It’s hard to stay focussed when you have so much to do on any given day. If there’s a particularly important project that needs your full attention, follow these top tips from Sam Edwards at Inc.com to improve your focus.
1 Change your environment
If you work in a noisy office or find it hard to concentrate when the phone keeps ringing, find a new environment in which to work. Turn off your email notifications and set up an auto-reply to say you’re busy and will answer any messages at a later time. Identify what causes you to get distracted and avoid those factors.
Here’s that word “mindfulness” again. Declutter your brain and return to a place where your thoughts are clear. Learn to recognise when you’re allowing yourself to get distracted so you can pull yourself away from it as quickly as possible.
A recent study shows exercising a few hours after learning something new can help you retain the memory. The benefits of physical activity don’t stop there, though. Regular exercise relieves stress and helps your brain focus.
4 Make lists
Summarising the tasks you need to complete in a clear and simple list is one of the best ways for you to improve your focus. List everything from most to least important to give you a natural order to the day. If something comes up – a phone call or email that needs an urgent answer – add it to the list so you can move onto it after you’ve completed the task at hand.
5 Improve your memory
Practise memorising passages from the book your reading or your favourite poems. This helps build your vocabulary and can also do wonders for improving your focus. Once you have it committed to memory, try recalling it every day for several days.
6 Pull everything apart
Sometimes a big project seems daunting until you break it down into smaller parts. Try not to look at the big picture if you’re having a hard time working through something. Break it down into smaller tasks and list them in order of importance. Suddenly a mountain will seem like a molehill.
7 Set power hours
Studies suggest breaking your day into smaller chunks can help avoid stress and improve your focus. Set up your schedule so work non-stop for 45 minutes to an hour, with a short break between each rep in which you take a breather or check your messages. You’ll be less likely to get distracted by incoming queries if you know you’ve got a break coming up anyway.
Read the original article at on.inc.com/1XKYYVb