For many of us, 2017 left us feeling anxious, uncertain, and for some, lost. Fortunately, it’s time to hit the metaphoric reset button. 2018 promises a fresh start at accomplishing a new list of ambitious goals. Whether we’re bosses running our own companies or working like a boss, here are ways to stay focused, centered, and hustlin’ so another year doesn’t slip by us.
- Airplane Mode. Try putting your phone in Airplane Mode an hour before you go to bed and leaving it on an hour after you wake up. The digital detox will allow your brain to focus on things offline, whether that be reading a book or writing without distraction. It also gives you a chance to fully rest your mind without the ongoing alerts of HQ Trivia push notifications or the temptation of going down an IG rabbit hole of Ex-boyfriends’ and former Hills stars’ accounts.
- 3 Things. Every morning, write down three tasks that you want to accomplish that day. The key here is sticking to only three. By limiting yourself to three tasks, the goals are manageable and you’re able to stay focused without feeling overwhelmed. Stick the list somewhere you can easily spot it so you’ll be reminded to return to your to-dos if you begin to drift elsewhere.
- Timing is everything. Set a timer to ensure your focus is uninterrupted. Be sure to include measured breaks as well to allow your mind to wander away. Past studies have shown that intervals of 90 minutes have proven to be most productive compared to those who work over intervals of 90 minutes. Apps like Tide utilize a timer based on the Pomodoro Technique combined with ambient noise that induces mental calm.
- Reduce Noise. Noise is one of the top distractions to our focus and hindrance in remaining productive. Invest in over-the-ear noise canceling headphones like these Sony’s. I’ve found in open office floor plans, colleagues are less likely to interrupt my workflow when I’m shielded by my over-the-ear headphones. Up your focus with an instrumental playlist. Some studies suggest video game soundtracks help with concentration. So YouTube Tetris theme song and get working.
- Mighty mouse. Here’s an oldie but goodie I learned from a Tim Ferris podcast. Go into your mouse or touchpad settings and under “motion” adjust the speed of your pointer speed to “fastest”. Initially, the faster setting takes a bit getting used to but your eyes will quickly adjust. It’s a minor change that will have lasting effects on your productivity.