Finding yourself staring blankly out of a window during a meeting, or re-reading the same passage of text four or five times is a clear indication that you really are not focused. Perhaps a colleague or even worse a superior has noticed that you've been lacking focus and wants to know what is going on. Here are the top four things that keep you unfocused and how to combat them.
1.) Sleep deprivation
It's a well known classic, sleep deprivation impairs cognitive abilities and several of the brains key networks. A good nights sleep helps your mind shut down, rest and restore itself. After a full nights sleep you'll feel more alert and capable. Ensure you're getting your eight hours, in fact insist on it.
2.) Bad Food
Junk food or food lacking nutritional value is both a waste of time and money.it actually takes a lot of energy to digest whilst not replenishing your body's vital energy stores. Sugary drinks and foods cause you to crash not long after eating them and so have the opposite effect of the energy boost you thought you were getting. Good old fashioned fruit and veg give you energy and brain power to stay focused and present whilst at work.
3.) Are you overwhelmed?
Quite often when we are struggling to focus it comes down to feeling overwhelmed. When having to take on a mountain of work it is virtually impossible to zone in on what to tackle and this can lead to a lack of focus. The best way to move forward is to group and prioritise the various tasks you have to complete. Create a strategy and a series of to-do lists to keep track of progress. Plan your time carefully and celebrate milestones. Setting goal posts helps you to focus on one thing at a time and congratulate yourself when you arrive.
4.) Stop multi-tasking
Like with the above, this insane pressure to get an awful lot done simultaneously can act as a barrier to getting anything done at all. Avoid multi-tasking and instead build a pipeline. Doing one thing at a time means that it gets your total focus. Even if it is a smaller task dedicating your total focus means you can actually get it done in no time and move onto something more significant.