Some days I have a hard time focusing and getting down to business. There are times that my mind is just racing a mile a minute from topic to topic and I need to find a way to slow down those thoughts and focus. Do you have the same problem?
If you find it hard to focus on work, sometimes it can help you try some techniques to quiet your brain. Of course, everyone works in a different environment, so all these ideas might not work for you, but even if just one does you will find a way to get your mind back on the tasks at hand.
Breathe and Meditate
Sometimes the inability to think clearly is just a lack of oxygen. Breathing is an unconscious bodily function, but due to stress, people don’t always breathe correctly or in the best way to deliver enough oxygen to the mind to keep it alert without intrusive thoughts. Meditation typically is breath-focused, but you can sit with good posture in your chair, close your eyes, breathe in through your nose, slowly on a count of four, hold your breath for another four counts, and then release through your mouth on a four-count – slowly and mindfully.
Stretch and Move
If you’ve been hunched over your desk pounding your keyboard, you’re probably restricting your muscles from getting enough oxygen. The best thing to do is try to get up at least every 90 minutes to move. Just stand up, stretch, breathe in, and then out, and sit back down. But if you have the time, it’s even better to go for a quick ten-minute walk before returning to your desk with focus.
Create a Checklist
If you can’t figure out where to start on a project and your brain feels like someone else is overseeing the remote control, stop what you’re doing and make a plan. Create a logical checklist of tasks in the order necessary to get the job done. I like using the ClickUp app to manage these lists and sort them from To Do, In Progress, and Complete.
Enjoy a Glass of Water and a Healthy Snack
If your blood sugar is low or you are dehydrated, it can cause you to have racing thoughts. Your body is built to survive, and if you’re not doing right by it, it is going to interfere with what you want to do to alert you to trouble. If you’ve not eaten correctly, grab an apple or an orange, or some string cheese, and a big glass of water. Do not multitask. Take a break to enjoy them.
Go or Look Outdoors
Going outside in nature for a couple of minutes, even if all you have time to do is walk around the building or check the mailbox, will give you a new perspective and help your brain to reset. If going outside isn’t possible and you have a window, gaze out at whatever nature that you can see, even if it’s just the sky.
Trying one of these ideas will not take more than 20 minutes of your day. Everyone deserves and needs to take breaks during the day. The best way to keep your mind in the correct zone when at work is to remember how the brain functions and give it a break at least every 90 minutes, even if all you have time to do is stand up, stretch, breathe in, and out deeply, and then sit back down it will help.
Let me know if you have tried any of these quick ways to help you focus, do you have a favorite or do you have others that you would like to share?