Procrastination is the enemy of work and productivity. How many times have you woken up with a task to accomplish, only to spend too long dithering before you start the task and then run out of time to complete it? How many times have you pushed things on in your to-do list because you’ve allowed something else to get in the way or spent too long daydreaming? It’s far too easy to let your concentration slip over the course of a working day, and that can be very frustrating. Not only do we fail to get as much done as we wanted to, but we get annoyed with ourselves for allowing it to happen.
The first piece of advice we want to give you in this article is not to be so hard on yourself when it happens. We live in a world of distractions – especially when we have a smartphone close to us, WhatsApp chats to catch up on, and social media to scroll through. There’s so much activity going on around us that our minds almost turn into money casino, whizzing around like spinning reels and delivering unexpected outcomes. In some cases, that process becomes literal – online slots websites are everywhere, and we know that many of you enjoy the occasional five-minute flutter when you’re bored! Even in these hectic times, though, there are ways to regain our center of focus. There are ways to stop those online slots reels spinning in our brains. Here are five surefire ways to take back control of your time.
Get More Sleep
This is often the only adjustment you’ll need to make in order to regain control of your schedule and your concentration. We all know that we should be getting seven or eight hours of sleep every night, and yet almost none of us do it. Lack of sleep has a huge impact on our ability to concentrate. If you haven’t had enough sleep, your attention span will be shorter. Not only that, but your reflexes will be slower. That makes you less able to change and adapt when complications arise. When something throws you off your schedule, you’ll find it difficult to get back on top of things. Without sufficient amounts of rest, our cognitive abilities diminish significantly.
If you want a better quality of sleep, you have to work for it. Keep your room cool. Don’t look at television or phone screens for at least an hour before you try to nod off. Consider having a bath before you go to bed to help you to relax. Most importantly, make time for sleep.
Take Regular Breaks
If you’re struggling to accomplish a task, sitting there and worrying about it is unlikely to help you. The words that you can’t find or the problem you can’t solve is unlikely to be resolved by staring endlessly at your computer screen. We’re not conditioned to spend hours of our time sitting in one place, focusing relentlessly on the same task, and we can easily become exhausted when we do. Breaks are important, and you should be taking them regularly.
There’s a whole field of scientific thinking about how and when we should take breaks, but the key is to take small ones and do it often. Listen to a song. Go for a drink. Maybe go on a short walk if it’s possible. Just take five minutes, and you’ll feel a whole lot better.
Change Your Diet
The things you put inside your body will affect the way that your body performs. Some foods are better for memory or concentration than others. Processed foods, with a few exceptions, don’t help you to keep your mind as sharp as you’d like it to be. Skipping breakfast – as many of us do these days – puts you on the back foot before the day has even really started.
Eggs and fish are great brain foods, as are green leafy vegetables. Avoid sugar where possible because you’ll have highs and lows, and the lows will be times of poor productivity. Most importantly of all, stay hydrated. The moment your hydration levels start to fall, you’ll hit a brick wall mentally.
Try Brain Training Games
When you lift weights, your arms get stronger. When you do sit-ups, your core strength improves, and you get better muscle tone. We know that – and many of us have routines in the gym aimed to achieve these precise outcomes – but we don’t make anything like the same time investment when it comes to training our brains. That’s a big mistake, and one we ought to do something about.
Try to find fifteen minutes every day to undertake a brain training activity. That can be something as basic as finding a newspaper and completing the crossword in it. If you have a willing partner or friend at home, play chess with them. Start doing jigsaws. Do anything that gets you thinking and problem-solving. Your mental acuity will benefit from it.
There’s a reason that meditation is almost a religion in certain parts of the world. It’s an ancient way of getting in tune with the way your body is feeling and calming your mind. A good meditation program can purge your brain of almost any kind of unwanted distraction. Meditation leads to mindfulness, and mindfulness will improve both your memory and your cognitive function. Once again, we’re dealing with qualified scientific facts.
There’s more to meditation than just sitting still with your eyes closed – you have to be pro-actively involved in it. Breathing exercises and yoga are a good way to start, but there are plenty of guidance videos on YouTube if you’re not sure where to begin. Look for videos that have had a lot of views and likes, as they’re the ones that are most likely to be effective.
Most of this comes down to making time for yourself and your brain. It’s better to put aside half an hour every day to work on your concentration skills and make good use of it than it is to make no ‘me’ time at all and then lose two or three hours to procrastination. Best of all, once your brain starts to feel better, you’ll start to feel physically better too!