You sit down and write a to-do list of all the work you need to complete for the day. You work for about 20-30 minutes. Got a little bored, you take out your phone to scroll through Instagram and before you know it, you have spent 2 hours on the app.
Then you tell yourself, “Okay, I will eat something before getting back to work”. You get back on your desk and start working again. But yawns and a full stomach are tempting you to take a nap.
You convince yourself that you will take a nap and then start working again. As you go to bed, you think of watching an episode of the TV show you are currently watching. Viola, it’s late at night and you were not able to focus on the work that you thought of doing.
There will be feelings of guilt and lethargy because you were unproductive. You don’t have to break your head over the situation because this happens to most of us. We all have our days of not being able to focus on the tasks that we have at hand.
After understanding that you have been unproductive, the next important thing you need to figure out is how to be able to bring that focus to the table to be productive.
What is happening?
It’s due to the mixture of procrastination and laziness that causes individuals to have a shorter attention span and are quickly sidetracked and remaining focused demands brain activation and thinking.
Many of you will be able to identify with this tendency. You may have lost attention many times, but the end consequence is always the same — poor performance due to an inability to focus.
Trying to accomplish too many things at once is another example, since you may end up not finishing them at all or producing poor results since you can’t focus on two or more tasks at the same time. Take control of your time and energy by learning what to prioritize and what to let go of.
What can be done?
- Prioritize the most important
There is only so much time and energy available for us each day. Chances are you’ll never have enough of either to get everything done that you believe you need to do every day. What you need to do is prioritize the most critical things.
Not everything on your to-do list is critical. Take time to think about what your most essential duty is. Before you get on to doing your tasks, figure out what is most important the night before and start with it the moment you have to.
Understanding what is the most important item you need to get done will keep you organized. By completing your most important task, you will assure that you will have a productive day regardless of what happens.
- Avoid distractions
Take a minute to reflect on the items that most regularly distract you during the day. There could be many throughout your day. Social media, chatty coworkers or family members, eating, shopping, email, or the phone are all options.
Perhaps you’re losing track of what you’re working on because you’re trying to accomplish too much at once. Even rearranging your desk or your head, or getting lost in your thoughts can be distracting.
All of these distractions have one thing in common: they divert our attention away from our priorities. To curb these distractions, we must first be aware of what easily draws our attention.
And every time we discover we’ve become sidetracked and have strayed, we make an effort to halt and bring ourselves back. When you are distracted, your focus is deflected; merely halt in awareness and return.
To begin, simply observe when you are distracted. You are not required to take any action at this time. Simply strive to improve your noticing ability. That is the initial step.
- Break up your tasks
To increase your productivity, divide large work into small portions. From seeing a complex task, you will be able to handle the smaller bits one by one. Towards the end, you’ll see the entire work forming the bigger picture.
Consider this: you wouldn’t consume a three-course dinner in one bite, would you? Try breaking activities down into smaller and smaller portions, much as we consume a meal in many pieces, so you may focus on one region or one subject at a time.
Not only will you remain focused and avoid distractions, but you will also be able to ease yourself as you get your work done.
- Practicing mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation has been demonstrated to improve one’s capacity to focus as well as learning and memory. According to research, it can even prevent age-related mental deterioration.
According to one 7-year study, practicing mindfulness meditation is related to better focus and attention retention. Even more importantly, participants reported higher levels of emotional well-being and improved performance in activities.
There could be a starting problem, however, there are guided meditations available online for beginners. Check out our app and explore the various other mindful practices that you could involve yourself in and see what suits you the best to help keep your mind at ease.
- Take care of yourself
We must take moments every day to calm down, disengage, and refresh. That might imply allowing ourselves some peace and reflection. It may be going for a stroll, having a discussion, or engaging in a pastime. Feelings of overload, tension, and exhaustion might be used as markers that it’s time to take a break.
Taking time to refresh during the day is critical to maintaining attention, and there are some methods to pause, disconnect, and refuel. Work in intervals, much like you would when exercising. You may, for example, work for 45 minutes and then take a 10-minute break to stretch your legs or clear your mind.
When you schedule relaxation moments for yourself, you can better assure productive moments of concentration. Take extended periods in the evenings and on weekends to completely disengage and recuperate.
Go for a hike or do yoga. Refresh your thoughts by meditating. Engage in a pastime or passion to recharge your energy so you can focus better when you return to work.
Being able to adopt these methods may help you out in the long run. However, it could take a little time to get used to it or try to incorporate it into your day-to-day life. Luckily, some interesting strategies do not require you to put a lot of thought into that could help you out on the spot.
If you could add them to your day-to-day life, it could help your mind not wander as you try to get your work done at the moment.
- Chewing gum
Some studies show that chewing gum could increase alertness and improve our attention span. This could help prevent distractions as you are trying to focus on a task. It is recommended to chew the spearmint flavor as it has shown to help relieve stress.
- Try a Naam yoga hand trick
Applying pressure to the space between your index and middle fingers could activate a nerve that is near the heart and creates a sense of calm. This will allow your brain to relax if you are stressed and control mind wandering
- Doodle something
Doodling during a task is often associated with a lack of concentration. However, some studies indicate that doodling helps improve cognitive performance. You don’t even have to draw anything complex. Simple geometric shapes and patterns will do just fine. Doing this could improve your focus and allow thoughts to come together.
- Cup of coffee
Studies have shown that there is a relation between caffeine and cognitive functions. Researchers have noticed that it increases physiological arousal. This results in decreasing the tendency to get distracted. If coffee isn’t your go-to, you could even try dark chocolates. A small caffeine boost and a good dose of antioxidants are just enough.
- Music in the background
Having music play in the background will help fill up the slots in your head as you try to complete a task. In a way, you are leaving no room in your head for distractions. Play music without any lyrics, as the background noise has shown to boost concentration.
By adopting these actions to improve your attention, you will find that your productivity and capacity to bring more efficiency and creativity to your job will naturally rise over time. There may be numerous additional ways to do this, as well as items and people that will assist you in concentrating.
Different things may be more effective for you. Everyone deserves to experience the thrill of doing something while being completely present. And then to witness the sweet results of his labor.
All of this is possible if you know how to focus. Just remember that you are human and everyone goes through this. Be patient with yourself and give yourself the break that you deserve once in a while. Not only will you be able to achieve peace of mind, but your overall efficiency will also improve as well.
Related Article: Living A Mindful Life