Staying focused isn’t always easy. Here is a list of things we at Brand Plus Agency find helpful to keep our focus and get things done.
Set daily goals
Daily goals give you motivation and if they are S.M.A.R.T, show progress and highlight areas for improvement. What are S.M.A.R.T. goals? Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. A long-term S.M.A.R.T. goal example would be “I will develop a cannabis franchise in 3 different states by the year 2021.” Daily goals are 5-10 tasks you can accomplish within 24 hours that chip away at your long-term goals.
Divide difficult tasks into smaller manageable tasks
It always seems like the moment you need to work on a large project you need to do laundry, dishes, walk the dog or surf Facebook. That should be your cue to break down the task at hand into even smaller tasks. We don’t like to fail. Instead of trying to bite off more than we can chew, we resort to simple tasks we already know how to accomplish for that hit of dopamine. Thus, our projects keep getting pushed back with more tasks being added because we haven’t done anything yet. See how this can become a compound problem? Recognize when you miss prioritizing your tasks and ask yourself if what your doing can be broken up into smaller pieces.
Schedule your routine based on your own energy levels throughout the day
The first thing that you want to do is take note of your sleeping patterns. Create a consistent time to wake up and fall asleep every day. Your circadian rhythms, the behavioral pattern of your energy over a 24-hour period, are affected by things like hormones, metabolism, light exposure and other external factors. When your circadian rhythms get out of sync it can cause you to have unexpected energy drops and less productive days. Leverage times when you are well rested for detailed tasks and save creative tasks for when you’re a bit tired.
Removing distractions doesn’t mean just straightening up your workspace, logging out of Facebook or hiding your cell phone. You want to remove your mental distractions as well. We all have had the most amazing ideas pop into our heads at the least convenient time. Instead tumbling down the rabbit hole of exploring those ideas right away, keep a written list of thoughts to address later to remove the mental distraction so you can refocus. Then once a day or once a week you can address all those ideas in more structured, focused way.
It may not seem like it at first but brief interruptions during focused tasks allow us to reengage at a higher level over a longer period. Studies have shown we can get bored and are unable to retain information we are gaining during long periods of work. New memories and neuron connections are formed during our downtime, not when we are in the thick of things. Breaks also give us some time reevaluate our goals and track progress. No one likes to be 6 hours into work when the progress went off course 5 hours ago. That’s a lot of time wasted.
This is the fun part! Building up habits is focusing on a task every day over time. That means celebrating those individual victories over and over to reinforce progress. It can be difficult to keep motivation up when there is only one goal at the end and many challenging steps in between. Rewards are a good way to find a nice work/play balance in life each day. Your reward doesn’t have to take long or cost a lot of money, but it should be something to change the way you are thinking in the moment and get your mind off of work.
Create a routine
Practice, practice, practice. A routine helps create a predictable schedule and find a groove to maximize your time and energy. It groups daily tasks in a way to make completing them easier and faster. It will also reduce stress because you will have time allotted to think about specific topics and increase overall focus. A routine gives you the ability to complete and clear a task from your mind.
Your brain is only 2% of your body weight but uses 20% of its energy. If you aren’t feeding your body the proper nutrition you will start to notice memory problems, fatigue and even your ability to concentrate will drop. The brain loves good fats like avocados to help protect it from deterioration. It also likes leafy greens like kale and spinach because of the vitamins and minerals available to help the brain function daily tasks.
The brain is 85% water. That means the delicate balance of your head soup is comprised mainly of water. The production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine are dependent on the availability of water. A neuroscience journey published hydrated participants were about to think 14% fast, stay focused longer and be more creative.
Use caffeine as a tool, not a fuel
It can be a habit for many of us to roll out of bed and stumble our way to the coffee pot to start our day. Recent studies have shown however that our peak cortisol production time is right after we rise. By drinking coffee within the first hour of our day, we are suppressing the hormone that regulates our circadian rhythm. The circadian rhyme is our body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and can become dependent on caffeine for regulation instead of the body’s natural cortisol production.
Last and certainly not least is maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. There are studies after studies showing the benefits of sleep with focus and health. One has even suggested recently that a person can’t make up for lost sleep over a period. So don’t cut yourself short on your on focus tomorrow by not sleeping today.
Brand Plus Agency cares about self-improvement. We would love to know how you stay focused throughout the day. Comment your tips below and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive up to date articles about SEO and being Positive.