In today’s world, we are all bombarded with so many external stimuli that it can feel almost impossible to remain on task. Our jobs and relationships require us to be paying attention if we want to be successful so you may be wondering how to stay focused all day to do that.
There are those individuals who turn to medications or things like energy drinks to keep them alert and paying attention to what they must face every day. However, there are so many side effects of these things. Fortunately, there are various strategies that do not affect your health but do allow you to accomplish what you need to do.
#1. Exercise on a Regular Basis
Exercise is obviously good for your body to keep your muscles strong and your ligaments flexible. Studies have shown that it can also help you learn how to stay focused all day whereas living a sedentary lifestyle can actually be harmful.
When you exercise regularly, chemicals that rewire your memory circuits are released. As a result, your ability to learn new content and increase your memory improves and thus, you are capable of accepting new information.
#2. Minimize MultiTasking
When we have too much on our plate, it is extremely difficult to focus thoroughly on anything. Our attention is spread across too many things and it is nearly impossible to be conscientious and efficient.
Therefore, attempt to keep your multitasking down to a bare minimum. Prioritize your tasks for the day and complete those deemed the most important or time-sensitive. It is also wise to take some time for those unexpected tasks that will pop up.
Meditation requires an abundance of focus on your part, right down to the rhythm of your breathing. It helps you to learn how to stay focused all day so that you can transfer this skill to your other activities.
#4. Consume Some Caffeine
Notice how the word “some” not “an infinite amount” is in the title? Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, keeping you alert and awake for some time. However, with too much caffeine intake, one can develop digestive issues, increased blood pressure, and experience insomnia so be cautious of how much you ingest.
#5. Make a List
This is an important strategy for becoming self-disciplined and focused is to make a list. When we can see what lies ahead of us on a piece of paper or even on your phone, we can begin to prioritize and tackle our tasks. Especially if we are faced with many things to do, it is easy to forget those little items.
#6. Take Breaks
All work and no play make Johnny a dull boy as the saying goes. It also creates a situation where burnout may occur. Learn to take breaks to give your body and mind a rest, especially if you are someone who may suffer from the symptoms of anxiety.
Even a simple walk around the building or change in scenery can recharge you so you can refocus. No one is getting any awards for working 24 hours a day.
#7. Separate Work and Home
These days we have access to our work emails and files no matter where we are so keeping work at work becomes more and more difficult. However, it is actually very important that you do so. Your home life – your relationships, children, friendships, your home – need your attention too.
#8. Have your Quiet Place
Surrounding yourself with constant noise is not good for the brain or your ability to focus. It will actually release a chemical called cortisol which is known as a stress hormone. Your body reacts to stress and finding focus is compromised. Finding a quiet space is just one of the ways to increase your brain function.
#9. Get Quality Sleep
Your brain needs sleep for numerous reasons if it is to function properly. Most people need between 7 – 9 hours of quality sleep but the unfortunate fact is most people are not getting that and are suffering from the detrimental effects of that poor sleep.
If you want to be able to increase your alertness throughout the day, it is essential that you are finding ways to improve your sleep. With that, you will begin to notice changes in your productivity levels.
#10. Train Your Brain
Your brain is a muscle and like every other muscle in your body, it too needs exercise and training to improve. Try different puzzle games or even an app like Lumosity to strengthen your brain so it knows how to stay focused all day.
#11. Work offline
When you are working and attempting to complete a task, do it offline. What this means is do not have various unnecessary apps or social media like Instagram or Facebook as open tabs.
There is too much of a desire to check up on the latest “status” which draws your attention away from what you SHOULD be doing. Every time you become distracted or interrupted and try to go back to your actual project, your brain needs a moment to refocus, losing valuable time.
#12. Find a Favourite Workspace
As an educator, I found that it was necessary for me to do the majority of my work in my classroom. My brain would immediately go into “work” mode and I was able to be productive and more efficient. It also helped that all of my supplies and tools were in one place and I was not scrambling to find what I needed. If I took work home, I found that I would always find something better to do – watch TV, clean the dishes, tend to my plants, or even talk on the phone.
Find where you work best if you truly want to stay focused all day. It could be at a coffee shop or in the office in your basement or maybe even in your backyard. Wherever that place may be, be sure that you are working to the best of your ability.
#13. Assign Certain Tasks Certain Hours
As I mentioned previously, I found working in my classroom was essential for me to stay focused. However, I could also find that time would easily get away from me and before I knew it, I had put in far too many hours at the workplace.
If you are focusing on one task, allot a certain time period to that task and stick to it. Usually, things taken longer than we expect to complete but it is important that you learn when it is time to step away. You can always return to it.
#14. It’s OK to Be Bored
Can you sit in your backyard, enjoying the sunshine and nothing else? Or do you need to be pulling the weeds or checking your social media or typing out the report that is due next week?
Try to embrace boredom to give your brain a much-needed rest. Close your eyes and feel the warmth of the sun upon your face for a full 10 minutes. You would be surprised at how refreshed you may feel afterward. You do not need to be constantly busy doing something.
Knowing how to stay focused all day can be challenging. However, with a few changes in your habits and mindset, you can learn how to be better at what you set out to do each day.