Hi there, working without good focus is very challenging, makes the tasks that we need to get done daunting and feel like each one will take forever to finish. So it does not do us any good; if anything, it adds unnecessary stress to our daily lives. Anyway, let’s get to the point, shall we?
Here are the 8 instant things that will help you improve your focus:
Lone Wolf Or Team Player
You need to do yourself a favour and figure out whether you are a lone wolf or team player. The most important thing to understand is that some people work well in a team while others do great independently. It took me time to realise that I was a bit of both. I needed my environment and my own space to work, most productively and I work with some fantastic freelancers who help me with technical issues and things that I find challenging or don’t know how to do myself. Once I figured out how I work best, it made things easier for me to manage my work correctly. It doesn’t matter which category you belong to; it is a matter of preference in knowing where you fit best. So observe yourself next time you are working alone or with many people and see what works best for you.
The Breakfast Club
I am going to risk sounding like your mummy, but I have to say this: you need to manage your breakfast if you want to improve your focus. It is a known fact that people who have breakfast in the morning have a better time focusing on their tasks. And by breakfast, I do not mean a bowl of cereal that has double the amount of your required daily intake of sugar and salt; I mean something energetic and healthy that would keep you going but not overstuff you and make you feel too full. It does not mean that you have to wake up two hours before your actual waking up time to make yourself breakfast, work your way around it and manage things; for example, you can prep your meal the night before. Cut your fruits and vegetables, or keep a planner of what you’ll eat in the morning and preparing your breakfast will be fast and easy.
Are You A Multitasker?
Another thing that can improve your focus significantly and how you present your work is knowing whether you are a Multitasker. It is understandable to be in a rut sometimes, and most of us have to complete two or three different tasks at once, or we need to complete a task while keeping track of other things that need our attention. If you are a natural multitasker, I salute you and maybe even envy you a little. But here is something you should know if multitasking doesn’t come naturally to you, like most people. If you end up taking on multiple projects or tasks and lose focus, then you’re doing yourself a big disservice. It would help if you rechecked how you do things. Most humans have a very one-track mind that does well when we have one task at hand. So, you have two options:
1. Multitasking is not for you. Instead, consider working on one project. Then, you’ll probably be completely focused and can do it well.
2. Get organised. You need to create lists, priorities your tasks, set realistic goals, and give yourself time to achieve them. Trust me; it will save you time and energy and improve your focus tremendously.
Maintain a Planner
When I talk about maintaining a planner with most people, they think I mean one of those beautifully designed journals and planners that you see all over Pinterest. Some people are so creative (like my 15-year-old) and can take a notebook and create the most beautiful, but they are unrealistic goals to reach for everybody. I made a few planners myself, but they can be time-consuming; I understand that. You can either set a day or two to focus on making one yourself, buy one ready-made, or dedicate a notebook or diary to use every day for jotting down your tasks.
You can organise the tasks from the highest priority to the lowest, most urgent, and the ones that take time to complete and so on. Planners will help you with every aspect of your life, from finishing your work to checking your daily responsibilities and habits. Although this takes time to get used to, it took me a while to utilise planners to my needs and get more organised and automatically focused.
Sleep On, My Friend!
Another factor that you have to keep in mind if you want to improve your focus is how and when you sleep. I understand that your sleep schedule cannot remain one hundred per cent the same throughout the year but try to keep it as similar as possible with an excellent healthy 8 hours of sleep every night. When you give your brain enough sleep, your focus improves; naturally, your mind is invested in the given task. In addition, there is a minimal physical struggle to keep your eyes open or mind active, which helps immensely.
Sometimes, in our struggle to maintain a high amount of focus, we tend to forget that we are not robots and we need a break. I am going to be very honest; I have done this to myself a lot where I worked and worked until I broke down and lost all of my focus. However, there is a way that could improve your focus if you place your breaks at the most suitable times. Each of us has a maximum focus span; you need to identify that yourself and take a break of 5, 10, or 15 minutes to recuperate. Sometimes rewarding yourself during these breaks can also be a great motivation to focus on the work at hand. I love the idea of giving yourself a small reward after an hour or two of wholly focused hard work.
Create The Ideal Environment
Last but not least, I would like to stress again and again the essential point that you need to keep in mind if you want to improve your focus. Cut out the distractions, repeat after me, CUT. OUT. THE. DISTRACTIONS. And we know exactly what stops us from working with the entire focus. For me, my nemesis is the phone. It can be the fan for someone else, or it can be the creaking of a window. It doesn’t matter if your distraction is big or small; getting rid of it can help improve your productivity and focus within a matter of seconds. You will be able to get so much more done in the same amount of time, and that will feel like a true winner because you’ve eliminated the distractions and created the ideal environment, perfect for working.
I hope these tips help give you an idea or two on how to get back your focus. Which one of these points affects your productivity? What other things do you do to stay focused? As always, I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,