Some times, the inspiration for a post comes from the most random of places. For example, this post was originally meant to be about meal planning and how to do it on a budget. But, I found myself like a child who had been given sugar: no ability to focus and all over the place. So of course, I started down my path of things to do to make myself focus and here we are now; I’m writing a post on how to focus. Don’t you love how the world works?
I always envied the kids who could listen to pop music while reading in college. If I could’ve listened to Snow Patrol and still understood Shakespeare, I might have enjoyed that class more. But as much as I try, if I want to read and retain what I’m reading, it either has to be quiet or I need to be listening to instrumental music. If Spotify had been around 8 years ago, I can only imagine how much more I would love it.
Focusing isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Ambient noises, things outside or even the general thoughts flowing around in your head can make it hard to get work done. Today, I wanted to share a few of my tips for helping you to be the champion of your to-do list and get sh*t done!
- Know what does and doesn’t work for you: Despite my longing to have a jam session and write, I can’t do it. I know that instrumental music will help me to tune out the world and keep me in my working bubble. I’m currently “jamming” out to the Music for Concentration Playlist on Spotify.
- Consider your environment: This one goes hand in hand with knowing what works for you. If you find large groups of people distracting, a coffee shop may not be the place to get your work done. You might try a library instead. If you have the ability to pick the place, consider how helpful the environment is when planning where to work for the day.
- Have a routine: For example, I know that when I’m going to do a long writing stretch I’m going to need a couple of things. I get my water. I get my notes, put on my jacket and turn on my playlist. We all have an order for the things that we do that naturally relaxes us. It could be a long routine or something short but knowing what gets you in the right frame of mind can save you that 15 minutes of restlessness.
- Meditate: I never thought I would be someone to be recommending mediating but it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. Honestly, it’s my go to recommendation for life’s problems. Can’t sleep? Meditate. Feeling stressed? Meditate. In a bad mood? Meditate. Taking the time to check in with yourself daily can help you to be a happier and healthier person. Also, mediation helps you learn to control your thoughts in a way where you can focus. I love the app OMG I Can Meditate* They have mediations for all types of things. If you’re new to meditating or just want a little help, check it out!
- Make a list: Keeping the to-do list flowing can help you to focus on the task at hand. If you are constantly stopping and starting everything you’re doing, it will feel like you never really get anything done. Whatever your form of list is, be it paper or electronic, write that random thought down and come back to it. When you have a way to guide yourself, it’s easier to make all the things happen.
- Take a deep breath: Overthinking and stressing yourself out about what needs to happen isn’t going to make it happen any faster. Take a moment to deeply inhale and exhale. One deep breath and you’re on your way!
Do you have any tips or tricks that help you to focus? Let me know below!