Improve your focus with these 5 simple tips

Improve Your Focus With These 5 Simple Tips

Improve Your Focus With These 5 Simple Tips

In my blog post about transferable job skills, I discussed how focusing is a valuable skill that you should practice daily. If you improve your focus you can get more done in a day. Well, no one needs that advice, or to practice this more right now than I do.

Let me tell you, I have struggled so hard to focus on my blog and business the last 2-3 weeks.

I have struggled to focus on the most simple and mundane tasks like laundry.

When I write, I can hardly string two coherent sentences together. My mind is going a mile a minute in what seems like 50 different directions.

I’m not sleeping or eating well, and I know this has a significant impact on our ability to focus.

And what has become a new morning coffee routine isn’t helping either.

Fun fact: As an adult (which has been more than half my life now), I have never consumed coffee regularly until about six months ago, but in high school, we used to go down to our local small-town cafe for coffee because we thought we were oh so cool, grown-up, and sophisticated. 🤣

Now, I could come up with all kinds of excuses as to why I am unable to focus, and some of them would be legitimate. But at this point, the why is moot. I need to get back to basics and focus on the how.

So let’s take a look at some strategies that can help you improve your ability to focus.

Removing Distractions Can Improve Your Focus

We are constantly being bombarded with distractions.

Removing as many distractions as possible until you get good at ignoring them will help you improve your focus.

Having a dedicated workspace helps with this.

While working in my office, I can leave my phone on the kitchen counter, eliminating that distraction. I also have all notifications turned off on my phone and my laptop. Constant notifications are incredibly distracting.

I can shut the office door letting family members know I am not to be disturbed. This is always a work in progress, but they leave me alone if I tell them I have a call. 😆

I also have a no pets in the office policy that helps eliminate the cute, cuddly, furball distraction.

Keeping your desk clear of clutter also creates a more harmonious work environment and helps eliminate distractions making it easier to focus on the task at hand.

And how do you know which task requires your focus?

You have a prioritized to-do list.

A To-Do List Keeps You Focused

Writing a daily or weekly to-do list that identifies the most important tasks helps you focus on those tasks and improves your time management skills.

I prefer to write mine out on paper, or you may choose to use an app. Do whatever works best for you.

My to-do list includes five columns:

  1. Time- either the time of day or how much time I am allotting to complete the task.
  2. Task- what needs to get done.
  3. Did/Didn’t- this column recognizes whether or not I finished the task in the allotted time.
  4. Why Not?- If I didn’t complete the task, I list the reason here.
  5. Was It Avoidable?- Was the reason for not completing the task avoidable?

Identifying why tasks are not getting done and if the issue is avoidable shows where you need to improve your focus and have more accountability.

If your blog post didn’t get published on time because of a storm and the internet was down, you can’t control that.

On the other hand, if your blog post wasn’t published on time because you were cruising social media instead of writing, you see that as an avoidable situation. You can take steps to eliminate the distraction, improve your focus and be more accountable.

Focus on one task on your to-do list at a time.

Multitasking will not get your to-do list done faster, and it most certainly will not improve your focus.

Avoid Multitasking

Studies showing the adverse effects of multitasking have been around for years.

More specifically, research out of Stanford University has shown that media multitaskers are suffering from reduced memory. 

What is media multitasking?

 According to Wikipedia, Media multitasking is the concurrent use of multiple digital media streams. Media multitasking has been associated with depressive symptoms and social anxiety by a single study involving 318 participants.

As digital entrepreneurs, our day revolves around media.

If you think you are accomplishing more by multitasking, you may need to rethink your tactics. Cruising social platforms and answering emails while simultaneously writing the latest blog post with your favorite podcast in the background is not productive. 

Studies show that multitasking increased depression and social anxiety. Click To Tweet

Instead, go back to your to-do list and only cruise social during the time you have allotted. When that’s finished, you can answer emails in the time you have allotted for answering emails.

But of course, this is after you have finished the most crucial task, getting that blog post written.

After writing the blog post, take a break.

Taking Breaks is Essential to Improving Your Focus

And for getting some circulation back in your legs after sitting at the computer for a while.

Everyone knows the importance of taking a break. Regular breaks increase productivity and improve focus, but how many of us are doing it on a regular, consistent basis.

And how many of us do breaks properly?

I know I don’t.

If the first thing you do when you take a break is reach for your phone, you are not doing breaks properly.

Want to know how to get the most out of your breaks? Listen to Jay Shetty’s podcast.

This episode is one of my favorite on breaks.

Also, setting a timer to remind you to get up and move is helpful, as is taking care of you.

Your Well-being Improves Your Focus

  • Eating well.
  • Sleeping well.
  • Exercise.
  • Meditation or other spiritual practices.
  • Being in nature.

These plus many more factors contribute to our well-being which is defined simply as the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.

It is easy to see why taking care of ourselves can improve our focus.

How can a person focus when uncomfortable, unwell, or anxious and on edge?

So if you find you are having a hard time focusing, the absolute best thing you can do is take care of yourself.

Make your well-being a priority.

What areas of well-being do you need to improve?

Maybe you need to spend more time outside or start a meditation practice.

Better eating and sleeping habits may be beneficial.

Only you know what is best for you.

If you have gotten off track or are having a hard time focusing, don’t beat yourself up.

Figure out where the issue is and take steps to correct it.

Conclusion

With the way things have been going for me lately, I plan to print this post and stick it up in my office to remind me what I need to be doing to get tasks done.

I may have to start meditating again or doing yoga.

I probably should quit drinking coffee too. Or at least limit my intake even though I know this isn’t the issue at one cup a day.

But that’s me, only you know what your struggles are, but I hope these tips can help you get back on track.

If not, maybe there is a more significant issue? Perhaps it is more than the inability to focus, and you struggle with work-life balance?

Please Leave a Comment

Let me know if you found any of these tips helpful.

Or if you have anything you would like to add put it in the comments below.

Follow my social channels for updates on how I’m getting out of this funk I’m in.

Maybe posting about how I can’t focus will help me focus!

Thanks for Reading

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SharlaAnn is a blogger who focuses on helping others develop the mindset and skills needed to build successful blogs. She is always up for a challenge and is a determined student of personal development and SEO.

2 thoughts on “Improve Your Focus With These 5 Simple Tips”

  1. Hi SharlaAnn,

    Good job with each of these tips. Releasing the need to multi-task changed the focusing game for me. I still do enjoy 2 coffees daily 😉 but did some deep mind training for a while to learn how to shift my attention and energy towards one task at a time. Everything changed the moment I decided to train my mind every single day.

    Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan,

      I realized today that I am trying to do too many things at once. Too many social media accounts and forums are the biggest issues for me right now. Each platform takes time to learn and leverage effectively. This makes it hard to focus and accomplish anything concrete or worthwhile. So it’s time to rethink strategies.

      The mind is amazing, especially once you learn how to control it. It does take consistent work and training every day to master it.

      Thanks for the comment, Ryan.

      Take care,
      SharlaAnn
      SharlaAnn Matyjanka recently posted…6 Roadblocks Stopping Your Blogging SuccessMy Profile

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