6 Ways to Find Focus

11/16/2012

Focused photo

There’s nothing quite so frustrating as when you can’t seem to focus. You change locations, quiet distractions, and still can’t seem to pull it together. As the day goes by you realize how much work you need to get done but even still, you can’t seem to harness the discipline. 

When focus is hard to find there are a number of steps that you can take to move in the right direction. 

1. Avoid Frustration

Frustration does little to change the depth of your focus. Rather, it pulls you away from what you’re unwilling to work on and starts an unnecessary fight with your inner self. Avoid wasting time hating yourself and take a break. For a few hours do something totally mindless--maybe go to a movie or go for a run. Then a few hours later get back to where you started with a fresh new perspective.

2. Stop Multitasking

The idea that you can truly focus your mind on a number of different avenues just isn’t accurate. Settle down and take an aerial view of your task list. Look at what really needs to be done first and work on it until you're done. Then, move onto the next task, crossing one item off at a time. 

3. Relax About the Little Things

If you’re really busy and as a result having trouble finding focus, ask yourself what aspects of your life you can relax on and let the things that don’t matter go. Focus on the meat of a project.

Focusing photo

4. Pinpoint Distractions

Write a list of the things you’re most likely to waste time on whether it be Facebook, Pintrest, Twitter, emailing, or texting. Set specific times for distractions, whatever they may be. In my case, I use Facebook for work but then end up checking it way too often throughout the day. By vowing to check it only once daily, I've made a lot of headway toward finding focus. 


 5. Sit Still 

Stay in your seat until you get a certain amount of work done. When you find your seat every morning make sure you're comfortable and have your beverage of choice in hand along with all the tools you need to get going. Treat your work place as you would your meditation seat -- choose it, get comfortable, and stay there until work is done. 

6. Three Tasks First 

Zen Habits outlines something called MITs or 3 Most Important Tasks and the importance of doing them first thing in the morning. "I personally believe in paying myself first with my time, and live it every day. I work on my personal goals first thing in the morning, before I do anything else. This way every day begins positively and in line with my future." Focus is mostly about brushing aside the tasks that don't matter and working on the most important items first.

Also, considering trying this method or this for a more efficient work ethic!

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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