How to stay laser focused…

Our habits ultimately determine how productive we are. These rituals can act as a road map, helping you stay focused and keeping you on track throughout your day. The more time and effort you save, the more productive you will be.

By following these seven daily habits, you will enable yourself to stay hyper-focused and productive throughout the day.

  1. Determine your optimal wake-up time and bedtime

There is no one-size-fits-all schedule that will suit everyone. Some of us are early risers who work best in the morning. Others of us are night owls who find our creativity sparks when the rest of the world has gone to sleep.

Most of us have a predetermined wake-up time based on our commitments, the needs of our families and job requirements. In general, most of us need around eight hours of sleep to function at our best. Your sleep routine should take all of this into account.

Set a bedtime that you can consistently keep to on both weekday and weekend nights. This will establish a schedule for your body’s internal clock, so your body knows when to sleep and when to wake. This will improve the quality of your sleep so that you consistently feel rested and able to function at your best.

  1. Get moving

A great way to start your day is by moving your body. Likewise, after being cooped up sitting at your desk all day, getting some exercise can help clear your head.

Whether it involves yoga stretches, visiting the gym or going for a walk, getting up and moving around is a great way to help your mind focus. In fact, many studies have found that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger and more developed in people who exercise regularly than in those who don’t.

  1. Use questions to maintain your focus

Throughout the day, as you feel your concentration slip or find yourself doing unimportant tasks to fill time, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s the most important thing I could be doing right now?
  • How can I get this done faster and more efficiently?
  • What’s a better way to undertake this task?

These simple but powerful questions can be used to help you regain your focus and keep your attention where it needs to be.

  1. Do it now

The only way to get anything done is to do it. It really is that simple, but we often put things off because we’re caught up in doing something else, or we’re focused on some future project. However, if there is something that needs to get done now, just do it!

This prevents procrastination and keeps your to-do list from growing out of control with small tasks that will eventually eat up your whole day.

  1. Build in brain breaks

Our brains are only capable of continuously focusing on something for a certain period of time. By taking short breaks, ideally about once an hour, you give your mind a chance to decompress and relax so it can refocus and concentrate again.

Psychologist Alejandro Lleras found that participants who were given short breaks during 50-minute tasks performed better than those who worked straight through. Lleras found that brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve people’s ability to focus on that task for a prolonged period.

  1. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished

At the end of the day, take a few minutes for self-reflection. Ask yourself some questions that will help you gauge how well you performed and what you might do better tomorrow. These include:

  • What did I accomplish today?
  • Did I accomplish everything I set out to, and everything I needed to?
  • What did I do well today?
  • What mistakes were made?
  • What were the near misses?

The goal is to clearly see how well you’re performing and staying on task. If you do this on a regular basis, you can gauge if you’re making steady progress toward your goals and see what areas you need to work on.

  1. Prepare for tomorrow

This simple ritual is guaranteed to help improve your productivity tomorrow. Take a few minutes at the end of your workday and clearly spell out to yourself what your goals are for the following day. This is a chance to think through the process of how you will accomplish everything you need to do. Consider these questions:

  • What are your highest priorities?
  • What tasks must you absolutely get done?
  • What setbacks or issues might arise?
  • What challenges might keep you from staying focused?

 

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