Crosshair designed by Phil Goodwin from the Noun Project

Crosshair designed by Phil Goodwin from the Noun Project

Between everything that nags at us during the day, it’s hard to stay focused on what matters most. Our lack of focus costs us time and lowers the quality of our work. Fortunately, Andrea Ayres-Deets of Ooomf has found a few ways to beat focus drought. She writes:

Do focus intensive tasks around your brain’s schedule

Your peak distraction times occur between 12 p.m.- 4 p.m. and you will find that you become sleepy at 2 p.m. Your brain’s energy reserves and alertness begin to slip during these times. You can work around this though.

Your brain handles tough cognitive loads best in the late morning hours (after 10 a.m.). At this point in the day your brain is fully awake, it’s (hopefully) fed, and humming along quite nicely.

In the afternoon try switching up tasks and going for a walk to snap your brain back into an alert and active state.

Chew gum

Yes, this sounds weird, but research shows that chewing gum increases the oxygen flow to the parts of your brain responsible for attention. It also improves your long term memory and injects a bit of insulin into your blood which may help give your brain that added energy boost.

Being able to find your ideal focus will allow you to not only get more done in a shorter amount of time, it can help you to produce better work too. Less distractions means your able to put all of your cognitive power into what you’re working on now.

Do yourself a favor and grab a pack of chewing gum then head over to Medium to read Ayres-Deets’ tips for getting your focus back.

  • Beth London

    Yes, gum is good. If you can, a short (15 or 20 m) nap helps very much too.

    • tannerc

      I believe it was Merlin Mann who once said that, if you’re feeling uncertain or overwhelmed (or really anything like that), it’s most likely because you need some rest. A short nap is a remarkably powerful tool for the creative worker.

      Thanks again for commenting Beth!

  • tannerc

    Definitely Tom. A quick escape to sit in silence for just five minutes can be a powerful reset. It’s also helpful to turn your phone completely off once-in-a-while I’ve found. Those 30 seconds it takes to boot it back up again can be a nice refresher.

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