Do you ever find it hard to complete tasks because it feels as though your mind is racing and it’s too hard to concentrate on finishing what you set out to do?
It’s easy for most of us to become distracted from time to time, but there are several ways to calm your mind so that you can achieve what you’ve set out to do.
Try these strategies to increase your focus and boost your productivity:
1. Get an early start. If you have a difficult or tedious task to complete, you might be tempted to put it off. Procrastinating can increase your stress, which makes it harder to focus on completing the task.
- Getting an early start on boring or demanding work lowers your stress and helps you to stay focused.
2. Make time for breaks. You might think that you’ll get more done if you just keep your nose to the grindstone. However, if your work is particularly long or physically demanding, you can maintain greater focus by taking frequent breaks.
Set a timer for 50 minutes, and when it goes off, get up and walk around, go to the bathroom, refresh your drink, get a snack, anything that will allow you to move around about 10 minutes or so.
- Taking breaks before you’re completely exhausted helps you to come back to your task with your energy levels recharged. When your energy levels are high, you’re more able to concentrate fully on the task at hand.
3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Our minds and bodies are made to work together in harmony. Being in good health reduces stress and makes it easier to concentrate on your work.
Easier said than done, I know. We all want to be healthier but sometimes the work that it takes is daunting. What is just one tiny thing you could change on a daily basis that would be easy to implement and that you could stick with? Could you drink 16-oz of water when you first get up? Eat a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar? Take a walk early in the day before you get too busy?
- Adopting a healthy diet will give you the nutrients that you need for your mind and body to operate at peak performance. When you’re full of energy boosting nutrients, you’re less likely to feel distracted.
- Walking and other moderately physical activities can help you clear your mind. Walking also increases the blood flow to your brain, which can boost your ability to focus.
- Getting enough sleep each day gives you the energy that you need to stop your thoughts from wandering.
- Drink plenty of water each day. Dehydration can sap your energy and ability to think clearly.
4. Practicing mindfulness. Increase your focus by taking the time to be more aware of your surroundings.
- Learn to use all of your senses as you experience the people, places, and objects in your environment. Looking at things with a different perspective boosts your creativity and focus.
5. Meditate. Meditation boosts concentration in several ways. Just don’t let worrying about whether you’re meditating the “right” way get in the way of this amazing practice. Follow your inner guidance. In my book, there is no wrong way to meditate.
- Meditation can help you learn progressive relaxation, which helps to reduce the stress and anxiety that make it difficult to concentrate.
- Meditating increases your ability to concentrate. The more you practice on focusing, the easier it gets.
6. Take steps to eliminate distractions. It’s easier to stay focused and complete tasks when you are free of distractions.
- Before you begin to work on a task, ensure that you have everything you need and make your workspace as comfortable as possible.
Are you a person who works best in complete silence or do you like music or a little noise in the background?
I’m one of those people who likes a little white noise when I’m working, when I’m cooking, and when I’m sleeping. That’s why it has been so much fun to discover a really cool app called Coffitivity. It plays the sounds of a coffee shop or a cafe in the background while you work. It is not distracting (for me anyway) and I find it helps me keep plugging away throughout the day. (No, I’m not an affiliate, just a big fan.)
Random thoughts and interruptions don’t have to derail your concentration and prevent you from completing your work. Learning how to eliminate distractions and focus your attention will help you lower your stress and finish tasks.
So how about you? What ways do you “get more done” in a day? Share your strategies with us in the comments section below. Thanks!