Let’s admit it, while we all put in a hard day’s work it can be difficult to stay focused throughout the day, especially during the busy holiday season. Minds often wander, and at times it can feel like we’re fighting an uphill battle against our own attention span. See below for some of the tricks we use.
1/ Take breaks
Breaks are a great, easy way to reset the mind and body. Go grab a glass of water, a breath of fresh air, or go for a quick walk if you can. Even 5 minutes of moving your legs can do wonders. Of course it’s not just how often you take breaks, but what you do on them that matters!
2/ Keep breathing!
Even if you don’t have time to get up from your desk before the next meeting or call, you always have a moment for a deep breath. Inhale deeply, and try to extend the exhale as long as possible to calm the body and re- focus your mind. Try these breathing exercises you can do, even from your desk!
3/ Reduce distractions
Get rid of all unnecessary external “noise” by setting your phone on airplane mode (or at the very least on silent), and turning off notifications on your desktop if you can. Multi- tasking pulls your focus across too many things and can draw out your work time. However, if distractions are unavoidable, you can train yourself to deal better with them, according to this Carnegie Mellon study published by the New York Times.
4/ Experiment with sound
Do you do like working with background music? Or silence? If your work space has lots of background noise, try experimenting with music or even ambient noise and see if that helps you focus. Some people find working in coffee shops & public spaces helps them focus, while others need complete silence. Experiment with what you need, and work with what you have to make your environment suit you, and check out brain.fm for inspiration!
5/ Make sure you’re well-fed
It may sound trite, but you will absolutely be able to stay focused for longer if you are well-nourished. Eating breakfast – even a small one – will help keep you fueled through lunch. A mid-afternoon snack can be a great way to take a break and prevent the usual energy lull many people face later in the day. Of course some foods are better than others – check in with your body and make sure you’re energizing yourself for the rest of the day.
For those who already have a Spire, you can try these tricks to see if and how they affect your breathing throughout the day. Do they help you get into a “focus” breathing rhythm faster? And do they allow you to stay on a focus streak for longer?