It’s no secret that there’s a lot going on right now, and that we’re trying to do everything we can to make sure that we’re mentally healthy and in safe spaces. Since COVID has robbed us of the ability to travel to places when we need a minute (or more) to decompress or relax, it’s been difficult to get to another place physically to find balance or focus. A day at the beach has been replaced by taking a wellness day off work, or finding peace in different mental health strategies and techniques. Basically, the focus is on where we are mentally instead of physically. And finding that focus without changing your setting is hard, but it’s not impossible. That’s why I decided to share five ways that you can find focus during your day.
Before I share these five things, I want to mention that the goal of each of these strategies or techniques is to focus, and only that. The goal isn’t to be more efficient at work, or school or in your relationship. We all have tasks to do during our daily lives, and regardless of what they are, we’re better able to accomplish those goals when we can buckle down and focus on them. This is especially important, since a common symptom of some mental health disorders is an ability to focus (and yes, I’m one of those people who struggles with this). That being said, here are some helpful ideas!
Know Your Goal
I start too many tasks in my day-to-day life without even knowing why I’m doing them. I’m not just talking about a project I’m working on, either – I’ll start cleaning my apartment without knowing what my plan is! Figuring out your goal is a good way to focus on the task specifically, and can help keep your eye on what you’re doing in the immediate future. Verbal reminders are also helpful – the number of times I’ve said, out loud, that I’m grabbing something from another room so that I can remember might number in the hundreds. Whatever works!
Self-Talk Can Be Good, Too!
If you’re like me, there’s a part of you that’s terrified about self-talk in any context, but there are a few ways that it can be helpful. Just because someone isn’t always there to hear you talk things out, doesn’t mean that it won’t help you figure things out! Self-talk can help you find out why you’re having trouble focusing and how to address it. I’ve used this technique to focus on writing a post, and it’s helped me finish my work more than a few times.
I don’t know where others fall on this topic, but in my opinion, a person can’t have enough to-do lists. There many different types of to-do lists, too: work tasks, cleaning tasks, meals, chores, long-term goals, etc. One of the things that can overwhelm me is when a list gets increasingly long. Checking things off my smaller to-do lists makes me feel like I’ve made progress on something while also making sure I prioritize things that need to get done – no matter how big or small they seem.
Close Those (Other) Computer Windows!
Rather than include the tried and true method of decluttering your devices or trying to find time without looking at screens, I thought I’d include a tip that could help while you’re actually using them. I know it might seem necessary to have a million tabs open when you’re working on a project or spending time on a computer, but closing out those winders and trying to only have one tab/project open at your attention is a way to help calm your mind and focus on the task at hand. When I’m having trouble buckling down, sometimes I’ll minimize the window I’m working in and see that I have five different things open that are all partially grabbing my attention! It’s not easy focusing if your brain’s pulling you in different directions.
Take Intentional Breaks
Taking breaks has always been difficult for me, and I think the main reason is that while I take breaks, I rarely take an intentional break. What do I mean by that? An intentional break is time set aside specifically to rest or recharge before your next task. Trying to quickly make lunch during your work day, or looking at your phone for a few minutes every once in a while are not as intentional. If you can take a break with the clear goal of easing your brain for even a few minutes, you can come back to a task with a renewed sense of focus (yes, even if that task is to look aimlessly at your phone – existing is sometimes a task in and of itself!).
These are some of my most effective ways to find focus during my days, but I know there are plenty of other ones! What are the best ways that you try and find focus during your day? Have you tried some that seem a little overrated? Let me know in the comments below!