Getting necessary things done at the right time is practically how to achieve both short term and long term goals. However to get things done, you need focus because it is quite impossible to deliberately perform complex tasks without paying attention. We need focus in almost every situation you can think of including directing a company, career, education and others. The ability to focus is the ability to concentrate attention or energy on doing a particular thing. In other words, focus helps us to give our best to whatever task or work we intend to do. You have made up your mind to accomplish a particular task today and later in the day you find yourself in bed feeling sad and unfulfilled because you couldn’t do what you planned to. This is a common feeling among many people. The worst thing is the next day will still go by and you won’t have had things done yet. The culprit is the lack of ability to focus. Knowing the cause of this inability to focus can help you break free from the repeating behavior. There are two major things discussed below that are killing your ability to focus.
1- Too many distractions
This is a common problem among people all around the world. Nowadays, the use of smart phones and tablets are on the rise. There is no doubt that there are more distractions now than has ever been. Some years ago, it was about people that are stuck with their television sets but nowadays the party has moved. Fleets of visual appeal on smart phones, tablets and PCs are preventing people from getting on with their day the way they would like to. It doesn’t come as a surprise when people can only complete about 20% tasks on their to-do lists when they spend an average of 12 hours on their device. It is even complicated when people have to use the same device for work. That is like keeping your distraction pretty close then of course it becomes harder to focus.
- Exhaustion from less productive things like meetings
We have difficulty focusing on things we want to do because we have been exhausted from doing other things. Some of these things may be part of the process but what they contribute to the goal is less for the amount of time they take up. Therefore the priority and order of things may have to change for you to focus. Popular belief is that meetings are a perfect way to interact with employees and partners at work. However, they take so much time that one is possibly exhausted from attending them and to focus on salient tasks becomes a problem. A study noted that we spend about 35 to 55 percent of our time doing meetings.
Some of the following can help us manage these problems and get a better grip on our focus:
2- Lifestyle change
Change some things about our lives can give us an edge and help us focus better. Diets and exercise is an aspect of our lifestyle that can affect our focus. Healthy food choices can supply enough energy to get through the day. In the same way, exercise as well can improve focus. Some studies suggest starting your day with exercise and yoga gets you prepared for the day. It helps form a better mental alertness and focus. Staying hydrated is also a way to improve your focus. Dehydration has been known to cause people to lose focus. Another important lifestyle change that can affect focus is sleep. Getting adequate sleep cannot be overemphasized. Not getting enough sleep makes you feel tired and exhausted and as rightly said above, this affects focus. So, it is important to get a good sleep every night. This way you are ready for the day.
Deep belly breathing can help improve your focus. Notice the way you breathe and start making conscious changes to it. Shallow breathing is bad for focus. Good breathing habit helps the brain get a good amount of oxygen to help you keep your focus and make decisions. You can also practice some breathing exercises and meditation as soon as you wake up.
4- Organize tasks
It is easier to focus when you have your tasks organized and strictly followed. There is no room for last minute plans or other people crashing your plans. There are so many apps you can install on your devices to plan your calendar and at the same time to check your media binging. You get informed when it is time for a particular task and a warning when you are spending too much time doing something else. Organizing your tasks is a great way to re-assign your focus and improve it generally.
4- Clear your desk
There is a special feeling associated with cleaning your workspace. Having a lot of document on your desk may come off as having too much to be done and you may get discouraged. So, you should clear your table to help your focus.
5- Reduce meetings
As mentioned above, meetings take a lot of time and energy and should be reduced. The truth is a lot can be discussed in fewer meetings and this should be worked towards. To maximally utilize the time allocated for meetings to get results so that you won’t need as much meetings as before.