Staying focussed day in and day out through work and general life occasions can be hard. The world today is full of distractions and all of them are always so alluring. With that in mind, here are the top 10 tips and tricks for staying focused throughout your busy week.
Staying focused when you have a massive list of things to do in a day can be almost impossible. You start analyzing and questioning what the best ways are to accomplish each task and how long it will all take. And if you’re doing this while trying to work alongside these thoughts, it can be a nightmare. So, to stay focused on what you really need to do is set reachable goals. Now obviously each day in the week you have the goal of accomplishing what is required of you. But looking at something as a whole can be intimidating and daunting, so much so that it may kill your motivation. The best way to be focussed is by breaking each task down into relatively minute details. Give yourself a timeframe to work on each task so that you know during that time slot you should be focussed entirely on that one task. Furthermore, if you’re not sure how long a task is going to take you, set a generalized timeframe. Sooner or later you’ll have to find out how long it takes you to do something anyway.
2) Break Things Down
Carrying on with maintaining a focused mindset will involve breaking things down based on your skillset. This is bleeding over from tip number one. While setting goals for yourself, you need to make sure they are obtainable to you. Ensure that timeframes for tasks are clearcut but maintain accuracy when switching from one part of a task to another. If your goals are set too large, you will feel over-encumbered trying to remain focused on these massive chunks of activity. Turn tasks into small bite-sized pieces of accomplishment so that you can pace yourself. This will allow you to remain focused while also feeling the success of completing these minor “checkpoints” in your tasks.
3) Know Yourself
Staying focused is a whole different animal from person to person. What I mean by knowing yourself, is that you need to know how you tick when facing tasks provided for you to accomplish. Whether its work, school, or commitments in life, you have to have a general idea of how you respond to conflicts or challenges in your day-to-day. What times of the day are you most productive? What types of stimuli do you work well with, which ones are your hardpoints? Staying focussed is an implication of being able to maintain attitude in whatever it may be that you’re trying to accomplish. And if you’re not sure about these aspects or maybe you haven’t been exposed to certain challenges before, you just need to know yourself and apply that knowledge to them. Then you can work on fine-tuning the skillsets you have to better accomplish these tasks.
4) Respect Your Time
Read that header again. Respect. Your. Time. If you want to be focused all the time, you need to have respect for the time you have. And this includes establishing respect for your time in other people. This comes along with understanding how long tasks and challenges take as I mentioned before, but this tip is all about valuing the tasks you want to accomplish. Obviously with work or family gatherings, sometimes you’re at the beck and call of other people. But those people that are dictating your time are people you respect or care for. Value your time for accomplishing tasks and let the people dictating them be worthwhile to your effort. If you’re helping out friends or associates left and right just because they’re asking for your help-you won’t accomplish the tasks you need to stay focused on. It’s great to support people and push yourself to finish your tasks to help others, but make sure you are respecting your own work first. Because it is far too hard to stay focussed when you worrying about everyone or everything else. Set time aside, make it yours, and get done what you need to.
5) Respect Your Space
Now I am really guilty of not being focussed when it comes to this tip. Respecting your space is the same as respecting your time, but directed at the location you do your work. Find a room, desk, or other space and make it your fortress of accomplishment. While I have an office that I use to write this, my desk often gets cluttered with papers, pens, and other odds and ends. And I tend to get distracted fairly easily when it comes to rearranging these items. So what this tip hopes to do with keeping you focussed, is being comfortable and consistent with your workplace. Make sure there’s plenty of room for you to sprawl content out and do your work, make sure that you have any materials you need at the ready for your work, and be sure to be comfortable while you do it. Save up some money and get yourself a nice chair or desk so that you’re not straining when doing your work. One of the biggest distractions to staying focussed is being uncomfortable.
6) Be Mindful Of Yourself
It’s all fun and games until someone stays focused for too long! Okay, maybe not entirely true, but even when committing to staying focused you have to understand your limits. We’ve talked about respecting the time it takes to accomplish your goals, now we’re focussing on taking breaks. Even if you want to just push through and not stop working until you reach your goals. It can be really beneficial to set 10-20 minutes aside after completing a portion of your work to let your mind take a breather. In any field of work, pushing yourself too hard will eventually lead to a collapse. And trust me, once you are no longer able to be focused in your work-it can be awfully hard to regain it.
7) Find Your Motivation
Accomplishing a goal that you set out for yourself is something to be appreciated. After being focused on a task for so long and working diligently, it can be a great motivation to reward yourself. And it doesn’t have to be anything outlandish-it just has to be a reward that will encourage you to maintain that focused mindset for the next task. Maybe it’s listening to a few songs, or getting yourself one of your favorite snacks to refuel on. Furthermore, use this time of accomplishment to reset your other focus tips. Walk out of the area where you were working during this break. Keep that space for your work and lets other places be your relax zones. That way, as you build up this pattern and consistency when it comes to your work, your brain is better trained to be focused at certain times/ or in certain places.
8) Set Yourself Up For Success
We talked about maintaining your space and time in a respectful manner-now we’re taking that mentality even further. Ensure that in your work zone where you want to be focused that you limit as many distractors as possible. Once you organize everything out mentally, take action to ensure that this next slotted amount of time can be as successful as possible. Put that phone on silent and flip it over, or put it in a completely different room if you can manage the separation. Furthermore, if you’ve had a rough day and maybe something is bogging your mind down-talk through it with someone or just say to yourself “I’m done thinking about this for the next hour”. As I mentioned before, keeping focused is all about maintaining an attitude of work and success.
9) Balanced Diet
We’ve all been there, that late-night take out order that just tastes so good that you can’t stop eating. What comes after? Usually the blissful savoring of the meal you just ate by plopping down on a couch and not doing much else. Now you don’t have to completely change your diet by any means, just be more conscious about your diet around your times set aside for work. You don’t want to be all focused for an hour and them carb bomb yourself with a big meal into lethargy. Stick to small snacks and tasty things to keep you working comfortably. Then maybe as a reward for finishing all your work you can sit down for that nice meal-even if it is take-out at that point!
While incredibly obvious, I cannot stress enough how important getting enough sleep at night is for maintaining a focused mindset. when you’re working long hours or trying to complete tasks late into the night, you’re going to slowly become less focused as time progresses. ensuring that at the end of the day you get enough sleep to replenish yourself is crucial. When the mind is tired it tends to lose the ability to stay on track with any one task or thing do to the stagnant nature of thinking. If you’re arent keeping your mind on its toes-its going to drift to wishing it had gotten a couple extra hours of sleep. Furthermore, setting aside time to sleep can really help your body get into a great habit of working and resting so that you start to feel focused when you need to be on a regular basis.