10 Tips to Increase your Focus
Did you know the ability to focus depends on your mental state?
Your focus depends on how many resources you are using in other areas, including your mental health.
To increase your focus, you need to do some organization of the mind first. When you organize the mind, you will feel less pulled in different directions, reduce worry about the future, ruminate less about the past, increase productivity and figure out how to prioritize things differently.
So, here are 10 Tips to help jump start your organized mindset:
1. This is the tip most people fight me on: Multi-tasking is not helpful.
Start focusing on one thing at a time and follow it through to completion before picking up the next thing. There is so much research that shows you become more efficient and more effective when you do one thing at a time.
2. Write it down.
Clear out the brain of all the excess stuff. To do lists, projects, appointments, phone numbers, ideas, dinner menu, etc. Whenever you write things out, your brain can recollect them more frequently. Think about the last time you wrote out a list. Chances are you were able to remember most of the items without looking at the list. Now, get the stuff out to make space for more important things.
Plan a time each day to write out your thoughts and worries. This will give you the opportunity to process some of these items and get rid of the inner talking.
4. Clean up your physical space.
This does not mean a “spring cleaning.” Give yourself a space to not look at the things you “have to do.” When our physical space is clear, our mind will follow suit.
5. Let it go.
I just caught myself singing the song. If you don’t know what I am talking about check it out on YouTube. Time to evaluate all the stuff you have put into your “mind file cabinet.” The stuff you keep reminding yourself of: the regrets of steps not taken, the mistakes you have made, people you have hurt or have hurt you. If these memories are not serving you well, time to shut the drawer. This might mean deciding to give yourself permission to move on, it might mean talking with a friend or it might mean going to talk with a professional about how to move on. It is time.
6. Time to relax.
Give your brain time to shut off once and a while. It needs time to recoup too. Find things that give you a sense of soothing. Make sure you schedule this time because too often it gets overlooked.
Indecisiveness and passivity consume a lot of brain space and leave you feeling stressed. Do yourself a favor and make decisions about things, so you can move on to something else. There is a anonymous quote, “indecision is a decision.”
8. Don’t clutter your brain with things that do not matter in the long run.
Try to leave less space for things like what you are going to have for lunch or what you are going to wear. Try using one decision several times in a week and see how much extra space you have.
9. Shorten your daily to-do list.
Limit your list to 2-3 things and then stop. Productivity is based on how you feel after your accomplishments and when you are exhausted or overwhelmed, your goal was averted.
10. Limit what you allow to come into your mind. This means censoring your social media, conversations, magazines, emails, TV, news or whatever is consuming space in your mind. Decide what items have a positive impact on your life and what do not. Put time limits on consumption and choose what deserves your attention.
Time to organize all the cavities of your mind and decide what stays and what goes. This will have a positive impact on your mental health and on your life.
I promise it works!