September 27, 2023

Are you looking for methods to spice up your focus and productiveness at work?

I discover that whereas ideas for time administration and job prioritization are useful—”Batch your work!” “Make a to-do listing!”—typically they ignore the exterior components that make it tougher to get work accomplished.

Whereas researching my guide in regards to the 5 senses, I found that to an excellent diploma, it’s typically our environment, our screens, and different those that hijack our consideration.

Environment: whether or not we’re working in an workplace or from dwelling, components of the environment typically seize our consideration

Screens: whether or not within the type of a smartphone, a pc monitor, or a TV, screens tempt us with leisure and knowledge

Different individuals: Human survival has all the time trusted our means to cooperate, and we’ve an insatiable curiosity about different individuals.

Details about different individuals is so compelling that it may be robust to pay attention within the presence of others—one thing bemoaned by many workplace staff who sit in an open-plan design, or by individuals who do business from home with members of the family close by.

These and different exterior components make it arduous for us to:

Focus—to pay attention; full the duties we begin; keep alert to errors or oversights; assume deeply and creatively; and persist by means of frustration.

Be productive—to keep up our power from morning to night; keep away from time-wasting actions or distractions; and determine methods to work extra effectively; be taught to make use of new instruments.

Right here’s one easy, manageable resolution: Faucet in to the ability of our 5 senses.

By being conscious of our senses, we will determine components that  assist or disrupt our focus, and increase or diminish our productiveness. With that data, we will enhance the expertise of the office, whether or not we work in an workplace, at dwelling, or hybrid.

Happily, this tip is fast, straightforward, and cheap to implement! We don’t want to purchase one thing, take a category, or make an appointment. Our senses can be found to us proper now.

Be aware: As we form our environments, it’s essential to do not forget that all of us expertise our personal distinctive sensory world. In the event you share environment with different individuals, what feels snug to you won’t really feel snug to them. The goal is to create an setting the place everybody can thrive.

30 Methods to Use Your 5 Senses to Enhance Focus and Productiveness


1. Ask your self: Are you a simplicity-lover or an abundance-lover? For some individuals, creativity and productiveness are sparked by orderly preparations, naked counters, empty cabinets. Different get a lift from profusion, buzz, piles, and collections.

Neither manner is the “proper” or “fallacious” manner, however should you share an area with somebody who prefers a unique model, you would possibly have to compromise. In the event you’re the boss, don’t make the error of insisting that everybody do issues your manner—what works for you won’t work on your staff.

2. Get sufficient, however not an excessive amount of, gentle. (In case your eyes really feel aid whenever you make a salute, you could have an excessive amount of gentle.)

3. For many individuals, outer order contributes to inside calm, focus, and power. In case you have bother concentrating as a result of your environment are messy and cluttered, take time to determine order. You would possibly…

4. Observe the one-minute rule; something you are able to do in lower than one minute, do at once.

5. Do a each day 10-minute nearer and take ten minutes on the finish of the day to prepare your work area.

6. However beware procrasti-clearing! I typically fall into this entice—when I’ve a really robust urge to clear litter as an excuse to delay engaged on a troublesome job.

We frequently lose time and focus once we’re fussing with our smartphones. Our telephones present invaluable instruments that save us time and power, however in addition they supply many temptations. By altering the looks of your cellphone, you can also make it work higher for you.

7. Delete time-sucking apps, resembling video games or social media.

8. Flip your cellphone to “grayscale” so its photos seem solely in white, black, or grey—a lot tougher, and fewer enjoyable, to make use of!

9. Delete apps you don’t use and arrange your apps by operate, alphabetically, and even—whimsically—by colour.

10. Use your house display screen to remind you of an necessary objective—a pal put the phrase “WRITE” on her dwelling display screen so that every look at her cellphone reminded her to remain productive.

Listening to:

11. Simply as you clear litter, clear clatter. Establish and eradicate bothersome noises that distract you whilst you work. Be aware: Our brains are wired to be notably attentive to human voices, so it’s possible you’ll be particularly distracted by different individuals’s conversations.

12. Put on noise-cancelling headphones.

13. Flip off your smartphone’s notifications sounds so these pings and buzzes received’t interrupt your prepare of thought.

14. Play white noise, brown noise, or pink noise to create a extra constant sound setting. Particularly should you’re distracted by overhearing different individuals speaking or shifting round, white noise can muffle sounds that may in any other case catch your consideration. (My favourite is pink noise.)

15. Determine whether or not listening to music boosts or diminishes your productiveness. To work, I want silence or a busy hum (resembling a espresso store), however some individuals profit from music. Completely different sound environments assist individuals to enhance their focus and productiveness, so form your environment to swimsuit your self.

16. Right here’s a helpful hack: if it’s essential quiet a gaggle—say, it’s essential begin a gathering with a roomful of people that received’t cease speaking—blow right into a harmonica. It’s a nice sound that immediately communicates, “Quiet, it’s time to begin.”


We frequently disregard our sense of scent, but it surely’s a really highly effective affect and may make a giant distinction in how we expertise an setting.

17. Use a nice scent as a manner as a cue, “Time to buckle down.” I’ve a gardenia-scented candle that I solely burn once I really want further focus, so I affiliate the scent with instances of intense productiveness.

Be aware: solely use this hack when working at dwelling; when working with different individuals, it’s greatest to keep away from creating smells. Individuals typically have very totally different concepts of what they wish to scent!

18. As a result of dangerous smells can drain our power, deal with a stench on the supply. The rubbish pail, the fridge, and the microwave are frequent culprits. (It’s greatest to keep away from utilizing extremely scented cleansing merchandise, see level above.)


Once we work, we typically seize a tasty chew as a strategy to give ourselves increase—and sometimes, we makes decisions that aren’t wholesome.

19. In the event you’re a espresso drinker, drink some espresso! Even when it’s de-caffeinated, many individuals affiliate the scent, sight, and style of espresso with power and refreshment.

20. Preserve wholesome meals close to at hand. If it’s straightforward to tug a bag of chips from the cabinet or merchandising machine, and it’s arduous to assemble a wholesome snack, you’ll discover it arduous to withstand temptation. Additionally, should you’re being productive, you received’t wish to break your focus by utilizing your time and a spotlight to organize meals.

21. In the event you’re not hungry, however feeling distracted by your want to discover a candy or salty snack, brush your tooth.

22. I discover that maintaining a sugar-free mint in my mouth helps me focus. I don’t know why, but it surely works. Some individuals favor to chew gum.


23. An increasing number of, individuals flip to pop fidget toys, remedy dough, weighted blankets, and different contact instruments to remain calm, targeted, and productive. It helps! I’ve a fidget spinner that I like—I discover it particularly useful once I’m sitting in a protracted video name. Nobody on the display screen can see or hear what I’m doing, and the exercise of my palms helps me focus my thoughts.

24. Get rid of scratchy shirts or tight pants, and substitute an uncomfortable chair or a desk that’s too excessive or too low. Discomfort can distract and drain us. Alongside the identical traces…

25. Regulate the temperature of your work area.

26. In the event you’re distracted by the TV, retailer the distant management in a really inconvenient area–ditto, with the cellphone. If a tool is in your palms, you’ll most likely use it; if you must go to lots of bother to get it, you received’t thoughtlessly choose it up.  

Use Your 5 Senses to Take Energizing, Stress-free Breaks

Our 5 senses additionally assist us to remain targeted and productive by giving us a break from focus and productiveness! Generally, if we wish to maintain going, we’ve to permit ourselves to cease.

Taking a break to take pleasure in a sensory expertise is a fast, straightforward strategy to refresh our minds and our bodies.

27. As a result of research shows that being in the presence of nature both calms and energizes us, should you can, stimulate your senses with nature—stroll open air throughout your lunch hour, sit close to a window that gives pure gentle and contemporary air, add a plant to your work space.

28. Listening to a favorite upbeat song is one of the quickest, easiest ways to give yourself a boost. (Get an even bigger increase by dancing alongside to the music, or performing some leaping jacks.)

29. Enable your self to goof round. Analysis reveals that intervals of play assist us to remain targeted and artistic. Choose up an instrument you haven’t practiced shortly, doodle with coloured pencils, scent 5 jars of spices within the kitchen, stroll barefoot and take note of the feel of the ground, make a paper airplane, invent a brand new type of sandwich.

30. Strengthen groups by encouraging individuals to share playful, stress-free sensory experiences. Such team-building actions embrace:


Bear in mind That Individuals Expertise Very Completely different Sensory Worlds

Whether or not we’re working within the workplace or at dwelling, we frequently face battle with others that come up from totally different sensory experiences and preferences.

One individual like scented candles; another person finds the scent unbearably robust. One individual doesn’t thoughts the sound of different individuals’s conversations; another person may be very distracted by the sounds of voices. One individual doesn’t thoughts piles of papers and cabinets of trinkets; another person needs to cover every little thing in drawers and behind doorways. One individual activates all of the lights another person finds the room unbearably vivid. One individual likes to open home windows to really feel a breeze and listen to out of doors sounds; one other individual dislikes the draft and the noise.

Recognizing that folks expertise sensations in numerous methods can assist us all to be extra understanding—to not dismiss individuals’s objections to sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or touches, however as a substitute to respect them, in order that we will create sensory environments during which everybody can really feel snug.

With conscious planning and a spotlight, tapping in to our 5 senses is a vital device for serving to us to rework the office in order that we could be extra targeted, extra productive, extra artistic, much less harassed—and happier.