Knowing how to stay focused when your mind has a million racing thoughts isn’t easy! Here are top tips to help you stay on track — while pulled in every direction.
A common denominator between us? We’re all over tasked with too much on our plates.
And the addition of smart phones and all the text messages, group chats, email notifications and social media they’ve brought into our loves certainly doesn’t help.
It’s not easy knowing how to stay focused when you’re faced with a thousand distractions every single day. It’s also not easy knowing how to stay focused when your to-do list is longer than a Tolstoy novel.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone — because we’re all living this reality every day. But fear not, because today I’m building off an earlier discussion on how to manage multiple projects and giving my top tips to help you stay focused and on track in all areas of your life.
How to Stay Focused
Work projects. Family obligations. Car maintenance. Household cleaning. Bills. The list goes on.
The pressures of adulthood and the million things we all have to manage in our day to day lives can be a bit overwhelming at times. Enjoy tips below on how to stay focused and be sure to share any that work for you as well! Because we’re all in this grind called life together.
MAKE WRITING DOWN GOALS PART OF YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
After you get a cup or two of coffee down, bring focus to your day from the start by jotting down your short-term and long-term goals. Be it in my favorite goal-tracking journal or on a pad of paper, this practice will keep you present and help direct your attention where it needs to go for the day.
CLEAR YOUR CACHE WITH A COLLECTIVE BRAIN DUMP
The process of organizing thoughts can at times be a difficult one. We can find ourselves living in the eye of a storm with ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP ideas whirling around us at a million miles a second — making it hard to focus on a single one of them.
In these moments, the best survival method is to dump everything you have on your mind down on a piece of paper or even an email yourself. And when I say everything – I mean everything!
From what project updates need published to appointments that need scheduled, things you need from the store, bills that need paid and mental reminders that your car is running on fumes. Brain dump all those thoughts out of your head and don’t even worry about how chaotic it all looks staring back at you.
Much like a laptop clearing its cache, unloading pent up thoughts and information in this manner will help you move forward more efficiently and effectively.
DECLUTTER YOUR WORK SPACE
Knowing how to stay focused goes from difficult to near impossible when surrounded by chaos. And that goes for the mountain of papers hanging out on your desk! Create a sense of order in your workspace by decluttering at the end of the day — or FIRST thing in the morning if you slacked off the night before.
While I’m not a neat and tidy person by nature, having cluttered papers and Post-It notes all around me only encourages a chaotic mindset. Give yourself the gift of a healthier headspace by cutting out the clutter.
ONLY KEEP OPEN WHAT YOU’RE WORKING ON
Make it a rule to close all other folders, web browser tabs and software programs closed that you’re not currently working in. With a million things open at once, why should it come as any surprise when you’re struggling to stay focused?
CARE FOR YOUR MIND AND BODY
Getting sleep, eating nutritious foods and engaging in mindfulness are all areas we need to keep up with. I won’t drill these things in as I’m sure you have heard all this before – but they’re too important not to include.
SET YOUR TIMER
If you enjoy watching game shows, this one might be a trick you especially enjoy. Use the timer on your phone to create a race-against-the-clock game for yourself to complete a task before time runs out. Somehow that self-inflicted challenge can really help you pick up your speed and not waste time dilly dallying around.
MAP OUT YOUR DAY
Sometimes knowing how to stay focused is really a matter of just knowing how to allocate your time. Once you jot down everything you need to do, break your day down into 30 minute increments on a piece of paper and assign timeslots for tasks. You can also add things like “Work on X project” to your calendar like it’s an appointment – because it is! (With yourself.)
TURN OFF AND TUNE OUT
You might think to yourself that you only have your television or Spotify on in the background, but you’d be amazed how much the chatter can distract you even when you think you’re not paying attention. Turn off television, podcasts, radio shows and any music with lyrics. In doing so, your mind will no longer have to fight distractions off all the time. If you do like some form of music, any instrumental soundtrack will suffice.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
We are all human and we all lose focus now and again. When this happens, don’t beat yourself up over it — because it’s entirely natural! Instead remind yourself that you can always get back on track and use the above tips on how to stay focused to do so!
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