5 Tips for Overcoming Mental Barriers at Work

It happens to everyone, whether you work in an office or at home. Mental barriers are the distractions that stand in our way to productivity. Identifying their source and knowing how to recognize them – as they appear throughout the day – is key to keeping up with your goals and carrying out day to day tasks.  

There are several common mental barriers in every workplace, which prevent us from achieving maximum results. We have gathered 5 of them, to help you easily recognize your limits, strengths and weakness in order to overcome these obstacles in both your work and personal life.

1. Power Up

Hitting that mid-day low is something many people suffer from, right at the peak of their work day. When we’re tired, our body focuses its resources on keeping us awake, meaning our overall focus is slowly decreased. Making sure you get a good night’s sleep and take short breaks every now and then to keep the blood circulating properly, will help avoid this slump and keep you energized throughout the day. Being hungry or thirsty also reduces our ability to stay focused so it’s important to maintain a good eating and drinking schedule. Having your 8 cups a day can be easily accomplished by setting a recurring daily reminder in your Any.do account. Many of our users also plan their meals using the app, reminding themselves to take some time off to nourish and refresh.

2. Clutter & Distractions

Our mind is often affected by how our workspace is arranged. Clutter can be especially stressful when you have many tasks on your agenda but your work environment is filled with unnecessary rubbish. Setting a weekly reminder to organize your desk will help you stay on top of pilling papers, as well as set easy access to important things you need for the week ahead. Move whatever takes too much room and sort out items. A clean and spacious workplace enables us to focus and also represents how seriously we take our job.

Another common distraction is loud or constant noise, especially at busy places such as call centers. If your work place allows it, use noise-cancelling headphones while listening to your favorite music. If you work from home, carpets and curtains can also be useful to absorb sound around your work area. On the contrary, you might find noise to be a relief if you’re suffering from ADHD or Tinnitus. Recent studies show that people suffering from these disorders tend to find it easier to work while there’s white noise in the background. Whatever your preference, preparing in advance will help minimize stress and keep you more comfortable in your work place.

3. Find Your Path

Everyone get stuck from time to time. We all know that feeling of trying to tackle an issue from many different angles but, no matter what we do, it’s just not working. In the meantime, more work is piling up and we find ourselves slowly drowning.

Sometimes, the problem is mainly in our approach. Take a breather, go for a short walk – allow yourself to take some distance from the issue so that you can return working on it with fresh eyes. Don’t be afraid to turn to your colleagues. Others can contribute their knowledge, experience and skills which would advance your work. Give it time and patience and the answers will come naturally.

Time management is also crucial at work as well as in life in general. We need to prioritize our tasks so that the most urgent ones will not be pushed aside and eventually forgotten. Organizing your tasks in your Any.do account will take the pressure off, as the app will keep your schedule in line. Using the Any.do Moment at the beginning of each day will keep you focused on your daily tasks and allow you to reorganize things as the day goes by. Multitasking is also great, though not always possible for everyone. Try taking on several corresponding tasks at a time, so that you make the most out of your day. Last, try delegating tasks to your colleagues whenever possible, matching skills to tasks can not just save time but also encourage team work.

4. Stay Informed

An important part of being great at your job – and a crucial aspect of advancing in life in general – is never being afraid of learning new things. These days, you don’t even have to go far to do so. Information is becoming more and more accessible via the internet and television. All you need, is to know what and where to search for. Ask Siri, download a fun learning app or simply pick up on other people’s experience. No one was born with their knowledge and skills handed out. It’s never too late to learn – just set some goals, add a reminder and enjoy checking-off the list as you go along!

5. Know Your Limits

People are different. We all have our own ‘groove’ in life which affects our work and all other aspects of our being. Some of us have a short attention span, some of us like postponing things or can’t keep up with deadlines. Others, might aim too high or miscalculate their time and required effort per assignment.

It’s important to understand our limits and admit to ourselves when we’ve reached too high. It doesn’t mean the job won’t get done or that you have to give up. It just means that you have to allow yourself to replan your actions or extend the time requirements. It might seem like a step back at first, but with time you will see how your success rate increases. Remember, ‘a failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying’ (B. F. Skinner).

If you have more tips, don’t hesitate to contribute and let us know how Any.do is helping you tackle your own barriers in the comments!