Quiz: Are You a Focused Worker?
Do you get distracted by everything around you? Do you habitually do more than one thing at a time? Or do you find it easy to get into “the zone” where you can concentrate fully on what you’re doing? Take this quiz to find out what your concentration level is — and get some tips to improve your focus.
Would you describe yourself as a multi-tasker?
A. Absolutely! I can check my messages while typing and answering a phone call.
B. Somewhat, although when I need to finish one specific task, I do my best to focus only on that.
C. Not at all. I prefer to complete one task at a time.
How long does it take you to start an important task in the morning?
A. Probably about an hour.
B. Maybe about 30 minutes.
C. Not long; approximately 15 minutes.
If you get interrupted when concentrating on a task, how easy is it for you to get your focus back?
A. Once I’ve lost focus, I find it really hard to get it back.
B. I usually do a quick email and social media check before getting back to work.
C. As soon as I’ve handled the interruption, I immediately focus my mind on the task at hand.
How long do you work before you need a break?
A. I generally take a break about every 30 minutes.
B. I only take a break about once an hour.
C. I usually have to be reminded by my colleagues that it’s time for lunch.
When do you answer your emails and messages?
A. As soon as they come in.
B. Three times a day: in the morning, at lunchtime, and in the afternoon before I go home.
C. Once a day, before I go home — unless there’s something urgent, of course.
At the end of the day, have you always accomplished what you set out to do?
A. No, I nearly always have to roll some things over to the next day.
B. I sometimes have to stay late to finish something.
C. Of course! I always finish my work within the allocated time.
Scoring your answers
For every A answer, give yourself 1 point.
For every B answer, give yourself 2 points.
For every C answer, give yourself 3 points.
Interpreting the results
If you have between 6 and 9 points: Distraction is your second name. The good news is that you can improve your focus by starting a practice of meditation. As Joshua Godwin, Ph.D. explains in his Psychology Today article “Brain Scans Show How Meditation Improves Mental Focus,” people who practice meditation can actually alter their brain function so it can reduce activity involved in mind wandering.
If you have between 10 and 14 points: You’re relatively good at focusing, but there’s still room for improvement. Try using apps, that are specifically geared to helping you strengthen your concentration muscles, such as Fit Brains or Lumosity. Keep track of your improvements and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your productivity levels.
If you have between 15 and 18 points: Congratulations! You have mastered the art of true concentration! You’re able to get to work quickly, get into the zone, and draw your focus back to a task if you’re interrupted. If the opportunity arises, share some of your best concentration tips with your colleagues — and watch your whole team become more focused!
Just remember that no matter what you scored on the quiz, improving your focus can make you more productive and simultaneously enhance your performance. And in the long run, this can make all the difference for your career path.