That’s why I have put together 13 top tips that will help you to find your focus once again.
These tips are small and immediately actionable.
It may seem like a cliche but it is absolutely, 100% fact that dehydration causes lapses in concentration.
Some boffins somewhere suggest drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day.
How many have you had so far?
When you are hammering away, trying to get the important shit done, distractions are rife.
Playing music on repeat will help to block out the world. Get yourself a half-decent set of headphones, find some music that makes you feel good and play it on repeat.
You might think that playing music will be just another distraction. However, having the music on repeat helps create a sensory enclosure. An area where the noise, hustle and bustle of the world around you becomes someone else’s problem.
Schedules and todo lists can be daunting. You glance over at that list and feel dread.
You can, however, smash call of duty for hours on end without the struggle for concentration. This is because games have an almost instant feedback loop.
Break every task down into its smallest stages. When each stage is completed you need to give yourself some positive feedback and encouragement.
If you can get a partner in on this, then even better as the feedback is far more effective when it comes externally.
One thing that is super common amongst people that find themselves procrastinating is the constant and unrelenting barrage of self-deprecating statements.
The things you do when you procrastinate obviously matter to you because you get some measure of comfort from them. It doesn’t matter whether that thing is watching Netflix or playing games on your phone or staring out the window looking at the scenery. It’s all entertainment.
Instead of preventing yourself from doing these things, schedule in time for them. Give them the time that they deserve so that you can still get what you need from those activities.
Some people can just go on forever. They can just work and work and work and nothing seems to happen to them.
Nobody can keep going forever. Nobody can hold their attention all day every day. Nobody.
The average person has around 40 minutes of optimal concentration time which is followed by around 20 minutes of recovery time.
However, everyone is different. You are not average. You are unique in this world. So you need to do some experimentation to find out what your optimal attention period is.
Schedule your time based on the results and your productivity will skyrocket.
There will be times when you really need to get stuff done and people trying to contact you, the phone is pinging notifications at us non-stop.
While engaging in a focused work block, put your phone in another room.
It’s a really simple thing but it has a really powerful impact. If you are concerned that you’re nothing but a distraction. Not only that, but we also have social media and 10 million other apps going to miss something important just remind yourself that by staring at your phone you’re missing something equally important, i.e. your work.
While engaging in a focused work block, put your phone in another room.
Your phone isn’t evil, it’s doing exactly what it’s designed to do. You, however, are not quite doing what you were designed to do. Every time your attention is pulled away from your work and directed towards your phone your work starts to suffer. Which, translates to – your customers start to suffer.
Part of the reason so many entrepreneurs struggle to focus is because there is no end to the working day.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that they spend all day working, but it does mean that they spend all day thinking about their work.
Clearly defining your working hours is something that is absolutely vital.
You need to know when your day is going to end. It is not healthy to live with so much pressure and part of relieving the pressure comes from clearly defining those working hours.
There are lots of benefits from having clearly defined working hours; but the main one is this: having a clearly defined start and finish to your work day helps to separate it from your personal life.
Breathing exercises are a fantastic way of regaining your focus.
I’m no expert in meditation and breathing exercises but I can tell you from my own personal experience (and my clients too) that doing some basic deep breathing exercises before your work block really does make a difference.
Box breathing is a technique I was taught many years ago. It helps to boost concentration and can also help reduce stress. It was called something else when it was taught to me but I am informed that the cool kids these days call it box breathing.
Inhale for 4 seconds.
Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
Exhale for 4 seconds.
Hold your breath again for 4 seconds.
Go through that for a couple of minutes before each work block and you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of success.
Also, next time someone else’s bad behaviour threatens to derail your day make sure that you do the box breathing then. I know from my own personal experience that it really can mean the difference between reacting to something and thinking it through.
How often do you find yourself comparing yourself to others?
Or, maybe you find yourself comparing yourself to yourself on a different day?
Neither of these things help you to figure out how to move forward. All they serve to do is create a negative mindset.
Instead of comparing yourself to others (or yourself on a different day with a different mindset) try to focus your thoughts on what you could be doing better right now.
Think about how your right now could be improved. Would working harder make it better? Maybe stepping back and taking some time to recover? These are constructive thoughts, comparisons are not.
As a fully blown caffeine fiend I can’t believe I’m suggesting this but here we are 😂
Coffee is a wonderful thing. It is heaven in a cup. With that being said, it is also a lie.
Caffeine is a stimulant. A drug like any other.
When you use a stimulant to help you to boost your energy levels you are not really getting more energy.
Instead, your body is stealing energy from future reserves. The more caffeine that you consume the more catastrophic the crash will be.
Caffeine just makes your energy, or lack of in this case, future you’s problem. Not only that, it intensifies the negative effects of burnout and exhaustion.
As a human being you have a finite amount of energy per day.
As an entrepreneur, you have a continual need to work at 1,000,000 miles an hour.
Of all the things that you will do throughout the day, your recovery time is by far the most important.
Giving yourself recovery time between each activity will mean that each activity will get the best of you.
Not giving yourself recovery time between activities will result in a reduction in quality of output. Basically, you’ll struggle to focus and start fucking things up.
If your child was struggling would you call them a lazy, worthless fuck?
Of course you wouldn’t. So, why do you do that to yourself?
When you are struggling to focus you need to give yourself encouragement. Berating yourself only ever makes things worse.
You are an absolute rockstar, don’t forget it!
Perfection is, thanks to its subjective nature, an impractical goal to set for yourself. Any goal that is unattainable is impractical and, let’s be honest, pretty fucking stupid.
If you find yourself seeking perfection and refusing to put anything out until it’s just so then what you are actually doing is procrastinating.
What do your customers need?
Does your product/service fulfil those requirements? Yes? Then get it out there!
Written By Mike on 14.03.2021