Tuesday, June 11, 2019

7 Best-Kept Secrets to Improve Your Focus

It may be summertime and the "livin' is easy" right now, but this could also be the BEST time to learn how to re-focus and concentrate on your priorities and the tasks that matter. However, HOW does one DO that when focus is a real challenge? There are actually some very practical steps you can take NOW during this summer season in order to experience better focus and concentration throughout the entire year. We're here to help you do just that with a set of seven steps to improve your focus and concentration on the things that truly matter.

7 Best-Kept Secrets to Improve Your Focus

1. Plan and Structure Your Day
Think about your day BEFORE it begins instead of REACTING to it throughout the day. Consider the day of the week and the tasks that may be associated with that particular weekday. Then take into account the new or specific tasks for just that day. While you are doing this, you are beginning to formulate a mental list of priorities to address throughout that day. This is the first step to improving your focus.

2. Create Lists
Next, write down (yes, write---not enter on your phone!) the important tasks you must address on that day. Use actual paper or Post-It Notes to do this. If needed, break down each task into steps on a separate sheet or sticky note. If yo.u find it even more helpful, place these lists at eye level in your workspace. Tackle each tacks separately. Then cross each one off as you accomplish the tasks. The results may surprise you. Not only will you improve your focus, but you will discover that your productivity will increase proportionately.

3. Detach from Tech
The phone is so often the primary culprit of focus issues. It demands your attention almost constantly, if you let it. Take control of that phone and the other devices that steal away your attention and take your focus to other things that may very well have nothing to do with your goals. Set aside the phone or at least turn off the sound or notification settings. This may be the ultimate challenge for many of us---to disconnect from our tech. In doing so, however, not only will you turn off the distractions caused by tech, you will also be decreasing the stress caused by others' priorities served up via those tech devices.

4. Be Mindful
Mindfulness is a buzz word in our world today. True mindfulness is "the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something." It is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Mindfulness is often used as a therapeutic technique, but we all could benefit from the use of it on a daily basis. Begin to practice genuine mindfulness by first becoming aware of the moments of multi-tasking you do. These multi-tasking moments can drain your energy and your brain's ability to pay attention to what is currently most important to you.

5. Decrease Multi-tasking
"This ONE thing I do." Make this your mantra. Address ONE task at a time AND do it WELL. Then look at the next task on your list and address it---without looking at the rest of your list in that same moment. Doing this will not only de-stress and improve your mindfulness, it will also improve the QUALITY of the work achieved. What a win-win for you and your colleagues!

6. Take Restful Breaks
Do not underestimate the POWER of a brain break or pause for rest. Ten minutes spent in stepping away from a task can save you much-needed time later because your improved attention and focus as well as the quality of work produced AFTER the break will also improve.

7. Remember to Feed Your Brain
Did you know that the RIGHT foods can improve your focus, too? Yes, indeed---and in a big way, too! There are surprising benefits apart from helping to survive and provide energy. Food can affect our mood, increase energy, mental clarity and remove brain fog. Most of the time we overlook the wonderful benefits that food can provide and don’t realize our lack of focus could be due to not eating proper food items. Try to avoid sugar and trans fats as they can make you feel depressed and mentally foggy.

Try some of the following "brain" foods and you will soon discover the positive difference in your level of focus throughout the day:

-Fish rich in omega-3's (salmon, sardines, herring, etc.)
-Avocados, celery, kale and sea vegetables
-Dark chocolate (yum!)
-Olive and coconut oils
-Other foods, too.


5 Ways to Improve Your Focus---by Jes Dickerson

12 Brain Foods That Supercharge Your Memory, Focus & Mood---by Deane Alban

For information about customizable focusing tools for readers and learners of all ages, please visit: FocusandRead.com ---Tools for challenged readers of all ages!

Image courtesy of: Brennan Innovators, LLC and Pixabay