Made you look!! If you are like me, and others who get sucked into the information overload of the internet, you struggle with the F-Word… FOCUS. What did you think I was going to say?? You may have been involved in a project when this Blog came across your view and you decided to click on it, read it and then ultimately were lead down the path of checking Instagram photos, logging into your PetCam to see how your dog is doing, scrolling through Facebook and then going to Pinterest to find a recipe for dinner tonight. Sound familiar? Yes, me too.
Now that we are a few weeks into 2019, are the goals you set starting to fade away? Somehow the tasks we set as priorities don’t seem as important or attainable now. Things like TV, social media, games and food start to creep into higher importance than the goals we set out to achieve. You may not even recognize it happening because our patterns of human behavior developed when we were children. These patterns of behavior follow us into adulthood. In order to help change our behavior we need to have intention, purpose and understand our desired outcome to achieve the result we want. Instead of focusing on the big picture, pick one intentional thing you will do today to get you closer to your goal and focus for success.
Below are 5 Tips to help you to Re-Focus and start to develop new healthy habits to achieve your goals. These strategies have helped me and they are easy to do. Here goes…
1. CHANGE YOUR POSTURE OR WORKSPACE: About a year ago I bought a hydraulic desk top so I can move my workstation higher. Being able to stand and work has improved my thinking, posture and focus. This is one example of altering workspace to improve ergonomics and productivity. If you work from home, try going into a different room of your house, sit outside to work or go to a local coffee shop to remove yourself from distractions at home. A simple change of scenery can help to improve your creativity and have a renewed mindset for the task at hand. If you work in an office, occasionally use the computer in the consult room, or in the back office to give yourself a different workspace. Many times we “go with the flow” and settle for a working environment that is inefficient. Research what product or item is available to improve ergonomics or focus and discuss as a team. Ultimately, the investment is worth the price when your team is more focused, healthy and productive.
2. STOP.LISTEN.MOVE: When you find yourself getting distracted and going down a path of endless scrolling, STOP. Then, put on your favorite energetic song and LISTEN. A few of my favorites are “The Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, “Ready, Set, Go” by Royal Tailor, and “Get Up” by Blanca. Literally get up and MOVE your body to the music. Use the 3-4 minute song to free your brain and reset your focus. You can do this multiple times per day!
3. ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER: This can be anyone you know and trust. This is very simple and the person does not need to know anything about your actual work. Basically the idea is to find someone willing to reach out to you 2-3 times per day and simply ask, “How is your focus?” (or whatever phrase will help you) The predetermined expectation is when they do this, you will give an honest answer and your accountability partner will give you encouragement to get re-focused when needed. When we are accountable to someone else for our progress, studies show we are more apt to follow-through. For example, think about going to the gym. If you know you are meeting a friend to work out and they are counting on you, you are more likely to show up. In turn, you have a buddy to go to Happy Hour with after the gym! (Hmmmm…maybe that defeats the purpose? You get the idea!!)
4. SCHEDULE BREAKS: Use your calendar to schedule in your breaks. If you have a 2 hour block for a project, schedule in a 15 minute break after an hour. If you decide that you are on a roll and want to keep going, great! Once you get to the 2 hour end time, then take your break. I have spent far too many times not taking a break because I wanted to “get it done”. Neglecting breaks is one way burnout happens. Set a timer for the 15 minutes and reset your focus for the next project.
5. DRINK WATER/BREATHE: Staying hydrated and taking deep breathes throughout the day will help to replenish your body with oxygen and focus. Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function. My suggestion is for every cup of coffee, tea, soda, or juice you drink, drink the equivalent in water. For example, if you drink one cup of coffee, drink one cup of water. You may find yourself using the restroom more frequently, but your body and brain will thank you!
You may already have strategies that work for you and that is awesome; keep going with them!! For those who want strategies that can be easily integrated throughout the day, try these for at least 30 days. Make note of how you feel at the end of each day and if your focus has improved. Do you feel more accomplished and closer to your goal? When you routinely practice healthy habits, they become a part of your lifestyle. Let’s use the F-Word one-step-at-a-time and one-day-at-a-time to FIND OUR FOCUS!
Reach out to me anytime with questions, comments and let me know what strategies you tried and how it went! I love hearing feedback.
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