It is easy to lose focus when there is so much going on in life. The mass of things cluttering our minds and distracting us doesn’t just include our own tasks. It also includes our phones, world issues, trends, and the thousands of other small things that can take up space in our brains without us realizing it. It is important to recognize when this clutter starts to become too much, so we can reassess and refocus.
1. Clean Out Your Brain
If you find that you are more concerned about your favorite pop stars new music video than your to-do list or more interested in the latest Snapchat filter than your goals, it is time to clear out all the small things pinging around in your brain! Make a list of all the things you have going on: to-dos, goals, upcoming events, things you are excited about, everything. Now, look at that list and circle the things that are important, the ones that really need your focus. You can continue to care about the rest of them, but know that the things you circled are the ones you should be dedicating your most valuable time and effort to.
2. Set Aside Quiet Time
Have you ever worked so hard on something for so long that your brain hurt afterward? We have all been there, and it isn’t fun! You might not notice it until it’s too late, but you can overwork your brain. Thinking, worrying, and, even worse, stressing over things takes a toll on your brain, and just like you need a break after doing a bunch of exercise, so does your brain! Set aside a small amount of time every day to give your brain time to relax, worry free. You can set aside one large chunk of time or set aside smaller segments throughout the day. The important thing is that you find what works for you and your brain!
3. Only Worry About the Important Things
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to keep things simple, but it is also the easiest way to stay focused. This doesn’t mean that you need to start tearing apart your to-do lists, though. Take a look at all of the things you have on your plate. Write them down if you need to. Now, separate them into categories. You can separate them as much as you want, but we suggest starting with “For Now,” “For Later,” and “For When There’s Time.” This will help you prioritize your tasks and interest without having to go too deep into their scheduling. Once you divide them into those three categories, you’ll be able to see what you need to get done sooner rather than later and what you can take time completing.
4. Progress Effectively
Just because you are doing something, doesn’t mean you are working effectively. Activity does not equal progress. Because of this, you want to look at the things you are doing and consider if they are helping you in the bigger picture. Don’t think this rules out spending time figuring out the perfect filter for your latest selfie! Progress toward improvement includes maintaining your happiness. However, if you find that you are spending hours figuring out what filter to use to make you look like you just walked off the red carpet, you might want to consider ways that your time could be better spent. To be effective, you don’t have to stop doing the things you love, just consider the way all the things you love and the things you need to do fall in together.