Coronavirus has altered the daily lives of billions worldwide. The unfamiliar life pandemic has forced upon us is the new normal we have had to get adapted t for the last few months. Keeping social distancing demanded a change in life patterns that is difficult for everyone, yet for those of us with a short attention span, working from home is a more significant challenge.
If you find yourself times and again lost in daydreams or stressing out about life, you are not alone. A recent article has shown that almost half of the time, we are not focused on what we are doing, and our mind wanders to stuff unrelated to work at hand.
In this piece, we want to address this common problem that is called a short attention span and try to work out a routine to help you overcome this challenge. I promise I will keep it short (wink).
“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” – William Faulkner
1- Make A Schedule
The first thing you would gain by keeping a schedule is that you can make sure there is time to do everything. You would not need to think about doing the laundry during work hours, because you have already set aside its own time.
Arranging routine daily times for work helps your brain differentiate between work and leisure time and enhance your focus.
As for taking breaks, you can try time management methods like the Pomodoro technique. Take a look at this link to get familiar with Pomodoros.
2- Do Not Worry So Much
Distractions do not help the short attention span problem. A great part of the thoughts that ambush on our mind is due to the stress. First, you need to minimize the sources of stress in your life. Let us tackle some common sources of stress and discuss how to eliminate them from your life:
Unless it is your job, you really do not need hourly updates on corona deaths and international tensions rising in another continent. Stop following news updates like your life depends on it. If you cannot, or you are not willing to do this, at least try lowering the frequency of checking the news channels gradually. It will help a lot.
The business that drives news networks is selling hyperbolic assumptions and guesswork masqueraded as vital knowledge and holding long sessions of shared anxiety. You can get the gist of events by quickly glancing over the headlines and browsing through the important articles just in a few minutes. Say no to constant stress.
Always worrying about the future will not help you at all. Set specific times in your schedule to think about the future instead to actively analyze the situation. For the rest of the day, just do something else.
Minimize contact with toxic people and establish your boundary. If possible, communicate with them how they are hurting you. You do not need any unnecessary negativity in your life.
If your problem is unresolvable, you have the right to mourn, to be angry, and to worry. Nevertheless, do not let it control your life because you are far too valuable and powerful to waste your life away. All we have is today and the moment of now. Use it well.
You would not need to do anything special to meditate. Just try to clear your mind and sit in silence with eyes closed. You can let your mind wander around and work the tension out at first but try to stop this later on.
Studies are confirming the positive effect of meditation on fixing short attention span problems.
Exercising cheers you up and relieves tension. It also increases your cognitive control according to A study conducted by the University of Illinois. Although social distancing has made it quite tricky, there is still the possibility of a rapid jugging with a face mask, or just walking around the back yard. If you do not own any pieces of equipment, you can try pilates or maybe suspension training.
5- Keep Hydrated
Keep a water bottle on your desk, and have a sip when you feel tired. Make sure you get enough water and do not wait to drink until you feel thirsty.
6- Eat Healthy
Try having more vegetables, fruits, and low-fat food during the day. A high-fat and meaty meal would make you feel heavy and tired. Researchers have indicated that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and help people with short attention span problems. Try to avoid high calory breakfasts because it could harm concentration.
7- Create A Work-Friendly Environment
Try to create a home office if possible, or at least choose a particular part of the house for work and work only.
If you are bound to a single bedroom, make the bed in the mornings and avoid working from bed at all costs. Your brain needs to separate work and home environments. Dressing for work is a good practice.
Maintain an uncluttered space to reduce distractions. Open some windows and let natural light and breeze in. You could even try working from the back yard if you would like.
8- Get Enough Sleep
Drinking coffee could help you wake up, but nothing beats a good night’s sleep. As we have more free time, it might be tempting to stay up late and browse social media or binge-watch Netflix. It looks innocent, but staying up late decreases the quality of sleep. A well-rested brain s sharp and focused and tends to wander off less.
9- Put Your Phone Away
Smartphones can make your short attention span problem worse because they are a rich medium, full of distractions. Try to put your phone away during work hours. You can use tools that mute social media push notifications on specific hours.
10- Find Your Style
Some people work better with music; some need absolute silence. Morning coffee makes me jittery, but it might help you focus. The thing is, people have different styles of work, and we have to respect the individuality of our psyche. Just try stuff out and find what works best for you.
11- Be Patient
You have to bear failure and gradually improve your concentration. Be patient with yourself. You can overcome your short attention span problem; I know you have it in you.
“Excellence is not a destination; it is a continuous journey that never ends.” – Brian Tracy
Related Article: 6 Important Tips for Remote Working during Coronavirus