Trouble with focus and attention is a problem everyone has from time to time. However, work seems to bring it out the worst in some people. It often feels as if it should be easy. Just apply yourself and get to work. That’s all you have to do. Yet it still feels difficult, almost as if “just apply yourself” isn’t actually a solution!
Indeed, there are a number of different factors involved in an inability to focus. Some of them are legitimate mental illness, while others are environmental factors. Lack of food, too much noise, or even a simple dislike of your job could all be at play, as well.
While you’ve probably heard the following tips hundreds of times if you have a mental illness like ADHD, if you haven’t you may find them useful.
Set Clear Goals
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you set a general goal. “Get a lot of work done today” isn’t very clear, and what’s more isn’t really a goal. What is “a lot”? Rather than that, try setting shorter, specific goals. That will help you get a better handle on each task. Don’t be vague. “I’d like to do about half the project by the end of the day” is still vague. “I plan to finish the first, second, and third step of the project” is concrete.
Work In Short Blocks
People think of attention and willpower as never ending resources. This is not true at all. The longer you try to pay attention to something, the harder it gets. Set yourself a time period in which to work. When you hit the end of that time period, whether you feel like you need it or not, take a break. It doesn’t have to be a long break. It could be a few minutes of walking around the office and getting a bottle of water. But stepping away from your work will help you replenish your attention and focus.
Turn Off The World
While it’s incredibly severe for people with ADHD, the simple fact is that all people can get distracted when there’s stuff happening around them. And there’s a lot of stuff happening in an office. Phones are ringing, people are walking by your cubicle, coworkers are talking, the list goes on and on. Sometimes turning off the world may require going to a private place away from the office. If this isn’t possible, there’s always sound-canceling headphones or even earplugs. It’s a good idea to leave information on how to reach you, but if you have to cut yourself off from the world to get any work done then you should do so.
Use Science To Help
There is so much science nowadays behind the way our brain works and also how to get the most amount of focus from our mind. We can change our productivity levels by relaxing, working and living differently and also with the help of nootropics. Companies such as CogniTune have a wide selection of these smart drugs – helping you become more focused and productive at work and also in any other aspect of life you want.
It may seem odd to schedule distractions. Aren’t distractions random by their very definition? It depends on what you mean by “distractions”. There are environmental distractions, and those you can’t control. But there are other distractions, such as checking social media or calling friends to chat. You can schedule those things either at a specific time, or after you finish a certain amount of work. Either way, they can be good carrots for you to follow. By solidifying a schedule for your distractions, you can rest easier while trying to work.
Practice Focusing Your Mind
Meditation is not the end all, be all of paying attention. As anyone with legitimate mental illness knows, the moment a person says they have a hard time paying attention someone will suggest meditation. However, it can help. What’s more, meditation can mean a lot of different things. If you work better with your hands, then meditation might consist of doodling or making pictures out of toothpicks. If you have a hard time paying attention to just one thing, find something to keep your hands busy. Fidget spinners may be a fad, but they were designed specifically for people with attention problems.
Pay Attention To Yourself
It may seem counter intuitive, but when you start getting distracted pay attention to your own body. Do you have any physical needs that haven’t been met? Do you need water or food? Perhaps you’re sleepy or simply need to go to the bathroom? It may simply be that you’re bored. But if you can figure out what triggers you and causes you to become distracted, you can figure out how to deal with those situations.