If you catch your mind wandering when you have more on your plate and your daydreams are interrupting your work patterns, you may be suﬀering from a distracted mind. Don’t despair in this lack of productivity however, because focus can be improved with a handful of tips and techniques.
Prepare your mind
If you are about to work on a task that requires your full attention, it’s essential to calm yourself down and prepare the brain for work. Take a moment to clear your mind and take a few deep breaths in a quiet space, so you can concentrate on the task at hand.
Designate tasks and time
Although multitasking works for some, if you’re trying to complete a more complicated project, try to focus your full attention on this task alone. It may be easier to break it down into smaller chunks and allocate a certain amount of time for each, so the workload seems less daunting and more achievable.
Take short breaks
If you are tackling your checklist item by item, consider taking a quick time out after ticking oﬀ a task. Either getting some fresh air, taking a moment to close your eyes or even having a bite to eat can work wonders for returning with a clear head so that you’re ready to take on your next job and focus on the new work in front of you.
Although quite diﬃcult, one of the vital elements for a productive work space is lack of distraction. Close your email browser, listen to music with headphones on, turn oﬀ notiﬁcations or try to ﬁnd a place where you won’t be interrupted by others. If this isn’t possible, try telling those around you that you need to focus, and you would appreciate some time to work without distraction.
The more you try diﬀerent techniques and are aware of where your attention is drawn when working or studying, the more likely you are to ﬁnd tools that work for you when there is an important task that needs attending to. With the right mindset and methods, it is possible to establish a workspace that fosters focus.
This article was originally published in Issue 12, Hold Your Head High