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The center of interest or activity, the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition. a subject that is being discussed or studied : the subject on which people's attention is focused, a center of activity, attraction, or attention


1. Track your mood
Record triggers that derail you and negatively affect your mood. Note what’s happening in your body when you start down a path that doesn’t serve you.

Does your heart race, or is it steady?
Do you clench your teeth, or is your mouth relaxed?
Does your body cave in on itself, or are you standing firm?
Do you feel light or heavy?
Notice what environments make you more stressed. If you’re happier and more productive, it means that you are more focused.

Devise some strategies to help you manage your triggers.
Mapping your moods can help you see patterns in your thinking and behavior. Daylio is an app that allows you to track your feelings using visual imagery. The app shows you videos that represent different moods. You can match your mood to the images, and the app records them.

Here’s a low-tech way to adjust your emotions. Make playlists of your favorite “feel good” music and play them at intervals during the day, especially when you are in low-energy, low mood mode.

A word of caution: If you find your moods and emotions overwhelming and immobilizing, don’t wait to ask for professional help.

2. Assess your mental fitness
Take a week to notice the times of day when you are most productive. Attend to your most important tasks during that time. Notice those low-energy times.

Practice mental fitness daily. The app Lumosity helps you exercise your mind with scientifically validated tasks while making them fun.

You can target the skills that matter most to you by taking a Lumosity lunch break.

3. Eliminate distractions
Take control of your technology. Disable your phone at certain times a day. That means turning off notifications from social media or opting for a complete digital detox.

Freedom is an app designed to block distractions on all your devices. There will be no checking Instagram on your device while you’re writing that report because the app won’t let you.

Reward yourself with 30 minutes, tops, to indulge in surfing.

4. Give meditation and mindfulness a try
Just a few minutes of sitting in silence, listening to calming music, and connecting to your breath will help you become centered.

You’ll return to your work calmer and less reactive to negative emotions, pressures, and demands.

InsightTimer is a helpful tool for guided meditations, courses, meditative music, and yoga practices to support your well-being.

Alternatively, you can set timers that remind you to move and breathe at intervals during the day.

If you crave sound, but music is too much for you, try listening to a pre-recorded mindfulness meditation. It adds background noise that doesn’t become a constant distraction.

“When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.” —Stephen Richards

5. Notice your sleep patterns
Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to maintain focus.

Do you maintain a healthy schedule for going to bed and getting up? Are you steering away from foods and drinks that keep you awake? Watching the news can be one of the worst things to do before going to bed. When is it ever good news?

Again, there are many apps to help you track your sleep.

The Sleep Foundation recommends WHOOP, WithingsSleep, and Fitbit Versa.

A few other quick tips for improving your sleep patterns include:

Reading before bed
Using a guided meditation app just before you sleep
Reducing your caffeine intake

6. Get your body moving
Take active breaks. Get up and move. Take a walk. Leave the building.

It’s also important to take time to stretch your neck, shoulders, arms, and legs. Set a timer on your phone for five minutes, at least five times per day, to stretch. Get yourself a standing desk or try sitting on an exercise ball while working.

If you feel like some face-time, try scheduling a walk or run with a friend. You don’t have to go far, even laps around your block or your house are beneficial. Smartwatches are great ways to record miles, times, and distances. But don’t use lack of technology as an excuse!7. Pay attention to what you put in your mouth
Nutrition plays a massive role in maintaining focus.

While caffeinated drinks can raise your energy level for the short run, you’re likely to crash when the high is over. Better to eat snacks with complex carbs and fiber found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts for sustained energy and concentration.

Try sticking to just one to two cups of coffee per day. This will keep your energy levels more steady and reduce any cloudy jitters.8. Find a time management solution that works for you
Managing your time effectively will give you time back to take breaks or shift gears between projects.

One method worth trying is the Pomodoro Technique. It involves working on a task for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break before starting the next 25-minute sprint.

These short rest periods are enough time to give your brain a break and step away from your desk. For example, this could be to stretch, walk outside, or grab a glass of water.

9. Set boundaries around your time
At what time of day do you have the most energy? Set time on your calendar for “white space” during that time.

When you have a large project to do, block off a substantial amount of time that will be distraction-free. This is beneficial even if you can only manage to do it once or twice per week.

Set boundaries and expectations.

Let people know when you are not available and when you will respond to requests. Create blocks of time between meetings to reflect and regroup. Be clear about what’s realistic for you to commit to.

Set time aside for a short break in between deep work projects, and you’ll find that you’ll have better focus when you’re working on a single task.10. Reduce your number of meetings when possible
Consider alternative solutions to meetings.

Ask whether you really need to meet. Is there another way to get information that is not time-intensive but still effective?

Ask for an agenda for meetings. Determine whether your presence is needed if your organization allows for the option. Send agendas before meetings that you’re running. Stick to a designated amount of time.11. Practice active listening
Develop your listening skills by paying active attention to what others say during meetings.

Rather than zone out, ask questions. Engage in the discussion to bring value to the meeting or call.

12. Turn off work at the end of the day
Leave each night with a to-do list, then revisit it in the morning.

Determine your top three priorities. Decide what goes in your “parking lot” of tasks that don’t meet the criteria. You can determine when you can do those things, perhaps assigning them to non-peak times during the workday.

13. Make time for your social connections
Don’t let social connections take a backseat to work.

Ideally, you’ll have downtime to be able to bring your best-focused self to all that you do.

Set up phone calls with friends and coffee chats with co-workers.

Play. Schedule it. Commit to your social well-being and ask others to hold you accountable.

All Hands In
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