Apart from using a high-quality fidget toy such as the Ratchet Ring to provide minor stimulation that helps your mind focus on the task at hand, there are many hacks and strategies that different gurus and experts recommend you to try out to maximize your focus, and get more done in less time.
We won’t waste your time and write an essay about what focus is or why it’s important, so let’s cut right to the chase.
This is one of the main pillars of maximizing focus, yet it is often neglected. “I can’t put away my phone, I may get a call” and “I won’t clean out my desk, I don’t have the time. I’ll start working right away instead” are common excuses for skipping this vital step.
This is highly counter-productive. If you feel that you cannot put away your phone due to some notification or call you might get, simply let your loved ones know you’ll be busy and wish not to be disturbed, and schedule time for checking your phone in between work blocks.
It can be as little as 30 minutes of work, and then 5 minutes of checking the phone. This will give you peace of mind and allow your brain to focus on what’s important without the constant worry of missing something.
Removing distractions also include:
- Cleaning out your workspace
- Turning off notifications
- Asking not to be disturbed
- Sitting in a quiet place
- Not snacking while working
- Working alone
2. Work In Blocks
Being able to work focused and create quality output for 8 hours straight without stopping is nothing but a dream for most of us, except if you’re a superhuman machine and your name starts with Elo and ends with usk. We only get so much motivation, and our discipline is often limited, too. The key here is to plan your work beforehand, and set up a schedule that you know you can fulfill.
The Pomodoro technique, a popular time management strategy introduced in the 80’s by author Francesco Cirillo, is a popular schedule for work. It involves working in 25 minute intervals with a 5 minute break in between, and repeating the process three times. This might not work for everyone, and you might want to work shorter or longer, but the major takeaway is to plan your work and incorporate planned breaks in between blocks.
What you do during your breaks is ultimately up to you, but many experts in the matter, such as the author of the book Deep Work (2016), Cal Newport, recommend not using this time for social media and scrolling, but rather using it for reading, household chores, and other things that you need to get done during your day. This increases your productivity even more.
3. Optimizing daily life for focus - A healthy lifestyle
This is the most important hack for focus, although it is less of a hack and more of a lifestyle change, for many. Doing these basic things, that you have probably heard hundreds of times before, is what is ultimately going to have the largest impact on your ability to focus.
- Sleeping 7-8 hours
- Following a healthy diet
- Not constantly scrolling social media
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is just as important for your mind as it is for the rest of your body. Without sufficient sleep, a healthy diet containing all of the nutrients your body craves, exercise, and a non-dependence on social media for quick dopamine, no ‘hacks’ will have any effect.
Working in blocks and optimizing your environment for focus are tools to build on your focus. Healthy habits are the foundation.
There are no shortcuts to achieving deep, long-lasting focus. It requires determination and the will to change and tweak your current habits. Most tools used for focus are within you, and the power to achieve deeper focus to get more done in less time lies in your hands.
There are external tools that can help you achieve and maintain focus, such as noise-cancelling headphones, notification blocking apps, and the Ratchet Ring, that helps your brain focus on the main task at hand by providing tactile stimulation, essentially distracting you from distractions.