Focus is priceless in our hectic and overwhelming lives. It also getting harder and harder to achieve, especially as we age and accumulate more responsibilities. Whenever you’re up to your eyeballs in to-do tasks or feel overwhelmed by a tight deadline, a single question often comes to mind: Why can’t I just focus already?
Even the most focused of us are regularly derailed by obstacles. Statistically, we get distracted every four minutes on average. The problem with that is it takes 23 minutes to regain focus. To fix this reoccurring issue, we must first understand where the roadblocks are, which is more than half the battle. With that being said, here are 4 possible disruptors.
Your Smartphone and Its Notifications
Our greatest tool is also our greatest enemy when it comes to productivity. That’s right – smartphones can be used for both good and evil. The short of the matter is that we are connected to everyone through our smartphones. This results in hundreds of notifications a day. Every like, post, email, chat message, app notification, and news update results in a buzz. After a while, this can become the ultimate distraction. Consider hitting the “Do Not Disturb” feature when you need it the most!
Lack of Sleep
Sleep allows our mind and body to recharge. Chemical imbalances, stress, anxiety, and more can often be traced back to poor sleeping habits. Running on less than six hours of sleep will also result in a lack of focus and lower productivity for most people. When our brain is tired, errors increase, which can lead to frustration and extra work. While we understand that there are certainly times where it is necessary to burn the midnight oil, sleep is necessary to both your body and mind – get your seven to eight hours!
Upset about that tiff you got in with your roommate this morning? Because your nervous system perceives conflict as a danger, it focuses on them in an effort to keep you safe. This might throw a wrench in your day, though. Schedule a time to work things out and jot down your major points of concern. Then, set them aside until it is time to talk them over. Knowing a resolution is on the horizon helps neutralize the body’s fight-or-flight response and gives you some space to crack down on your to-do list.
Too Much Multitasking
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is not a good thing. In our fast-paced world, we are continuously pushed to do more things at once and do them faster. However, scientific research has repeatedly proven that not only is this approach detrimental to the task at hand, but it is also bad for your brain. You’ll become so accustomed to jumping from topic to topic, making it even harder for you to harness your ability to stay focused on any one thing for any prolonged period of time.
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