What do you do when you’ve got important things that you really need to get done, but you just can’t seem to concentrate on them? Here are five focusing tips to help you fight off distractions and regain your productivity when your mind keeps wandering off!
Tip #1: Use a timer.
This is such a deceptively simple trick, but I’ve found it to be one of the best focusing tips I’ve ever used. As I blogger, I struggle regularly with trying to keep myself focused on writing content for my blog – it’s not that I don’t love to write, but sometimes I just can’t seem to get myself to sit down and just get the articles written that I need to.
When this happens, I find that setting my little timer for one hour and placing it somewhere that I can easily see it helps me to clear my head and focus completely on the task at hand. It’s as if some medieval knight threw his gauntlet down in front me, and I get drawn into the “challenge” of getting my writing task done in less than my allotted 60 minutes.
I just use a cheap digital kitchen timer that I picked up at the local dollar store, and I often find that this one trick helps to maximize my productive time. When I use it I often find myself getting more done than I had even planned to!
Tip #2: Get enough sleep.
This one may be obvious, but it’s so often overlooked. Sleep requirements vary depending on the individual and his or her age, but adults generally function best on 7-8 hours per night. Almost one in three adults, however, regularly get less than six hours of sleep per night.Getting more sleep at night will help you concentrate & maintain productivity during the day! Click To Tweet
This is a growing cause for concern for sleep specialists and medical experts around the world as chronic lack of sleep does more than just leave you feeling tired and unable to concentrate; it can actually have severe detrimental effects on your physical health.
According to the CDC, sleep deprivation has become such an issue that it is now considered a global public health epidemic, and the World Association of Sleep Medicine has actually organized an annual event, World Sleep Day, to draw attention to the importance of sleep.
Giving yourself the gift of even an extra half an hour of sleep per night can make such a difference in improving your ability to get things done during the day!
Tip #3: Unplug.
It’s hard to stay focused on what you’re doing if you’re constantly being distracted by other things. So fight temptation by turning off your cell phone and either shutting down your browser if you don’t need it for what you’re doing, or logging out of all your social media accounts.
That way you won’t be tempted to stop what you’re doing to answer the earth-shakingly important Facebook “ding” informing you that one of your several hundred closest BFFs just posted yet another gratuitous selfie from his latest pub crawl.
There are any number of nifty little apps that you can install on your computer to lock yourself out of your social media sites and prevent you from using your browser for set amounts of time, but why not just turn the damned things off and leave it that? It’ll save you have to waste even more time trying to install and configure yet another piece of software!
Tip #4: Stay hydrated.
While I will never be one to underestimate the value of a good cup of coffee in improving concentration, I have found that just drinking more water during the day has made a world of difference in my ability to stay focused.Drink more #water! Even mild dehydration can leave you tired & unable to concentrate. Click To Tweet
According the Mayo Clinic, “even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired”. They suggest that total fluid intake for healthy men should be about 3L per day, and for women about 2.2L per day, and they also note that this is total fluid intake, and includes beverages other water.
The Mayo Clinic article goes on to say that you know you are properly hydrated when you are rarely thirsty, your urine is either colourless or pale yellow, and your total volume of urine per day (for adults) should be about 1.5L if you were to measure it all.
Tip #5: Bribe yourself.
Bribes aren’t always unethical, especially when you’re bribing yourself! 🙂 If you’ve been struggling trying to make any headway with a particular task for a while, try telling yourself that if you just get it done, you’ll be rewarded with a treat.
Maybe you’ll give yourself time to watch your favourite show, or an hour to read a book you’ve been “meaning to get to”, or you’ll send the kids over to your mother-in-law’s place and indulge in a nice hot, uninterrupted bubble bath with a glass of wine. Pick something that works for you, but just be sure to actually follow up on your promise to yourself!
Next time you’re having problems concentrating enough to get things done, try these focusing tips to help you regain your productivity!
How do you stay focused on things you need to get done? Do you have a favourite productivity hack or focusing trick that you like to you use to help you concentrate on important tasks?