Skip to main content

Focus: The Holy Grail


Focus: The Holy Grail

Focusing on the here and now IS an achievable feat. Whether you work remotely or just want to make a change for the better, here are a few tips with this goal in mind.

10 Tips To Focus
  • Remove Distractions 
  • Establish Goals
  • Caffeine Is Your Friend
  • Create A Realistic To Do List 
  • Practice Mindfulness 
  • Value Sleep 
  • Breaks Allowed
  • Social Media Detox 
  • Food As Fuel 
  • Throw Multitasking Out the Window

1. Remove Distractions 
  • Find a suitable work space. A productive spot is one that your brain associates with nothing but work. It is not only free from outside distractions, but also doesn’t trigger inside-your-head distractions. 
  • Establish a "Do Not Distub" policy. Set aside a period of time that you are off limits. It’s important to let others know when you are not available. If need be, schedule optional check in times. 
  • Put away all your devices - even better turn them off. Start with 25 minutes intervals then give yourself a 5 minute break. Build up to an hour the next week. Decide what device black out periods work best for you. 
  • Keep only essential apps or programs on your computer open. If you have a lot tabs, minimize the ones you’re not using at the moment. 

2. Goals Goals Goals 
Setting goals make them tangible and a motivating factor. Decide what you want to achieve. 
Make sure you are specific about what needs to be done and the time frame. How will you measure your progress? Then plan out the steps to realize your goals. 

3. Caffeine Is Your Friend 
Lots of evidence is mounting that a small amount of caffeine can improve your ability to focus. It's best to imbibe before the afternoon as to not interfere with sleep. My personal favorite is matcha green tea - it provides an energy boost 
mentally as well as physically. 
4. Create A Realistic To Do List 
A written plan of action is an excellent way of getting your personal buy in. Ensure tasks are attainable - ones that you have the skills, tools, or means to complete.
A complex project with many moving parts can be overwhelming. Try breaking tasks down into smaller, manageable steps. Prioritize by putting a few key items at the top of your list. It allows you to invest energy where it’s needed most.   

5. Practice Mindfulness
It’s normal for wandering thoughts to settle in from time to time. These mental drifts can be frequent or last longer for some more than others. When shifting attention back to an activity, it may be harder to regain focus. Being mindful means being in the moment – you are focused on where you are and what you are doing. Condition your brain to be mindful to by practicing meditation, yoga, tai chi, or breathing techniques. 

6. Value Sleep 
Very few people manage to fill their sleep banks optimally. Having a few restless nights a week may be fine but when it turns into most nights, it can have negative effects. Lack of sleep can impact both long term and short term memory, not to mention your ability to concentrate. While 7 or more hours of sleep is the average, it varies from person to person and age group. 

7. Breaks Allowed
It’s important to take occasional breaks to boost your brain. Isn’t that why coffee and tea exist in the first place? It’s a great time to take a walk if you’ve been sitting for a long while - send the blood rushing back to your brain where it belongs. It’s the one time to clear your mind so you can return back to work refreshed. 

8. Detox From Social Media
While some may consider it a virtual vacation, social media can bring anxiety or feelings of inadequacy to the surface. You may even feel obligated to keep up with your social network on Facebook or Instagram or feel guilty when you're not. If you experience these emotions, it might be a good idea to put aside or limit social media for a bit and see what comes from it. Perhaps you will become an expert at Tai Chi or discover the nature sitting outside your window. If you are a serious addict, there are various apps to block social media when you get the itch.

9. Food As Fuel
Know when it’s time to refuel the furnace. To keep your energy levels primed plus a happy brain, eat before hanger (hunger and anger) strikes. Green leafy vegetables, omega 3 fatty fish like salmon, whole grains, nuts such as walnuts, and berries are the best brain boosters. Stick with lean proteins and avoid sleep-inducing carbs. 

10. Throw Multitasking Out the Window
Multitasking boils down to task switching. It’s not as efficient as you may think. According the American Psychological Association, it reduces productivity by nearly 40 percent. When returning to the original task, your brain needs time to remember where you left off and recover your train of thought. If you must switch tasks, pick ones that are similar for continuity.

Competing projects, distractions, or plain ole exhaustion -  it’s understandable why maintaining focus can be challenging at times. Trying a few of the tips described above like zeroing in on important tasks, setting goals, having a plan of action, while recharging yourself can provide the tools for your success. 

Happy focusing!

Popular posts from this blog

Andy Warhol - Pop Art Superstar

Cassandra Wilson: Un-Standard

The Cheese Trap