share quotes with your friends, so you can stay connected while you remain productive.
Stay Focused at Work: Get the Right Help
There are a variety of tools that can help you stay focused at work. From extensions that provide shortcuts to apps that block distractions, these tools can help you stay on task and increase your productivity. Choose the right tool for you and start reaping the benefits of a more focused workflow. Still, keep in mind that productivity comes from having a system for your work, not from implementing band-aid solutions.
Speaking of systems, one way of implementing them is having a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant will increase your team's productivity and allow you to focus on your core work. Delegating tasks will help business owners focus on strategy and growth, without neglecting time-consuming yet necessary tasks.
Wing is your source for top-tier VAs who will take on your most tedious tasks and help you focus on work. Get in touch with our sales team to learn more or sign up today!
Aya is Wing Assistant’s blog manager. When she’s not wrangling content briefs, editing article drafts and handling on-page SEO, she is crafting messages for Wing’s other communication materials. Aya writes about SaaS startups, marketing for startups, search engine optimization, and pop culture.