Today at work I was having a really hard time focusing on the task at hand. I kept making simple mistakes and it was seriously driving me crazy. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong or why I was having such a hard time focusing. Truth is, many of us suffer from the same thing from time to time and when it happens it can be very frustrating. In this age of information overload, it is not uncommon for many of us to struggle with staying focused. So what do you do to help you get back on track?
Below are some pointers I found to be helpful.
1. Get plenty of rest. Sometimes lack of focus is a direct result of not enough sleep. Are you going to bed early enough and allowing your mind enough time to process yesterday’s events? Try sleeping earlier or catching a nap mid-day if you are able.
2. Write in a Journal. Sometimes the best thing to help de-clutter our minds is by writing down exactly what is on them on paper. Think of it as pouring out an overly filled cup of coffee.
3. Exercise. Not only does it help us to shed unwanted pounds and contributes to a healthy body but the release of endorphins helps to make us feel good and have more energy.
4. Morning meditation. Go somewhere and be still and allow silence and your thoughts to flow freely. Write morning pages, suggested by Julia Cameron author of “The Artist’s Way”, 3 pages of free writing without thinking can work miracles.
5. Unplug. Take time off of social networking sites, internet, tv and phone. I know phones are needed in case of emergency so you can keep it around only if you can refuse the temptation to check messages, text or play with your device. It is imprtant to have time for yourself.
6. Draw. You don’t have to be an artist to draw, you can draw stick figures, doodle, draw flowers, circles and color them in with a pen or pencil, better yet use crayons! Tap into your inner child and artist.
7. Hit Pause. This is the quick fix. Let’s say you are at work and need to focus but everyone needs your time or attention. HIT PAUSE – Go to the bathroom! There you can go into a stall where no one can bother you and you can pray, close your eyes and meditate for a few minutes and just have a moment of silence to yourself for the day before heading back out to meet the day’s tasks.
8. Take a vacation. You don’t have to have a lot of money to take one, you can even have a staycation at home if you make it a point to not be interrupted by any family members, friends or outside things that would invade your private time. Also you can find great mini weekend getaways on Expedia or Groupon. Give yourself 2-3 days tops.
9. Read a Book. Go to a bookstore and find a physical book that you are interested in. Yes, Kindle is nice but there is something about actually holding the book and thumbing through pages and getting a cute bookmarker or writing notes inside of it.
10. Drink More Water. Not only is it good for a healthy digestive system but being properly hydrated helps us to think clearer.
11. Window Gaze. A five minute break to just gaze outside of your window can help you be present in the NOW. Think about your breathing, focus on colors.