In a day and age where our brains are constantly stimulated, where our awareness is constantly being barraged with distraction, and where our attention is habitually cast to our devices for excitement, staying focused and productive may be more challenging than ever.
There are fantastic pieces of advice from the productive-tycoons of today’s economy – Tim Ferris is a personal favorite – but paradoxically, many do not have the time, motivation or focus to read a series of books.
Staying focused and productive is a skill; you need to make sure you know how and what to practice.
Here are 7 important habits to staying productive and focused.
Meditation has been proven to increase focus, and when the benefits are realized, you will surely be more productive. Sitting down for at least 10 minutes each morning has been a hot topic amongst the most productive individuals of today. The benefit of breathing and relaxing the body and mind before you start your day is like spring-cleaning the headquarters of your life. Instead of organizing files, cleaning the surfaces, and rearranging the space in the office, you do so for your thoughts. Having set a tone to be present throughout your day not only makes you aware of what distractions you are surrounded with, but can also bring satisfaction and pleasure to tedious and mundane tasks. Meditation is not a once off action to benefit from, but once you are in a regular routine with sitting down and practicing, you will wonder why you didn’t start years ago.
Get Enough Sleep
There are shelves in libraries dedicated to books which speak of the importance of maintaining a good sleep cycle. Clinical guidelines recommend around 8 hours every night. IIf you struggle with insomnia, many have expressed that turning all electronic devices off at least an hour or more before bed really helps. Pair that with reading before bed, not eating eating an hour before, stopping nicotine intake 6 hours before and coffee 9 hours before bed may be your answer to a long, restful nights sleep.
Having a consistent exercise routine can be the difference between feeling like you have mud on your windshield to feeling like you just had your car cleaned. Aside from the physical and mental benefits, exercising is important in keeping your brain healthy and ready to focus. It can be a great break too, so that next time you sit down, you are ready to work.
Turn Your Social Notifications Off
Have you ever been elbow deep in a train of thought or in-the-zone and hear your phone’s notification go off? Social media platforms are designed to be addictive, so when you hear that vibration or ding, your brain habitually takes over your actions to look at the notification. It can take nearly 15 minutes to get into a productive mind-state, and breaking it for a message from your friend about a new movie is probably not the best idea. Turn your phone on silent or airplane mode to really cut it out as a distraction.
Take short breaks
The famous Pomodoro method is renowned for it’s ability to stoke and kindle productivity and focus. Work for 20 minutes and take a 5 minute break to walk around, make a coffee or to listen to your favorite song and sing along. Plus, it will be good for your posture!
Turn Away From The News
It’s important to stay updated with the world, but the News is a barrage of negativity, most of the time. Negative News can be stressing, especially in 2020. Consider turning it on at night for your updates (not before bed!) and steer clear to make sure you don’t feed yourself with negativity that may create distracting emotions or thoughts.
Set Daily Goals
Perhaps the most important. Waking up and journaling your daily goals can set all you need to do into a framework, where you can constantly check in with what you need to do. This can help remind you to not distract yourself with Instagram or that new episode you want to watch.