Loads of folks love to give tips on better focus. They’re going to tell you the usual things like if you sleep better, you’ll be able to focus better! Well, yes, thanks for that bit of very obvious advice. We’re sure we’re not alone when we say we all know that if we’re not super tired we’ll be able to concentrate and focus better. Or how about that tip of eating better? Grand! Yeah, we know we are what we eat. So, if we’re scarfing junk food and forgetting to take our multivitamins in the morning or missing our CBD gummies at lunch break, we’re probably not going to be our usual selves. Got it! What we really need for better focus, though, are methods that target the big picture. And these need to be realistic. So, in this article we’re going to help you improve your overall life focus – whether that is your job, your family or both – through a few special tools. We’ll discuss routine, planning, goals and practice in ways that are useful to you.
Routine for the Win
One of the biggest problems people face with honing their focus is not knowing what to focus on to begin with. Not having a proper routine and doing whatever “pops up” as it comes is the unfortunate norm. This makes it easy to become distracted and fall further off task as the day goes on, always chasing that thing we were supposed to do at that earlier time. This is just as true for those of us taking care of our families in our homes, as much as for others who are in an office or on a work site.
As we lead increasingly digital lives, connected by mini supercomputers tucked neatly into our pockets or bags at all times, it’s easy to forget that there is a time and place for everything. Allow yourself to fall into the rhythm of a proper daily and weekly routine, and it will be easier to focus on your jobs or tasks, regardless of what they are. Your brain will know what to expect. And it will be comforted knowing that there’s time for the other stuff later.
Routine is so powerful and important that researchers discussed its necessity for patients having adherence issues when it comes to medicine and vital changes in lifestyle to improve their personal health. They mention incorporating changes slowly to help with adjustments. Great advice!
Don’t revamp your entire daily or weekly schedule all at once. Tweak it gradually until you get it where you need it. Before long, you’ll be way more focused and able to do each duty as it occurs without worry about the others. Why? Because you have a routine, and you can focus!
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
In our society, we love to romanticize and play up spontaneity and unpredictability. But when it comes to focus, these sorts of things can be deadly. The antidote? Some good old-fashioned planning. Planning can take several different forms in your life. You can create more focus in your mornings for taking care of the kids by laying out your clothes and prepping lunches the night before. Or have a meal plan that lets you know what today’s breakfast will be, and you’ll be able to turn your attention to more demanding things.
You can also focus more on jobs at work if you create outlines and workflow plans for different assignments and jobs. Maybe even some general templates for replying to emails that need immediate attention but tend to draw focus when you have to type them all out yet again.
The fact is a lot of what we do in our work involves repetition. Learning how to make sure you’re working smarter, not harder is going to allow your focus to stay where it needs to be. It’s like walking into the gym without a plan for what you’re doing that day and with no idea what you’ll be doing for the rest of the week. You’ll hop from station to station, machine to machine and not really have a cohesive flow. When you insert plans into that routine we mentioned, you’ll be freeing yourself to focus hardcore on what you most need without allowing all that other noise to distract you.
Get SMART About It
One of the best ways to focus your attention is to set goals for yourself related to any tasks or jobs you need to complete. And the best goals are SMART goals. That is, they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Having a clear and specific goal means better focus for what it is that you’re doing. Knowing what you want to accomplish, why it’s important, and who is involved are all things to consider here.
When your goal is measurable, you can track your progress to achievement more easily, allowing you to focus better on it. Ask yourself questions like how much or how many? And how will you know when the goal is achieved? If your goal isn’t attainable, you’re already defeating yourself. Ask yourself at the beginning how realistic it is related to any limitations or constraints, especially regarding time. You’ll be hard-pressed to focus on the impossible, after all.
How relevant a goal is relates to how much it matters to you, your job or people who are important to you. Attaching this kind of meaning to your goals will hone your focus. And, last, if there’s no target time associated with your goal, you’re going to give yourself permission to break focus from it and start doing other things. There’s nothing like a good deadline to ensure focus is where it needs to be!
Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect
This final tip relates to the other three that were just covered. You need to be willing to practice, or try, these methods and do so as consistently and frequently as possible. The more you do them, the better you’ll get.
The first week of a new morning routine, the first set of meal plans or your inaugural SMART goals might all come out looking a little haggard the first time around. However, if you take what you learned and continue to push forward with them, you’ll find yourself getting better at it.
Suddenly that morning routine flows, all those meals are coming off without a hitch, and you’re achieving more goals than ever before. And, as a result, you’re able to focus your attention better. Will you ever be perfect at it all? No! Of course not! But think of this more as a progress, not perfection, sort of situation. And soon you’ll be so much better than when you started that when you look back, it will kind of feel like you are doing it perfectly in comparison.
Some Good Backups …
These are all big-picture ideas, which, of course, don’t always work perfectly. No matter how good our routines, plans or goals, our focus is sometimes pulled every which way, and it leaves us feeling anxious and distracted. You can try incorporating some mini-meditations or deep-breathing exercises or helpful supplements into your day when you need that helping hand.
Deep breathing is exactly what it sounds like. Just take a deep breath through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Then do it again. And again. Let your shoulders drop. Allow your jaw to lower. Drop that tongue from the roof of your mouth. A few more deep inhalations through the nose and exhales through the mouth, and you should feel a relaxed clarity that will help you focus.
If that’s not your jam, you can also add some natural cognitive enhancers like CBD capsules to your routine. They can help you feel more alert and bring a new level of concentration to your workflow that definitely wasn’t there before. You’ll then be able to focus on the task at hand without your wandering mind getting the better of you. Whatever you decide to go with, whether it is big-picture or in-the-moment, you have tons of options for improving your focus.