It’s no secret that there is a lot going on right now and we try to do everything we can to make sure we are sane and in safe spaces. Since COVID has robbed us of the ability to travel to places where it would take us a minute (or more) to decompress or relax, it has been difficult to physically move to another location to find balance or focus. A day at the beach has been replaced by a day of wellness or finding peace in various mental health strategies and techniques. Basically, the focus is on where we are mentally rather than physically. Finding that focus without changing your mindset is difficult, but it’s not impossible. Because of this, I’ve decided to outline five ways you can focus on during your day.
Before I share these five things, I want to mention that the goal of any of these strategies or techniques is to focus, and only that. The goal is not to be more efficient at work, school, or in your relationship. We all have tasks to do in everyday life, and regardless of what they are, we can better accomplish these goals if we can focus on them. This is especially important as a common symptom of some mental disorders is the ability to focus (and yes, I am one of the people who struggle with that). That being said, here are some helpful ideas!
Know your goal
I start too many tasks in my daily life without knowing why I am doing them. I’m not just talking about one project I’m working on either – I’m going to clean my apartment without knowing what my plan is! Figuring out your goal is a great way to focus specifically on the task and can help you keep track of what you’re doing in the near future. Oral reminders are also helpful – the number of times I’ve said out loud that I’m going to get something from another room so I can remind myself that there may be hundreds. Whatever works!
Talking to yourself can be good too!
If you’re like me there is a part of you that is afraid of talking to yourself in any context, but there are a few ways that it can help. Just because someone isn’t always there to hear you speak doesn’t mean it doesn’t help you figure things out! Talking to yourself can help you figure out why you’re having trouble focusing and how to address them. I used this technique to focus on writing a post and it has helped me finish my job more than a couple of times.
I don’t know where others fall on this topic, but in my opinion one person cannot have enough to-do lists. There are many different types of to-do lists too: work items, cleaning assignments, meals, chores, long-term goals, etc. One of the things that can get overwhelming is when a list keeps getting longer. Checking things off my smaller to-do lists makes me feel like I’ve made progress on something while also making sure I’m prioritizing things that need to be done – no matter how big or small they seem.
Close this (other) computer window!
Instead of including the best practice of troubleshooting your devices or finding time without looking at screens, I thought I’d add a tip that could help you while actually using them. I know it may seem necessary to open a million tabs when you’re working on a project or spending time on a computer, but closing those winders and trying to only open one tab / project for you is one Opportunity to Help Calm your mind and focus on the task at hand. When I have trouble buckling up my seat belt, I sometimes minimize the window I’m working in and see that five different things are open, all of which partially grab my attention! It is not easy to focus when your brain is pulling you in different directions.
Take deliberate breaks
Taking breaks has always been difficult for me, and I think the main reason is that while I am taking breaks, I rarely take an intentional break. What do I mean by that? A deliberate break is a time specifically dedicated to resting or recharging before your next task. Trying to have a quick lunch or look at your phone for a few minutes every now and then during the work day is not so intentional. If you can take a break with a clear goal of relaxing your brain even for a few minutes, you can return to a task with a new focus (yes, even if that task is to look aimlessly at your phone – it is there sometimes a task in itself!).
These are some of my most effective ways to find focus during my days, but I know there are many others! What are the best ways to find focus during your day? Have you tried a few that seem a little overrated? Let me know in the comments below!