Your time is valuable. Not being able to focus can have a negative effect on how successful we are at work and in our personal lives. Focus is a skill that we develop by training and practice. Productivity requires intention and strategy to help make your time work for you!
Here are a few important “mind hacks” to help you improve your focus for the day.
Taking Care of Yourself First
Our priority should be making sure we are whole healthy human beings. When our physical and mental health is declining, there is no way we can give our business our full potential. Here are some important self-care tips to improve your focus.
- Make sure you get enough rest (7-8 hours of sleep). Your brain will not function at capacity when you are tired. While you sleep, your body can re-set and heal.
- Eat well-balanced meals. Healthy snacks help your brain function at its best. Try superfoods and increase your amount of green leafy vegetables. Meal planning is extremely helpful as well as trying to go to the grocery store only once a week. Use stores that offer online pickup or delivery for extra productivity points.
- Drink more water. Dehydration can cause loss of concentration and focus, according to a study at Georgia Tech. Most authorities recommend at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day.
- Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise can increase alertness and energy that will help you be more productive at work. Regular exercise is also important to prevent diseases that can cause you to miss out on work. If you can’t make it to the gym, try taking the stairs at work. Aim for 30 minutes a day at least 5 times a week.
- Spend some time outdoors. Being in nature helps us bring our mind and body back into balance. Take a few minutes out of your schedule to take a walk outside. Look at the trees, listen to some water flowing, or just take in some sun.
- Try meditation. Mindfulness is a great practice to help clear the mind of clutter and be in the present moment. There are paid apps like Headspace and Calm that can help you practice mindfulness in under 10 minutes a day.
Clear Your Space
A great way to declutter your mind is to declutter the space around you. Set up an environment in your office that promotes focus.
Begin with clearing out your workstation from all paper and materials not related to the task you are currently working on. Organize papers into folders and set them aside for later. You don’t have to be a neat freak! Just reducing the clutter in your work area will help reduce the number of distractions around you.
Check to make sure the temperature in the room is not too hot or too cold. Having a please office space can increase your productivity by up to 15%.
This is also a part of self-care. Our mind is a muscle that can get tired. Sometimes, taking a short break from a task helps us to rejuvenate so that we can come back with a fresh perspective.
We guilt ourselves into thinking that the harder we work without breaks we can get projects done efficiently. However, we are cheating ourselves and our work by not being good to our bodies.
Working without taking breaks leads to a decrease in performance. Take a ten-minute break at least to bring some clarity to your mind.
Practice the Two-Minute Rule
According to Entrepreneur Steve Olenski, completing short tasks right away actually takes less time than having to go back and do it. Here is his two-minute rule. If you see a task that can be done in two minutes or less, just do it immediately.
Listen to Some Music
Turn on your favorite music station and plug in your headphones! Music is inspiring. It keeps our brains engaged and helps to keep us motivated. Music also engages the part of our brain that drives our attention. For maximum focus, you may want to stick to classical or music with no lyrics.