It isn’t difficult to see why maintaining one’s focus can be such a herculean feat these days. Between busy jobs, copious personal obligations and a plethora of attention-grabbing devices, it seems like we’re constantly splitting our focus between multiple things. Furthermore, a lack of proper focus stands to negatively impact productivity, job performance and interpersonal relationships. Luckily, improving your focus doesn’t have to be an uphill battle – especially not with the following pointers at your disposal.
Reduce Multitasking Whenever Possible
Although you may feel as if multitasking makes you more productive, the opposite is often the case. When you’re splitting your focus between an array of different tasks, none of these tasks are likely to receive your full attention. Additionally, carrying out multiple tasks at once doesn’t necessarily mean that these tasks are being completed any faster than if you tackled them one at a time.
With this in mind, make a point of reducing multitasking whenever possible – or simply avoiding it altogether. Instead, make a mental checklist – or an actual list – of the tasks you wish to complete within a specific timeframe and rank them from most to least pressing. Next, proceed to carry out these tasks in order of importance. If you’ve grown accustomed to multitasking, doing things one at a time may take a bit of adjustment, but once you notice a marked improvement in overall productivity, you’re unlikely to go back to the old way.
Distractions can be a tremendous impediment to both productivity and focus. However, since we live in a distraction-rich world, not getting distracted may strike you as easier said than done. Distractions can be particularly tempting throughout the workday. Not only do many jobs involve the use of multiple internet-connected devices, working is an experience from which many people want to be distracted. Of course, when deadlines are missed or productivity is notably hindered, many of us quickly regret giving in to distractions.
When seeking to eliminate distractions at work, you can start by enabling the “do not disturb” feature on your phone, which should close off call and text alerts from non-contacts. Furthermore, if a personal call or text doesn’t require an immediate response, hold off on providing one until a designated break period. If you have a habit of checking various social media outlets throughout the day, place a limit on how many times – and how often – you allow yourself to check during work hours. For instance, allowing yourself one social media check-in for every task you cross off your to-do list can heighten focus and productivity and provide you with something to look forward to.
Speak to Your Doctor
To confirm that nothing serious is at the heart of your focus issues and provide yourself with peace of mind, consider arranging a consultation with your doctor. Your physician should be able to paint a more detailed picture of the root cause(s) of your problem and make treatment recommendations accordingly. Depending on what they find, your doctor may even recommend that you take supplements for memory and focus. Additionally, if your focus problems stem from a physical or psychological disability, speak to your physician about your options regarding disability insurance.
Improve Your Sleep Habits
Improper sleep habits are an all-too-common cause of poor focus. So, if your current sleep habits leave something to be desired, there’s no time like the present to turn things around. In addition to going to bed within the same window of time each night, make sure your preferred bedroom allows for at least seven to eight hours of slumber. If you consistently have trouble getting your brain primed for sleep, take care to engage in relaxing activities – i.e., reading, meditation or deep-breathing exercises – in the leadup to bedtime.
Given how much many of us have going on in our lives, it’s only natural that we’d have problems focusing. Whether you’re at work, at home or out on the town, there’s never a shortage of things that are vying for your attention. As such, maintaining focus is liable to seem like a truly arduous undertaking. However, while improving your focus may take a little work, doing so is very much within your abilities. So, if heightened focus is what you’re after, put the previously discussed measures to good use.