We’ve all had those days (or weeks) where our minds just aren’t there. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to focus on anything! It’s especially tough in a modern world — technology is ahead, and it’s up to us to halt the madness. To put it in perspective, a goldfish has a higher attention span than Americans. Goldfish! We can certainly improve our powers of productivity, and concentration (Phew!) — Here are a few hacks to get your mind back on track! (PS: Consistency is key).
- Listen to music: Yep, we’re starting out easy! Music has actually been proven to be a mood-booster. Listen to your body, and play music according to your mood. (Currently listening to Spotify’s ‘Relax & Unwind’ station). They have something for everything!
- Environment: I always have fresh-flowers by my side when I work — I just love the smell, colors and inspiration they provide me. (It really is the little things in life, right?). I work better in a beautiful, inviting environment. I also try to keep the clutter away (it drives me crazy!)
- Super Foods: Eating super food (walnuts, spinach, berries, etc) can actually improve blood flow to the brain, and regulate blood pressure. (I’m currently snacking on tropical Starbursts — this one may take awhile to get used to.) If you’re feeling a little dull, reach for a healthy snack. (Apples are also great for caffeine!)
- H20: Dehydration can make us feel irritable, sleepy, and sick. Our brains need fluid, or they cannot function properly. Obviously, everything in moderation — but you’ll definitely see an improvement overnight by performing this simple task! Need a reminder? I am obsessed with ‘Thyme is Honey’ to-do list with h20 goals!
- Walk: For those of you who eat at their desk, fine — but, please, do me a favor and take a walk around the block! Your mind+body need the exercise/break. Sometimes, we just need to step away for a refreshing perspective.
- Turn it off: Whenever my boyfriend works, he puts his cell-phone in the room next to him so he’s free of distractions. You don’t know how many times I end up picking my cell-phone in a given hour! I’ve also started this habit, and I’m accomplishing my tasks at a much faster pace! I’m coming for you, goldfish! Also: avoid computers for the first, and last hour of each day. Spending time away from e-mail significantly improves one’s ability to focus. Use this time to relax, and detach from technology.
- Meditate: I’ve always been a fan of meditation — it trains your mind to be in the present, so you’re not constantly worrying about the future. There are so many guided-meditations that I enjoy (Headspace is a favorite). Get in the habit of doing this daily, and your mind will start feeling at ease. An eased mind helps productivity/focus.
- Buddy System: Teaming up with a friend/colleague can help hold you accountable. Also, it sparks competition (healthy competition, of course).
- Prioritize: Do your hardest tasks when you’re most alert (for me, this is mid-morning) — After 4pm, forget it!
- Set rewards: Did you accomplish 2 tasks within 45 minutes? Treat yo-self! Little rewards can often be great motivators. For instance, I will not take my bubble-bath until my blog is written! The faster I get my blog done, the sooner I can enjoy my happy place. Productivity at its best!
Tell me below — How do you focus?