How To Stay Focused
Let’s face it. It’s easy to lose focus. Whether you’re at home, school or work it’s all too easy to get side-tracked and distracted.
When I was at college I would be working on a document in Word, then go on Facebook and completely forget what I was working on! How annoying is that? But don’t worry!
Today I’m going to show you how to stay focused and never lose track of what you’re working on ever again. Let’s get started.
Get Rid Of Distractions
The best way to focus is to get rid of the things that are not relevant to you at the time. It’s like when you’re at work and it’s lunch time, then your friend calls you up and asks if you want to go get some lunch… Just say “no” because getting lunch together will take away your focus on what you need to do at work.
So, let’s say you’re a student trying to study for an exam. You can either choose to study in your room where there are distractions such as your laptop, ipad or television. Or you can choose to go study in a library where there aren’t many distractions and will help you focus better.
Another example would be when you’re trying to concentrate on something important, but someone is disturbing you by talking to you. You can either choose to listen to them and lose focus on what you were doing or just say “I’m not interested” or “sorry I can’t talk right now.”
If you’re trying to stay focused, minimize multitasking. It’s hard to concentrate when you’re constantly switching between tasks. Instead of multitasking, do one thing at a time and give it your full attention.
In this way, you’ll be more productive and get the task done faster. You’ll also avoid the “mis-switching” cost that happens when you switch tasks too frequently.
Limit Your Focus
If you have ever been overwhelmed by trying to do too much at one time, then you have experienced the need for focus. Focus is all about eliminating distractions and concentrating on what you are doing, or what is most important. This can happen in your personal life as well as in your business life.
Being able to stay focused allows you to get more done and feel less stressed. In order to accomplish that, you must know how to limit your focus. Here are some of the best ways to help keep yourself on task:
Define Goals. You must define your goals and write them down. Writing them down helps make them real and will help you keep focused on what needs to be done
Prioritize Tasks. Make a list of your daily tasks and prioritize them so that you know which ones need your attention first and which ones can wait. This will help prevent procrastination, which leads to stress
Set Deadlines. Once you have prioritized your tasks, set a deadline for each one so that it gets done in a timely manner
Don’t Multitask. It may seem like multitasking is a good thing, but it’s not. When you multitask, nothing gets done right and important details can be missed
Practice The Pomodoro Technique
This is a very simple technique that can be used to boost productivity. The Pomodoro Technique is named after the tomato-shaped timer used by its creator, Francesco Cirillo. It’s a time management technique that works by breaking down work and taking breaks at regular intervals.
To use the Pomodoro Technique, set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on completing one task during that time. After the 25 minutes, take a five-minute break, then repeat the process. Every four “pomodoros” or sessions of 25 minutes, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), resetting your four-session counter to zero in the process.
It sounds simple enough, but it can be hard to stay focused and not get distracted during each time interval – but this is what makes this technique so powerful.
When trying to complete a task you don’t want to do, your mind will naturally wander off and think of other things it could be doing instead. By using this technique you are forcing yourself to stay on task for a period of time until you reach the next break.
It’s difficult to stay focused on your breath when you have a thought about something else.
And when you realize that you’re thinking about something else, it’s difficult to stop thinking about it, and get back to focusing on your breath.
I recently read an article by Sam Harris called “Waking Up” – a book he wrote based on his meditation practice. He describes the importance of the “observer” – the part of your mind that observes thoughts and emotions as they arise, without getting caught up in them.
The most important skill in meditation is learning how to observe your thoughts and emotions as they arise, without getting caught up in them.
It’s difficult to do this at first, but once you get good at it, you start to see that although thoughts and emotions come and go, there is a part of you that doesn’t change from one moment to the next.
Take A Short Break
When you have a lot of work to do, it can be tempting to put in long hours or cut back on your breaks. But this may backfire.
Taking a short break every 90 minutes increases productivity, focus, and energy. This is true for knowledge workers as well as those in manual labor jobs.
This advice is counter intuitive, but the science checks out: taking more breaks makes us more productive.
Here are five reasons why taking short breaks throughout the day will help you get more done:
The longer you work on something, the less focused you become (this is why professionals take breaks during the day). Taking a short break resets your attention span so that when you come back to your work, you’ll be able to tackle it with fresh eyes.
You’ll have more energy all day long. By scheduling regular breaks throughout the day, you can prevent an afternoon slump and maintain high levels of energy throughout the day. This will make it easier to accomplish tasks that require high levels of focus and creativity.
You’ll have better meetings. When meetings are only 30 minutes long and there are 15 minutes between each one, people are much more likely
Fuel Your Body
You can’t get through a day without someone mentioning the importance of healthy eating and exercise. But when you’re stuck at your desk or in meetings all day, it’s hard to find time to think about what you’re putting in your body and how you are going to work off those extra calories.
Here are some tips on how to stay focused by fueling your body:
Planning: Plan out your meals and snacks for the day before so you know what you need to bring to work that will keep you satisfied. This way, you won’t be hungry and tempted to snack on whatever is around the office.
Make it easy: When deciding what to bring for lunch or for snacks during the day, make sure it’s something that is easily portable. For example, pack a thermos with soup or stew so it stays warm until lunchtime. Also, things such as dried fruit, nuts and granola bars are easy finger foods that are healthy options for snacking during the workday.
Water: Drink lots of water throughout the day. Not only does staying hydrated keep your body functioning properly, but drinking water will also keep you feeling full between meals. If you want something else to drink besides water, try herbal tea or seltzer water
Establish A To-do List
This is probably the most important step in staying focused. If you are trying to stay focused, you need to know what your tasks are and how you plan on accomplishing them. You can also use your to do list as a way of prioritizing your tasks, or even scheduling them into your day.
Rid your workspace of distractions.
What is distracting you? Is it the computer screen? Your phone? Your television? Whatever it is, get rid of it. If you don’t have the willpower to ignore Facebook, then don’t let yourself go near it. If you don’t have the willpower to ignore the television, turn it off and shut the door.
Establish a time frame for each task.
This will help keep you from getting distracted, and will help keep you from procrastinating. If you know that a task should take around an hour, then that should be enough time for you to complete it without being distracted by other things (unless there is an emergency).
Break down large tasks into smaller ones.
If you have a large task looming over your head, break it down into smaller parts so that it is not so intimidating.
Try A Small Amount Of Caffeine
Many people are looking for a healthy way to stay focused. While caffeine can be extremely helpful, it’s also important to be mindful of how much you’re consuming.
Caffeine is a stimulant that has been shown to improve concentration and focus, which can directly impact your ability to complete tasks.
It’s easy to overdo it with caffeine, though, so start by trying a small amount. This could be as little as 1/4 cup of coffee or 8 ounces of tea (the average cup of tea contains about half the caffeine of coffee).
If that works for you, stick with it. If it doesn’t seem like enough, try a little more and see if that helps.
Focus On Similar Tasks
The best way to avoid distraction is to focus on similar tasks. If you want to write a blog post, don’t open your email. If you want to read, don’t go on Facebook. If you want to code, don’t watch a video on YouTube.
Stay focused by Focusing on similar tasks. If a large project is bogging you down, break it into smaller chunks. It’s more important to get something done than to do everything at once.
Try to get as much as possible done before you start multitasking. That way, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment so that when you switch gears, you’ll be ready for something new.