Social scientists say a crisis like COVID-19 is a “focusing event,” one that recalibrates public policy and cultural norms. This collective focusing may not happen quickly enough. But it is a focusing event for each of us individually as well. I would like to believe this self-quarantine can be a focusing event. An opportunity for self-examination and for getting my priorities in order. But focus doesn’t come easy does it. You have to train your mind to improve focus.
Here are few tips you can do to stay focus all day :
- Minimise multitasking – Scientists have found that multitaskers are easily distracted and less efficient at tasks.
- Meditate – By meditating, you’re practising focus, which studies show helps with concentration in other activities.
- Exercise regularly – Scientists think that regular exercise can help stimulate the release of chemicals in the brain that rewire memory circuits, improving function and enhancing focus capacity.
- Make a to-do list – To-do lists help you prioritise and tie up loose ends from unfinished work, which can keep you focused since we tend to remember incomplete more than completed work.
- Try some caffeine – Studies suggest that caffeine may, in moderate doses, help to boost focus – particularly in those of us who are fatigued.
- Take breaks – One study found that taking brief breaks from work can help you stay focused, whereas no breaks will make you lose focus.
- Keep work at work – Apart from just giving your brain a break, some research suggests that having downtime away from a problem could help you solve it.
- Train your brain – Some studies have found that people who are easily distracted will benefit from “brain training” exercises, like those promoted by Lumosity or Cogmed but the results have been mixed.
- Find a quiet place – Ambient noise can stimulate the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which can impair brain function and hinder focus.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule – After hours at a screen, your eyes get tired and can’t focus. Reset them by staring at a distant object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
- Get a good night’s sleep – Getting a solid seven to eight hours ahead of a busy workday could be the difference between being frazzled and being laser focused.
- Work offline – Every time you visit Facebook or check you inbox, experts think a but of your attention remains with those tasks. So minimise distractions by working offline sometimes.
- Establish a favourite focus spot – According to a concept called ego depletion, we have a finite amount of mental energy, so don’t waste it on choosing where to work.
- Devote specific hours to tasks – Like picking a consistent focus spot, designating “focus hours” also helps fend off depletion.
- Embrace boredom – If you’re used to needing multiple forms of stimulation while “relaxing”, it may have a negative impact on your ability to focus. Embrace doing nothing for a change.