Top tips For Staying Focused
Whether it's a relentless WhatsApp group conversation, or a messy desk that needs a bit of a Feng Shui spruce up, there's a lot in life that can keep us from staying focused on the things that require our attention, so mute that convo and take a seat in a silent room - here are our top tips on how to stay focused.
Polish your patch
A clear space means a clear mind, so take some time to organise the area you spend most of your day - whether that's your desk, bedroom, or bathroom (for whatever reason, we won't judge) and you'll soon find that decluttering = de-stressing.
Avoid becoming overwhelmed
It's easy to feel like everything is piling up, to the point where you just want to say "#$%* you" to EVERYTHING and walk away. Obviously, this isn't the most logical move as doing that means NOTHING gets done. As much as we might like to brag that we're amazing at multitasking, the fact is most of us aren't.
Open a Word doc or go old-school and grab pen and paper, then list all of the things you need to complete. Then, break down the list in terms of priority (urgent, medium, low) and begin by completing the task with the highest priority. Refer to this list often, as your priorities may change daily. Before you know it, every task will be ticked off and then you can focus on what really matters... like Netflix binges.
Take a break
It may seem counterproductive, but temporarily walking away from a task you should be focusing on can actually make you better at it. Have you ever found yourself thinking so hard about something, to the point that it becomes impossible to focus on? Then once you've walked away, distracted yourself for a while and returned to it some time later, you've been able to effortlessly resolve the question or job at hand?
Giving yourself these breaks gives you time to regenerate and you'll approach your work with a sharper mind. Finally, a legitimate excuse for procrastinating.
Scientists believe that regular exercise can help stimulate the release of a chemical called Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which research suggests may improve memory. Exercise also improves concentration and of course, it's great for your physical health. Positives all round!
Focusing on a screen or notepad up close for a long period of time can make it difficult to focus, so to help, try looking away every now and then and staring at something a few metres away. There's even an easy way to remember this, called the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds focusing on something around 20 feet away. So next time someone asks if you're daydreaming, you can confidently respond that you are. And for good reason.
You'll be amazed at how much better you are able to focus after one or two extra hours of sleep a night. Around seven to eight hours is recommended, so get yourself off to bed with a nice cup of cocoa and sleep tight.