6 Ways to Focus and Get Things Done (with Monk Like Concentration!)

Dec 14, 2015 | 24 comments

Guest Post By: Allison Evelyn from AllisonEvelyn.com

How many times do you lose focus at work each day? Between social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram alone, it’s so easy to get sidetracked. (Curse addictive photos of latte art and macaroons!)

Luckily, there are easy ways to get focused.

So, with these easy focus tips, let’s make like orange juice and get concentrated.

6 Ways to Focus and Get Things Done (with Monk Like Concentration!)

Listen to Ambient-Mixer

Whether you’re in dead silence and crave white noise or work in a crowded office and need to drown out the chatter, you must to check out this amazing focus tool: Ambient-Mixer. You can listen to “atmospheres” and sounds, transporting you from a small cubicle to a tropical rainforest (without the expensive airfare!).

Here are my favorite ambient sounds to gain focus and feel magical.

  1. Autumn Forest (To feel like dancing fairies and streams are nearby)
  2. Storm on the Hogwarts Express (To feel like a Muggle on the way to wizarding school)
  3. Evening Bonfire (For a cozy atmosphere that may require hot chocolate to go with it)

Fake a Coffee Shop Atmosphere

It’s easy to create coffee shop atmosphere that helps you focus, without having to buy a $5 latte everyday. Simply:

1 – Plug in your headphones and turn on Coffitivity.com. It’s another sound generator online that creates the sound of coffee shops and public venues from around the world. Type away while the sounds of Paris say bonjour! 

2 – Find a drink that you get excited to have and/or make. Every time you sit down to seriously focus, make that beverage. Your mind will pair having this drink with needing to concentrate. For example, at your home or office:

Try a Stand Up Desk: Alternating Sitting, Standing & Walking Breaks

Do you sit while you work? Not only can sitting all day long be hazardous to your health, according to sources like Mayo Clinic and the Huffington Post, sitting too much can make it hard to focus.

When I sit down for too many hours, I know I start to feel sluggish and less alert. By standing and stretching out while typing for a few hours a day, the increased blood flow and movement wakes up my body…and my mind!

Takeaway: Try standing up for a couple hours a day, especially in the afternoon when you’re more likely to crave a nap and lose focus. According to sources like this Wall Street Journal article, here’s a great way to work: Try to alternate sitting, standing and taking small breaks to stretch or walk throughout the day, even if just to the printer and back for 2 minutes.

Take a Walk to Gain Focus

If you’re looking at a screen all day, your neck and eyes will likely get sore. Give your mind at least one 15 minute mental break by taking a walk, even if just around the block or to the local park and back. Taking a stroll lets your eyes look on new things. You’ll go back to work more alert and, hey, maybe more inspired by something you saw!

Change Your Eating Habits

Do you often feel sluggish and sleepy after lunch? No worries; many people do. It’s a normal phenomenon, mostly due to natural sleep patterns and…how you eat. According to Discover Good Nutrition, when we eat a big, heavy meal, it takes a lot of energy for our body to digest it. That means you skip breakfast and have a massive deli combo meal for lunch, your body has to expend a lot of energy processing it, leaving you tired (and unfocused!).

So, instead of skipping breakfast and then going to lunch starving, try this: Eat meals every few hours to keep sugar and energy levels balanced.  

Learn more about foods that’ll encourage energy and focus at SF Gate’s article: How to Eat to Prevent an Afternoon Energy Slump.

Start with Your Hardest Task

Yes, as much as I’d like to encourage you to put off those hardest tasks for as long as possible… you’ll stay more focused and get more work done by accomplishing the hardest task first. When you’ve started a fresh day tackling that difficult to do, you’ll be so much more focused after. You won’t be thinking, at the back of your mind, for the rest of the day, “Ah, later I’m going to have to do (that hard task).” It’ll just be, like a cooked omelette, done!

I hope these tips, or hey – at least one! – inspired you with a new way to get focused. If you have tips you use to focus and concentrate, I’d love to hear them. Please feel free to comment below or send thoughts to hello@allisonevelyn.com!

About the Blogger

Allison Evelyn from AllisonEvelyn.com

Allison Evelyn Gower is founder of AllisonEvelyn.com. As the CEO of her own business, she writes, blogs and does PR & social for a variety of hyper local and global clients. At AllisonEvelyn.com, she shows inspired “what if?”-ers to leave 9 – 5 and go freelance. This online hub is for finding your passion, working smarter and freelancing to have your ideal life. Because, let’s be real, have you ever thought…What if?