Why Can’t I Focus? 5 Reasons and Solutions
It’s one of those days. You’re lethargic. Your mind is cloudy. And it feels impossible to be productive. We all have those days.
When feeling like this, a lot of people might reach for another cup of coffee. But ultimately, caffeine is just a temporary solution to a deeper issue. More than likely, there is a reason for your lack of focus. Relying on caffeine for your energy on a daily basis can lead to dependency and withdrawals.
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In this digital age we live in, distractions are ubiquitous. For this reason, maintaining a consistent level of focus can be difficult. In order to accurately diagnose yourself, first make sure you’ve eliminated all potential distractions in your workplace.
Once you’ve rid yourself of any external factors that could be affecting your focus, it’s time to conduct an honest assessment of your physical and mental health. You may not even realize it, but the way you treat your body and mind greatly impacts how you perform on a daily basis.
Before you can really lock in on your work, it’s important to take care of yourself. It’s normal to have off-days. However, there are actionable steps you can take to help you.
Here are five common reasons why you might be having trouble focusing, as well as some practical solutions!
When you wake up in the morning, do you feel fully rested? Do you often find yourself wishing that you had an extra thirty minutes or an hour to catch some Z’s? If so, the cause of your lack of focus could be attributed to fatigue.
Sleep is one of the most important regulatory habits of the human body. During sleep, the body works to support a healthy brain function and protect your physical health. Sleep deficiency can lead to chronic health issues and significantly affect your ability to think, learn, react, work, and empathize with others.
It might be beneficial for you to start sleeping an hour or two earlier so you can catch up on your rest throughout the week. Some people will try to make up for lost sleep on the weekends and binge sleep. However, it is much more effective to just sleep more every day.
Instead of opting for caffeinated drinks like coffee or energy drinks, try drinking a tall glass of water. Making sure you are sleeping enough is one thing, but you also need to make sure that you are eating enough and drinking enough water.
It’s also helpful to take daily multivitamins and dietary supplements to boost your energy levels. For safe, all-natural supplements, visit the Shop Hope online store! Next time you see your doctor, ask them what vitamins and minerals you’re deficient in.
You’ve Got Something On Your Mind
If you’ve got your sleep and diet in check, it could be possible that your lack of focus is stemming from a mental issue. Despite how overwhelming and demanding your work may feel every day, you have a personal life that deserves attention as well.
Sometimes though, these two worlds clash. You may find yourself at work one day still thinking about something that happened during the weekend. Or maybe you have an important event upcoming that is diverting all of your attention. Whatever the issue is, it’s imperative to identify it and create a plan to address it.
Don’t try to ignore your problems. Setting aside solving your issues for a later date will almost always lead to a breakdown. You build up all this stress, allow it to grow while you maniacally tend to other needs, then one day, boom; it all comes out. Avoid this scenario by taking the time and effort every day to pamper yourself and make yourself happy.
If that means taking a jog around town or hitting the gym for an hour, do it! If that means just kicking back and watching TV, do that too. Order from your favorite takeout spot. Go hang out with your friends. Do things that will make you happy, so you’re in an optimal state of mind when the time to work comes.
Your emotional state is directly tied to your focus level. The more at peace your mind is, the better you will be able to perform. Likewise, the more agitated or upset you are, the more likely you will be to make errors.
You’re Multitasking Too Much
Multitasking can be great for when you have to complete a variety of tasks that require minimal attention individually. But when it comes to bigger projects that demand scrutiny, multitasking isn’t an option.
One misconception about multitasking is that you are being more productive by working on different tasks at once. But in reality, you are probably wasting more time by repeatedly switching from task to task.
For instance, if you’re writing up a document while responding to emails, you’re going to have to constantly go back and forth from your word document to your email browser. You may feel like you’re being more productive because of this continual activity, but really, you’re probably just wasting more time and energy.
The solution? Focus on one task at a time. It sounds simple enough, but many people don’t actually realize how much they’re multitasking on a normal work day. Often, multitasking happens unconsciously. Next time you’re at work, make it a goal to only focus on one project until it’s complete. It takes a lot of discipline to buckle down and solely commit to one task at a time.
Put away your phone. Close your email browser (unless checking your emails is the task you’re doing!). And get to work. By working this way, each task you complete will receive your utmost effort and will be finished at the highest quality possible.
If you feel strong physically and emotionally but are still lacking focus, the problem could be rooted in your motivation. Motivation is an abstract concept that is essentially immeasurable. Yet, it is one of the driving factors behind why we do what we do.
Our brains are designed to seek rewards for our actions. When we work, we all expect a desirable outcome that will please us to some extent. This phenomenon can be dwindled down to an act as simple as eating. When you eat food, you are rewarded for your action; your hunger is eased.
In the same way, your work should feel rewarding to you. Your desire, whatever it may be; high esteem, financial stability, personal fulfillment; these things should be granted to you through your work. If they aren’t, or if you feel that the level of work you’re doing is not worth what you’re getting back, you may feel unmotivated.
Motivation cannot be fabricated. It must be genuine. Think about what drives you. What or who in your life inspires you to advance and be a better person? Take a moment out of your day to consider these things and get back to what makes you, you.
If you truly feel unmotivated all the time, you might want to look into a change in your situation. Forcing yourself to work through an ungratifying position can only lead to unhappiness.
Everyone has those days. Hopefully though, now you feel more equipped to deal with those days.
If you’ve employed all these solutions and still feel sapped of energy, consider checking out the Shop Hope online store! Our mind capsules are designed to help support long-term brain health and improve the speed at which you process information.
There are an unlimited number of distractions in this age of technology. Staying focused on your goals every day can be extremely hard for this reason. Fortunately, there are a plethora of ways to preserve your energy and maintain your level of attention.
Before you take care of your work, you need to take care of yourself. Everyone has off-days. But that doesn’t mean that you just have to suffer through your problems. Take the time to care for yourself today. You’ll thank yourself in the future!
Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency | NHLBI, NIH
Tips for Staying Motivated | College Board.org