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How to stay focused when you just can’t bring yourself to get things done? We’ve all had days or even extended periods of time when we couldn’t pull ourselves away from distractions (social media) or find the motivation to get going. This is normal, but we all know there are times we have to somehow make ourselves get focused and get something done. Below are ideas to help you turn things around for the better.
Here’s How to Stay Focused: 10 Valuable Tips:
1. One Task at a Time (Don’t Multitask)
As much as you want to get everything done, it comes with a big price. Multitasking makes you lose the ability to focus, according to scientists. A 2009 Stanford study showed how multitaskers are more prone to distractions than those who do not identify themselves as people who do mutlitasking.
Practice concentration by committing your attention to one task and not one more. This is exactly what you do when you play a sport. You often must focus on one task. So if needed, start gradually, increasing the time you spend doing one thing until you reach full dedication to one job for a larger amount of time. If you feel like you are starting to get distracted, just switch to the task at hand. Don’t allow yourself to wander off. Just as with trying to lose weight, it takes commitment to reach your goal.
2. Complete What You Start
One major part of how to stay focused is completing everything you start. It doesn’t matter the importance of the task; it is all about training your brain. Don’t give up on what you have to do even if it seems too hard or too unimportant.
Giving up on something, and this can be almost anything, will weaken your mental strength. Successful people know that achieving goals is important to helping to build self-confidence. Do your best now to achieve success in the future.
3. Write a To-Do List
Getting your goals and priorities in writing will ensure you will help you remember and get things done. Having a record of things to do in a set time will definitely help you stay focused on them. A list is a great way to help you stay on task. Oddly, we are more likely to get a task done, or complete a goal, if we write it down. You might take a look at the book, Write It Down, Make It Happen.
Crossing tasks off your list can also give you an incredible feeling of accomplishment. This will make you want to improve yourself to the extent needed to mark all your tasks as completed. You can even set them into categories depending on their importance or by when you need them done.
4. Take a Break
It’s true that a big part of how to get things done is to stay focused and do work that needs to get done. But, when you have big projects or homework it helps to take short breaks to help keep a good focus. Take a walk, close your eyes for a moment, or watch a short, entertaining video, anything you like. Occasional breaks from work increase your performance. And this is how to stay focused at work when you feel like you can’t take it anymore.
5. Get proper sleep
A night out now and then is OK. We’re only human, after all, and we need to enjoy ourselves. But try to stick to a good and consistent sleep schedule. Studies have linked sleep deprivation to poor concentration. Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep every night makes a big difference in your ability to maintain focus on your goals.
6. Caffeine (To a Point) is Your Friend
Coffee boosts focus. But don’t take our word for it. It’s science! Studies have shown that moderate amounts of caffeine help you concentrate, especially if experiencing fatigue. But know your own personal limits with caffeine. If you have too much and get jitters than this detracts from your focus.
7. Spend Time Alone
Spending time alone helps us in many ways. Being away from everything and everyone can help you get new insights and perspectives on things. Quiet time also helps your memory. Quiet time helps you consolidate what you are all learning. Finally, quiet time can be recovery time for your body. No matter how strong you think you are, we are all prone to burnout. Take only yourself out on walks, or do some meditation and yoga, read a book, or listen to good music. Recharge your batteries before surrounding yourself with teammates and other people again. This will increase your productivity and your focus.
Athletes already train so know that exercise is good for brain health too. According to scientists, regular exercise stimulates the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is essential for long-term memory and concentration. When athletes get injured sometimes they cannot train. This is why one’s mood can be affected when injured. So find alternative ways to move your body that does not negatively affect an injury.
9. Disconnect from Social Media
Working offline will help you get more things done, and you will also avoid distractions. Think about it this….how much time is wasted by checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks?
Of course, for some, working offline isn’t an option, as the Internet can be crucial to some lines of work and school. Therefore, keep your phone out of sight and also keep yourself signed out of any accounts that might be a temptation to check on. This advice goes out to people of all ages. It is a useful tip for all scholars and students who struggle to achieve concentration. This is how to stay focused on homework as well.
10. Decrease Noise
It can take as little as a car honk to take your mind off the task you are working on. Some people deal with noise better than others. Or at least they think they do. But the reality is that it’s virtually impossible to achieve 100% focus when surrounded by noise. That’s because noise stimulates the release of cortisol. Cortisol is also known as “the stress hormone”, and can hinder focus.
If you can’t get away from this type of distraction when doing homework or written projects, consider listening to ambient music. It’s a better alternative to street noise, screaming children, or other sounds. And you just might find it relaxing and stimulating enough to help you get more work done.
BUT, if you are an athlete and you want to practice focus for a game where there is a lot of loud noise, than consider practicing concentrating when there is noise. Figure out what mental tools you use to help you in these environments. Write those down! And use those tools or any of the above tools to help you with concentration in the future.
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