There are a limited number of hours in the day to complete what needs to be done. For this reason, many people seek out tricks and tips regarding being more productive and finishing a greater number of tasks within a set amount of time. As with any wellness advice, keep in mind that not everything will work the same for each person. Here are four ways to focus and be more productive.
1. Cut Out Distractions
Distractions are all the little things that cause you to focus on something other than the task at hand. For some people, this might be the noise from cars and people walking down the street outside their windows. For others, this could be children or pets wanting attention during the workday. Many people also become distracted by messages and notifications on their smartphones.
Some distractions simply cannot be taken away. For example, children often have nobody else to watch them, and it is not realistic to stop travel along public streets. However, it is possible to reduce some disturbances. For example, a dark, thick curtain can curtail what you see and hear out the window. Making sure that cats and dogs have had enough playtime can reduce the likelihood that they will bother you while working. Most smartphones have an option to block notifications for a set period of time. Doing little things like these can make for a much more centered workspace.
2. Get Enough Fuel
Being hungry and listening to a growling belly is sure to make someone not focus as well as they could be. Make sure to have a light, healthy snack or meal before setting down to work. Foods containing a combination of protein and complex carbohydrates are best for staying full and reducing those hunger pains that could come back within a couple of hours.
According to Harvard Medical School, foods such as fatty fish, nuts, and green vegetables are particularly good for brain health, so make sure to regularly consume these foods if you want to support your brain.If you lack fatty fish in your diet, omega 3 supplements could supplement normal omegas.
3. Listen to Music
Many people enjoy listening to music but are unaware that doing so can support concentration levels and assist with studying or working. According to experts, music can help engage your reasoning skills and promote focus.
Not all music is the same, of course. Some students find it distracting to listen to music with lyrics while working, for example. Instrumental music, including classical and jazz genres, could be more beneficial for these people. There are many free playlists on the internet providing music that is conducive to studying, working, or otherwise trying to concentrate on a task.
4. Set Realistic Goals
Sometimes, an inability to focus stems from feeling overwhelmed, from feeling like you will never be able to complete what is in front of you. In these cases, it may be necessary to break the project down into smaller, more realistic goals. Setting a SMART goal is one way to do this. A SMART goal is:
- Specific, meaning that you state precisely what it is you want to complete
- Measurable, which means that you know what the completed goal will look like
- Achievable, meaning that you can realistically achieve your plan within the given timeframe
- Relevant, which refers to the goal being one that fits with your larger project
- Timely, meaning that you set an end date for the plan rather than making it open-ended
Breaking down a project into smaller pieces can help you focus on each individual task at hand.
When you find what works best for you when it comes to focusing, you can expect to see your productivity levels rise. Maintaining higher productivity levels without overworking yourself can lead to higher pay, work-life balance, and an overall happier mood.