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These days, focus can be quickly swept away in the flurry of demands and people issues that present. The more roles you participate in, the more you know how to do, and the more effective you are, there are corresponding demands on your time.
This doesn’t have to be the result. Reestablishing focus, is about managing what happens around you, either on a prevention level, or in the ways you take future steps to decrease the problem from happening again. The way you maintain your focus is about making sure that your “overload” doesn’t hamper taking the next step. The ways you maintain your focus, or reestablish it, may surprise you, because they are normally things we have within our direct control.
5 Ways to Reestablish Focus:
Maintain good sleep hygiene: This means good rising and retiring times. It also means not burning the candle at both ends. Stress creation is often a function of poor sleep, disrupted sleep, or habits of staying up too late. Poor sleep is a major contributor and byproduct of mental health issues. Addressing sleep is often the first step taken in treatment – obtaining better sleep, builds an individual’s ability to deal with real situations in their lives with more strength.
Watching what you eat: Although this is not an article on dietary issues and weight loss, the food choices we make, can contribute to the ways we handle emotional issues. Poor decisions with eating – inconsistent times, eating the wrong kinds of foods, and over-eating, can all impact how we mentally handle decisions around us. Eating heavier foods, and too much food, can lead to insensitivity, and a tendency to internalize problems, rather than working them through.
White Space: What type of time do you set aside to do what you need to do? Often a source of poor focus is being over committed, and over-scheduled. In other words, we bite off more than we can choose, and think we are wonder-people. Building ‘white space’, or time spaces in your schedule, gives you the leverage you need to do other things that feed your ability to focus. This may include reading, journalling, reflection, listening to music, specific project planning, or prioritizing a project.
Keeping Active: This can be anything from walking to your car, taking the steps, playing with your kids, or planned exercise. The intention and follow through with some type of physical activity (not the amount) is what clears the cobwebs from your mind. It allows our minds to filter through what’s important, and choose your next focus.
Recording What you Do: If you have a problem you want to address, or need to ‘Get Focused’, start naming it, recording it, and measuring it. This is how you find the patterns. Keep your productivity tools to a few essentials, and don’t get over focused on using technology. You can have a lot of ‘tools’ that never get used in effective ways, because there are too many of them. Choose the tools that feel most comfortable and go with those, record your accomplishments, and what you are doing. It will create a better awareness of where you need to go.
The key to better focus, is about centering on things that change your body’s response to its environment. It is about recording what you want, finding patterns, and then locating where you need to go.