Staying focused isn’t always easy. No matter how much you practice, or how well you’re usually able to concentrate, we all have days when it’s hard to stay on track. Here are three simple little things you can do to get back on track when you’re losing focus.
Review And Reevaluate
When you find yourself struggling with focus stop and take a minute to review what you’re doing. Why are you struggling? Is it this particular task, or did you not sleep well the night before? Maybe you’re getting sick, have a headache, or you can’t stop the constant distractions.
Once you know what’s causing you to lose focus, you can address it. Sometimes that means reworking the task, or getting more information so you can move on in a timely fashion. Sometimes it means admitting defeat and cutting yourself some slack if you’re getting sick and just not feeling your best. In that case, do what you can but don’t beat yourself up for not being at the top of your game.
Pick One Task
Often our lack of focus is caused by trying to do too many things at the same time. Make yourself focus on one simple task, get that done, and then move on to the next task. Choose wisely and then put on your mental blinders and get it done. Doing this will usually bring your focus right back and after getting through a few tasks you’ll find that you can start to multitask if the need arises.
Overall, aim to start your day with a little planning and break your work down into tasks that you can accomplish one at a time. Multi-tasking may make us feel like we’re working hard and making a lot of progress, but research shows again and again, that we can focus better and stay more productive by tackling one task at a time.
Work In Shorter Bursts And Take Breaks
Some days you just can’t focus as well or for as long as a period of time as you usually do and that’s ok. No matter what the reason, accept it and find a way to deal with it. One way to do this effectively is to work in shorter bursts and take more frequent breaks. If you’re used to working highly focused in 45 minute chunks of time, break it down into 15 minute bursts instead. Get out your timer, set it for 15 minutes and get to work. When the timer goes off, give yourself permission to take a 5 minute break to recharge before diving back in for another 15 minute session.
You may not be as productive as you would on a day when you’re feeling great, but these tips will ensure you’re staying fairly productive. And who knows, you may find that after an hour or two you’re picking up you’re groove and getting back into full focus mode