Let's face it. We live in a world where everything is fighting for our attention constantly on a daily basis. We're so well connected to everyone everywhere that information is quite literally at our fingertips. What's worse, this has shortened our average attention span to only 8 seconds. How then can we stay productive and focused at work? Although it's tough, staying focused is not impossible. You can be in control of your mind and steer it to success. Here are a couple of things you can do to take charge of your mind to make a difference.
You're the captain of your ship and you're in control. When you charter the course of your day realistically, you'll find it easier to avoid unnecessary distractions. You can even build in rewards for each accomplished task. This feedback loop will remind your brain that the goals you set out to do can be done and is worthwhile. Be concrete and break down your tasks to short intervals without giving yourself too much room to slack off.
Unless you're planning to work yourself into burnout, doing 8-12 hours stretches without a break will easily grind you down. After putting in some solid work for 60-90 minutes, spend 5 minutes away from your workstation to cool off. Every little break counts and works like a reset button to keep your mind fresh and focused.
Schedule in some regular exercise and practice healthy eating. It has been proven that the lack of physical activities and a poor diet can make focusing a Herculean task. You don't need to hit the gym for 3 hours, pumping iron like Arnold though. Fit in 20 minutes of outdoor workout to get your blood flowing and it'll do wonders. As for food choices, pick proteins and natural foods to give your body and brain the energy and nutrients it needs to keep going.
There's really nothing that can replace a good 8 hours of sleep. That number varies for different individuals but what counts is getting enough of it. Sleep is how your internal system resets itself and one of the key drivers to staying focus. If you're not getting enough sleep at home, don't be afraid to take a nap at work. Of course, this doesn't mean taking a leisurely 2-hour afternoon nap. A 15-minute power nap will do wonders to help you stay sharp and improve productivity.
With the goals you've already set in your mind, create a checklist and work your way through it. Arrange the tasks according to their level of importance. Don't start off with what's easy, start with what matters the most. This can help you concentrate on what requires the most of your attention. If you see items on your list that drains the life out of you, delegate them.
We've evolved in such a way that distractions are just a part of our daily lives. By making better lifestyle choices and building in a support system that works, you'll be better equipped to be in control of your mind and to stay focus. With focus comes higher productivity and better quality work. Got any other suggestions that can be added to the post? Let us know.