Improve Focus

There are tons of ways that you can improve focus in your life. Learning to focus in a more concentrated way on the thoughts and tasks that are at hand can help you become more efficient and get more done in less time. If you’re ready to improve focus, here are a few tips that will help you do it:

Create a list of priorities

One of the reasons that many people have trouble focusing is that they flit from task to task throughout the day, which splits up focus and leaves them with a plateful of half-finished tasks. Instead of doing this, start each day with a list of your top few priorities, and work through them one by one. Of course, you might get interrupted with meetings and such during the day, but you can improve focus by spending the time you have on the most important tasks you need to complete.

Use a timer

I personally love using a timer to improve focus throughout the day. The problem with focus is that you only have so much of it. I can’t concentrate on a given task for more than about forty-five minutes before I get totally distracted. If I just allow myself to get distracted, I’ll dwindle off working on that task, and I’ll be totally inefficient for the next forty-five minutes until I realize what I’m doing.

When I really need to improve focus, I set a time on my cell phone. I’ll set the timer for forty-five minutes, and during that forty-five minutes, I’ll do nothing but work on the task at hand. At the end of that time period, I’ll take a fifteen minute break.

This might seem excessive. At the end of an eight-hour workday, I’ll end up putting two whole hours into breaks. However, during the forty-five minutes I’ve worked with such intensity that I’ve gotten about an hour and a half’s worth of work done, which means that this timer technique actually makes me more productive throughout the day!

Plus, during my fifteen minute break, I always try to do something physical, whether that’s walking around, picking up my living room, or cleaning the kitchen. Getting my blood pumping a little loosens up my muscles so I don’t get sore from sitting in front of the computer all day, and it also increases blood flow to the brain, so I can improve focus for the next forty-five minute task.

Work when you’re at your best

If you work a regular nine-to-five job, this can be a little harder, and you might have to try to make your natural peak sometime during your work hours by adjusting your sleeping and eating schedule. If you work from home or remotely, though, you can improve focus by working when you’re most likely to be focused.

For me, I am most focused in the late morning to early afternoon and again in the evening. I always hit an afternoon slump where I find it harder to focus. If I can, I take a nap during this period. If not, I leave tasks that require less focus for this period. Tasks that require more focus, I’ll do when I’m at my best. That way, I can improve focus for the most important priorities.

Meditate

One of the best ways to improve focus in a very tangible way is to practice meditation. I do yoga most days, and at the end of my yoga practice, I spend some time in meditation. During meditation, you learn to improve focus by blocking out distractions. It’s helpful for stress relief at the time, but it helps me increase my level of focus throughout the workday, as well, so that I’m more productive.