How do you stay focused and motivated

Long working day: how to stay focused

Some days is easy especially busy: You come to the office in the morning, the first task is already waiting for you and this pattern runs through the entire working day. Customers come with change requests at the last minute, the boss spontaneously comes up with a whole series of new tasks, none of which can be postponed, and one colleague after the other comes through your office door with a new problem. Maybe today is such a day and you look at your watch and realize with horror that you still have a lot to do. So on one long working day everything works, it has to concentration voices. With these tips, your brain will still work after 6 p.m. ...

Long Work Day: How To Prepare

Many a working day drags on like chewing gum, getting longer and longer. One to-do after the other ends up on your desk, even though you were looking forward to a quieter day and a punctual end of the day at the beginning of the day. Such days when the end of the working day is unexpectedly postponed occur. However, you can often assess beforehand that you have a long working day ahead of you and it is precisely this knowledge that you should use.

Long working days when you are still in the office until well after 8 p.m. are very exhausting - physically and mentally alike. But if you can prepare for the extra hours, the late closing time will be yours less problems prepare.

  • Sleep in. A day with a full schedule and a number of tasks ahead? Then go to bed early the evening before. You will need the additional energy to be able to perform well the next day, even at a late hour.
  • Have an extensive breakfast. A good breakfast lays the foundation for your entire day. Since you cannot exactly estimate how long you will actually be in the office, you should treat yourself to a hearty breakfast that will provide you with strength for the day.
  • Prepare a reward. If you start the day thinking of something nice, even the longest working day is only half as bad. For example, reserve a table with your favorite Italian restaurant or book tickets for the cinema. A reward in mind lifts the mood and provides the necessary motivation.

When do working days get particularly long?

Everyone who is in professional life has already had long working days. Some start quite normally, but in the evening they drag on longer and longer, you just can't finish and as soon as a little hope arises, There are three other things that have to be done before the end of the day and who will not tolerate any delay. Especially in this day and age, everything is always urgent and ideally has to be finished yesterday.

Some days become apparent without a specific trigger getting longer. There is just so much to do and you can hardly keep up with work. In the end, there is nothing left than to hang behind a little time to regain control of all the tasks that are still open. However, there is also some causes that regularly lead to long working days - against which you can unfortunately hardly do anything, as they are part of everyday work:

  • Deadlines are pending. The bigger and more important the project, the more likely there is still a lot to do in the last few days before the deadline. No matter how good the planning is, something usually remains until just before a short while. As the deadlines are imminent, the working days are getting longer and longer until finally the great relief comes when everything is actually finished.
  • Customers have short-term requests. There are simple customers and there are ... more complex contemporaries. These are often characterized by the fact that they have urgent change requests at the very last minute or, especially at short notice, until the next morning, which, of course, have not yet crossed their minds. So the boss ordered everyone to work overtime until the new demands were implemented.
  • Colleagues fail. Illness-related absences can always happen and can usually be compensated for. However, it becomes difficult when several colleagues are absent at the same time and there is suddenly an acute shortage of staff. The still large number of tasks can then only be processed with additional time.

This will keep you focused on a long day at work

Of course, you shouldn't get into the habit of staying in the office longer every day and adding several hours to your daily working hours. However, if the completion of a large project is just around the corner, for which the final tasks have to be done, one or the other overtime can be incurred. Only that is useful longest working day nothing if the concentration has reached a minimum after an already exhausting day. These will help you so that your thoughts do not take on a life of their own and you can still work productively at a later hour 6 tips to help you stay focused.

  1. Take a relaxing nap

    Working for hours is exhausting for the body and mind. But a power nap, on the other hand, can work wonders. Just 15 minutes are enough to regain concentration and attention and also to end a long working day with top performance. In Germany, such a nap is still quite unpopular, but abroad, more and more companies are even offering their employees specially designed bedrooms.

  2. Listen to calm music

    You are not supposed to turn the office into a party, and not every genre of music is suitable, but background music can actually increase your concentration. However, the volume should not disturb your colleagues and you should also refrain from singing along. When used correctly, the right music in the ear not only increases concentration and makes you more productive, but also lifts the mood on a long day at work.

  3. Create background noise

    If you are distracted too much by music or if you simply cannot find a suitable playlist, you are welcome to try other background noises. Does the constant hustle and bustle of colleagues in the open-plan office rob you of the last nerve? Instead, listen to a cozy log fire or the sound of waves. This is made possible, for example, by the free web service Noisli.

  4. Keep prioritizing

    Even on a long working day, there is no point in starting all tasks at the same time. It is understandable that you want to get ready to finally start your well-deserved evening. However, you do not increase the chances if you open countless construction sites at the same time. Do one to-do at a time and then focus on the next task. Not only will you finish faster, but you will also get better results.

  5. Set specific goals

    In addition to the priorities, you should also set goals for the late hours of a long work day that you still want to achieve. For example, is there a presentation that you still want to finish or the customer's last change request that you still have to implement? If you know what you are still working towards before the end of the working day, both the motivation and the concentration increase in order to achieve this desired goal.

  6. Give yourself enough breaks

    It cannot be said often enough: if you forego breaks out of your ambition, you are doing yourself a disservice. Plowing all day long only leads to a bad mood, poor concentration and the resulting mistakes. Those who take regular breaks, on the other hand, work highly concentrated and have significantly more energy available at the end of the day. Short breaks, during which you can go out into the fresh air or stretch your legs, are sufficient for this effect.

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[Photo credit: Photographee.eu by Shutterstock.com]
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17th October 2020Author: Nils Warkentin

Nils Warkentin studied business administration at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. On the career bible, he is devoted to topics related to studies, career entry and everyday office life.

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