Being productive at work is often all about staying focused. The days can feel long, the workload seems endless and when that happens, your motivation can dwindle. So what can you do?

Although it might feel like you’re not always in control, there are actually a number of things you can do to retain focus and stay productive.

1. Feed Your Body

Sugary pastries for breakfast, greasy fast food for lunch and vending machine fare for a late afternoon boost may taste good, but it’s all bad fuel. Stick with whole grains, lean proteins and fresh fruit and vegetables for your workplace meals. Whole foods help to keep metabolism even. An even metabolism creates an energized, focused mind and body.

2. Practice Self Care

If an inbox with hundreds of e-mails, a phone ringing off the hook, back to back meetings and urgent deadlines are all a typical day, it’s essential to practice self care. Like you do with other daily activities, schedule some short breaks to ensure you take them. Breaks are a terrific way to hydrate, stretch the body and recharge the brain. A well-rested mind is a focused mind.

3. Just Do It!

Sticking to a comfort zone can lock us in to the status quo and prevent professional growth. A challenge or new project helps with focus. Play around with a new idea. Commit to learning a new skill. Think outside the proverbial box. An injection of excitement can make staying focused at work a breeze.

4. Become an Idea Pioneer

Go looking for new ideas, new opinions, new sources of information and new methods. Be cutting edge. Be the person being talked about at the water cooler instead of the one doing the talking. Create your own excitement even if you are standing alone for a while. New ideas are contagious. Eventually curiosity will bite your co-workers. A new idea can refocus and refresh.

5. Be Generous and Gracious

At times, business can seem cut throat. To minimize this possibility, become a partner with your co-workers even if you are in competition. It’s so much easier to focus on a goal when boundaries and respect are present in an office. Invite your peers to share in your adventure and ask to be included in theirs. Sharing and collaboration sharpen focus. New methods and insight bolster productivity.

6. Smile, Don’t Frown

It’s oh-so-easy to complain. But how productive is it? Not very. While we all need to air frustrations from time to time, don’t make it a habit. Acknowledging a bad feeling is one thing, while allowing it to fester and grow is another. Negative energy and thinking brings focus and productivity to a screeching halt. Keep things even and keep moving forward. Complaints and bitterness do nothing to ignite change.

7. Seek Solutions

Productivity is largely based on the ability to handle all kinds of situations. It’s nearly impossible to complete a long to-do list when there are 10 unfinished tasks lurking around. Become a solution seeker. Utilize avenues and channels that were never a consideration before. An expanded and growing network creates a web of almost limitless productivity. Accomplishments feed the good part of focus.

Staying productive and focused is within your control, if you have the desire and are willing to invoke the self-discipline. Be creative and try new strategies. And remember, learning what works for you is often a trial and error process. Good luck!

Author Bio: Johnny Fireman writes about self-improvement, business efficiency and saving money at