Tips to Prepare for Work Day Focus!
Most of our workdays start basically the same. We get up, get ready for work, eat a quick breakfast, do some last minute chores and head off to work. On our drive to work, we might listen to the radio, enjoy the silence, review last night’s events, and/or review the events of the coming days or weeks. Our minds are always racing with ideas, responsibilities and distractions. We accomplish a lot of our daily tasks on auto pilot. But what happens when you get to work? Are you able to concentrate on the tasks as hand? Are the distractions dividing your attention?
Before you start your work day, practice these four things to prepare for a safe and productive day.
After every break practice 1 – 3 and include 4 for extremely hazardous or extremely important tasks or jobs.
1) Mental Preparation – Take a couple of minutes to focus on getting prepared for work, mentally. Have breakfast or small meal before your shift that includes protein. Breakfast starts your metabolism and protein gives your brain the power to respond more quickly than without protein. Something as easy as an egg, protein bar or protein drink will do the trick. Clear your mind of all the external distractions that are going on in your life. Issues and even fun with friends, family, and children are distracting. Maybe your concerned about something you need to complete by the end of the day and you don’t want to forget. Make a list of things that you are thinking about to record them and deal with them while on break or after work as appropriate. Clear your mind so that you are 100% focused on the job and it’s tasks.
2) Physical Preparation – Get your body ready for work. Do 1-2 minutes of deep breathing, breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles and focuses the mind. Allow at least 5 minutes for stretching, stretching loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit, stand and move more comfortably. Most professional athletes will spend numerous hours preparing their bodies for a one or two hour performance. We will spend between 8 & 12 hours per day performing our job functions. Take a few minutes to physically prepare. Even if your job requires you to sit for long periods of time, stretching is important to begin your day and after break periods.
3) Tool and Work Area Preparation – Have the proper tools and equipment to do your job. Once your job assignment is given, assemble the necessary tools, personal protective equipment (PPE), procedures, permits and other job aids. Prepare the work area to make the job free of clutter. Clear and clean your work surfaces and/or work space. Review the conditions of the tools and PPE. Repair or replace any tools that are not in proper working order. Even when you have performed a task several times in the past, be sure to check for procedural changes and report or document any changes you make to the procedure.
4) Pre-shift Briefing – Conduct a pre-shift briefing or suggest pre-shift briefings to management for your team. This will place heightened emphasis on job focus and get everyone on the same page. Be ready for the briefing and use the briefing to top off your focus efforts. Focus by thinking about how you relate to the briefing topic(s) and share on the topic as appropriate. If you hear or read stories from the news or magazines that are relevant to how you perform your job and/or job tasks, share it. These comments and stories could be helpful to your co-workers for their focus to work safely and efficiently.
Follow these tips for focusing on your job or tasks and share your experiences with us by leaving a comment below.