David Rock, author of Brain at Work, says—“We are only focused on our work merely 6 hours a week.”
How well people concentrate is said to be a key component in determining success. I want to share some of my focus hacks with you all because being focused is key to accomplishing your goals, and turning your dreams into reality. Staying focused is challenging in today’s world because we are living in an era of information overload! Being connected at all times to the internet, events, and people from all over the world serves as a key factor in our day-to-day distractions. Multitasking, highly celebrated in the corporate world, also decreases our focus. Multitasking re-wires our minds to work on many things at a time without much focus or attention to detail.
6 Hacks to Increase your Focus:
- Minimize Notifications: Turn off notifications to unimportant applications and emails. Every time your screen lights up the blood in your brain moves away from the area of concentration it was just in to another area. That is heavy work for your mind and by the time you get back to what you were doing your brain has lost its momentum in that area.
- Write out your to-do’s the night before: One of the worst distractions is remembering that you forgot to do something important. The solution to this is to get a small agenda or notepad and jot down the important things you have to do the next day. I usually allocate 5 minutes before I go to bed to jot down the things I must get done the next day.
- Limit Multi-tasking: In today’s corporate world it is very difficult to completely eliminate multitasking, but time is money and you must know how to prioritize the things you give focus to. When I first get a new task I ask myself the following questions: Can I delegate this? If the answer is yes, then I send it to the team that can help me complete that task. If not then I ask, how important it is? From there I work on the most important tasks first.
- Stretch Breath and Laugh: Lack of concentration can occur due to stress, and anxiety, these things negatively affects your focus because not enough oxygen is flowing to your brain. If I am feeling stressed I like to stop what I am doing and do some chair yoga exercises, or breathing techniques. Breathing and yoga automatically increases your oxygen intake, this in turn, strengthens your mind capability. Laughter is another great option, maybe watch a funny YouTube video that lasts no more than two minutes. Releasing the “happy” endorphin into your brain minimizes anxiety and increases concentration.
- Eat Lightly: Nutrition plays a big role in your focus. Eating heavy meals will increase your blood sugar levels and fog up the neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that are responsible for memory, focus, motivation, and anxiety. Remember, every part of your body is connected to each other. Many nutritionists call the brain the second gut, so by giving your gut light and natural meals your mind will reward you by staying clear and focused.
- Get your Zzz in: Feeling sleepy trying to finish a big project makes staying focused harder. Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep on average and drink lots of water before bed to make sure your organs (including your mind) are all getting rebooted for the next day.