7 Things to Do When You Can’t Focus at Work

We’ve all been there. We all have days where it’s challenging to focus on our workload. At the end of the day you know you need to get the work done and excel at your job, but you need an extra push to get you back on track.

Here are a few techniques that might help you gain motivation when you’re having an off day at work:

Get Rid of Distractions

Turn off your phone. Delete social media. Put the cell on silent. Social media can wait. If you’re like me and social media is a part of your job, try your best from getting sidetracked from seeing a post from a friend pop up in your feed. It’ll be there later.

Go For a Walk

I can’t count how many times I’ve been too much in my head or too all over the place with my focus that a walk couldn’t fix. I’m lucky enough to have an office right next to a cute beach neighborhood and a bay, so walking by the water and around the adorable houses is a great way to clear my mind before getting back to work. Work in a big office building? Take a quick lap around the office. Go down the hall. Get some water. Do anything to get you up and moving so your blood can start flowing again.

Listen to Music

Not just any music, but something that won’t distract you. I personally have a tough time listening to music with lyrics, so often times I put on either my Movie Score Spotify Playlist, or simple classical music. Not a fan? Plug in some headphones and try white noise in the background like Rainy Mood. I always used a combination of this site and calm piano music to study or work on big projects during college.


If possible, try to find 5-10 minutes to just simply clear your mind and focus on being in the moment. Whenever I feel like my anxiety is creeping up on me, I walk out to the beach and take the time to really calm my thoughts so I can go back to the office with a clear head. These two apps have great guided meditations you can use to try and re-focus during a quick break.

Make a To-Do List

One reason why you might not be able to focus isthate you have too many projects and tasks on your plate. Take a moment to write down everything you need to do, then prioritize what needs to be done first and what’s going to take the most time. This helps you see everything you need to do so you can prioritize and get started with your day. I usually make to-do lists for the next day within the last 10-15 minutes of my shift. If I don’t write it down, there’s a large chance I’ll forget to do it the following day. Planning ahead can overcome this challenge.

Break Your Work Time into Sections

Sometimes it’s hard to focus on work for long periods of time. The human brain can’t focus for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. A Pomodoro timer can help, I used one during college that could definitely help in the office. This method breaks work segments into 20-30 minutes with 5-15 minute breaks in between.

Get Started

Most of the time, you are the only thing keeping you from staying focused on your job. Force yourself to work for at least five minutes if you’re feeling unmotivated. You’ll most likely notice that after pushing through those first five minutes, you won’t want to stop! This can also apply to writing blog posts, working out…pretty much anything!

What ways do you try to stay focused at work? Do you use any of these techniques? Let me know in the comments below!

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