5 Ways to boost your focus & get stuff done!
Remember going to the library, finding a quiet nook and hunkering down to study? Only to realize 45 minutes into studying that you’re mind is off in la-la land.
I wish I could say it’s a phenomenon that we outgrow someday. But, it’s not. We have all experienced times when our thoughts start to mindlessly wander down the path of well, anywhere… making mental lists, thinking about what we want to eat for dinner, who we need to call, or what we need to get done. It’s limitless.
On top of it all, thanks to a wonderful thing called technology, we are bombarded with never-ending distractions in society. Between calls, texting and social media we have become almost robotic in our quest to ‘keep up with’ and stay connected 24/7.
So, it takes more than just a bit of discipline for many to stay fully focused and plugged into anything for an extended period of time.
But behold- take heart! You don’t have to be a victim of distraction or your wandering mind so you can maximize productivity and efficiency.
1. Best Time of Day. Work with your body’s natural tendencies by choosing the best time of day for you to focus on big or detailed tasks. It can be an effortless game-changer.
If you are full of energy, mentally sharp and ready to go at 6am, then you should maximize that time and work on high-priority things early in the day. You’ll get more done in 3 hours in the morning than 5 hours in the late afternoon.
Same thing for night owls. If you are more energized and focused later in the evening- make an adjustment to your schedule (when you can) to work on things later rather than earlier. Everyone has a natural tendency. So, work with your body as much as you can, instead of against it.
2. Environment Is Key. There are several things to take into consideration regarding your environment
Maintain a consistent working area and environment. Changing your environment occasionally by working in different places may seem like a good idea to keep your creative juices flowing. But, jumping from your home office one day to the local coffee shop the next and then the library is a sure recipe for stimuli overload.
The changing mix of external stimuli will consistently divert your attention; which means you won’t stay focused.
Control the temperature– try to keep your work environment with a touch of a chill. It helps you stay alert and not get too comfortable.
Don’t wear your super-comfy clothes. You may feel reeeeally cozy in those sweats. But, cozy invites relaxation and the combination of the two are the enemy of productivity. So, instead wear something comfortable enough but not cozy.
3. Clear any Emotional or Mental Distractions. Mental and emotional burdens can be the most elusive of all distractions.
You may not realize anything is weighing on your mind until you’ve unknowingly spent 15 minutes thinking about it, when you should have been focused on the project on-hand. So, it’s best to do what you can to clear your mind and heart of things that may try creep in your thoughts and distract your focus.
4. Get in a Tidy Territory.
I love it when my house is clean. When my house is squeeky clean and tidy, my mind is at ease, and I just feel peaceful and relaxed- good, huh? When it’s is not clean, I feel anxious and unsettled. The same concept applies to how our environment impacts how we feel when we are working.
An environment filled with clutter is the worst atmosphere for clear thinking and productivity. Whatever is around you is a reflection of what will be going on in you. So choose an environment that is tidy, clean & organized to keep your mind focused. Don’t tempt yourself by being in an environment ripe for distraction.
5. Unplug completely.
Yes, that means your cell too. Turning off your connection(s) to the world can give you hours of distraction-free, focused time. Why not just put my phone on vibrate? Because vibrate is the ultimate temptress. We know the purpose of vibrate is to give you the peek-option. You know, the option to see who is calling, texting or emailing. Do yourself a favor and remove all options that may tempt you to step off track and unplug.
Get focused so you can get more done in a shorter timeframe by using these little nuggets. They will prove to be golden when you need to maintain extended focus to get ‘er done.