In a previous post for my New Years Resolutions, one of my goals for this year is to learn to be more focused. To be more present in all aspects of my life. Well, we are a month in and for the most part I feel as I have been able to improve upon this. Being more aware, I have learned a lot being more aware of my time and how I spend it. I am noticing a trend and what triggers those days to be worse than others.
Lack of Sleep.
The one that impacts me the most is lack of sleep. On days that I do not sleep well I find myself drifting away and scrolling facebook or staring out the window.
Also, I find that this really influences my eating habits. I am more likely to binge or reach for something easy and unhealthy. This also does not help with focusing.
Sleep is so important, it’s the root to a successful day, if you are consistently not getting enough sleep then you will be worn down. Motivation, production, and over healthiness will be effected.
Not knowing my priorities
The second thing I have noticed is if I do not have a clearly defined must do list. There is always something to do and I have the tendency to get side tracked on the wrong thing. This is mostly due to my strong ability to procrastinate on things I rather not be doing. It’s also because things often slip my mind that I really should have done first. For instance, instead of folding the laundry in the dryer, I may decided to take everything out of my linen closet and reorganize it. Then next thing you know its bed time and the clothes are sitting there wrinkled all because I got distracted by another project.
So, my main goal is in the morning or before bed the day before and to sit and write a to do list of things that are priority that day. This way I can focus on those things first. Then if I have time after I can start a new project or relax and read a book. This also helps me sleep better. Because knowing I have it organized and written down means that I won’t be stressing about what I need to do.
Focusing on a single task
I also find that when I have too many things going on I struggle to focus on just one of them. For example, I have emails to address and a report to run and next thing you know I have 10 things opened on my PC at one time. This can be very distracting. I have to just stop and pick the most important, the item. Starting with anything that has a deadline, or the item that will take the least amount of time and close everything else. This really helps to make sure I am actually completing tasks, and not having partially completed tasks hanging over me
Skipping a workout
Another observation, are days I skip my workout I feel less focused. I’ve always believed that a workout is an important part of your day. Now that I am really paying attention I have really noticed what it does to your mind as well. I personally feel like it gives me motivation and clarity for the rest of the day. The boost of “I accomplished something important today for myself. Now lets tackle the other things,” is a wonderful feeling.
Needing background noise.
I have always been that person that studied with music on or even had music on while reading a book. I focus so much better when there is background noise. Without it my mind tends to wonder. Especially when doing really boring tasks, which leads me to maybe swiveling to things I don’t really need to be working on but seem much more interesting. So I will put on some music, TV, or an Audiobook to keep me focused depending on the task. Obviously, if you need to really be thinking about what you are doing then you may want to skip the TV or Audiobook and just listen to music. But if I am trying to clean house then I find Audiobooks perfect. If I am doing mindless desk work I like to watch TV. Nothing too serious though, I don’t want to get sucked in or miss an important part of the show!
A cup of tea or coffee
This one might be a little odd, but I really find getting a cup of hot tea also helps. This is more for when I need to sit at my desk and really focus on something. I find it helps keeps me seated, gotta drink it while its hot! Plus, its something enjoyable to go with some of the tedious work you might have ahead of you.
Get up and walk and take a break
Take a quick break and walking around for a bit also helps to get centered. It is important to step away from your work and clear your head and allow yourself a moment of rest. Then you can go back and have a refreshed start.
What are some things that help you get focused?