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7 Tips to improve your focus at home

Glasses on a book
19:00 | May 31, 2020

7 Tips to improve focus

Simple things to do to improve your focus at home

Hi beautiful soul, I got a beautiful new inspiration today. Hope you enjoy it!

You are probably working from home, attending school from home or just working for yourself in the comfort of your own home. Anyway we have to sit home a lot, that doesn’t mean we should be lazy and do nothing. I have had a lot of struggles with focussing on my work these are 7 unusual tips that will help you!

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At about seven in the morning, the alarm would go off. Jay gets up at this time every morning. He dresses, goes to the bathroom and splashes some damn cold water in his face. “Woeeww I am awake” He would say. Then he packed his bag for school. His laptop, water bottle, chargers, and a book to read while commuting from home to school. Going downstairs he grabbed his shoes and put everything nicely on the kitchen table. Then it was time for breakfast. Your standard yogurt, fruit, and granola combination. He’d eat it and then go poop for about 15 minutes because taking your phone to the bathroom means that it becomes a dangerous time-wasting device. After a few minutes, his leg would start to tingle and that was his cue to get up. He’d brush his teeth after of course washing his hands and then grab his bag, shoes, and coat and cycle to the train station. He had done that for well over half of the last three years. Day in day out. Except for the vacations, of course, that time he spends in his bed to about 9 am. 

After doing this for about 600 days, which is about three years of school things started to change. The first three years of his school were easy on him. It was just like doing your job day in day out. He followed the rules and after school would spend some time doing what he loved. Which was painting and writing poems. He wanted to become a professional painter at that time. The rest of his spare time was spent playing video games with Tha Boyz. Yup, that’s what he called them. Because he loved painting and poems so much he started to dislike school more each year. So when he had to choose what to do in his final year he didn’t know. He decided to follow a half-year course on writing skills. That would massively improve his storytelling capabilities. That just wasn’t meant to happen yet. The thing he wanted to follow so damn badly was closed already. So what to do next? It was almost the end of the year and all other options were closed already. Okay fuck, this means I was gonna have to take half a year off. No school. 

“Wait a minute,” Jay thought, that doesn’t sound as bad. I could focus on painting and becoming better at it. He set out to write down his intentions for that upcoming half year. Which where: become better at painting and earning money with it. Wow, good job Jay very clear goals. That was sarcasm. These were unrealistic goals and completely unclear on what to do. Jay thought differently and started just as he would normally. On his first day of school, or rather the day when everyone else continued school he got up at seven. His alarm clock had woken him up. This time, he smashed it to oblivion trying to stop it. “Let me snooze it for about half an hour. There is no big rush on getting up right now. I can do whatever I want!” So the story goes. Each day he would get up later. By the end of the first week, his schedule had completely changed. He got up at nine sometimes even at ten and then go down in his sweatpants to eat breakfast and watch YouTube videos till about twelve. Then he would have lunch, but… he had promised himself to focus on important things in the afternoon. 

He ate lunch and watched an episode of his favorite show, chefs table, on Netflix. Then clean up the dishes and go attend to his ‘important work’. “What exactly might that be?” He asked himself. In his drive to focus on ‘getting there,’ jay forgot to write down specific goals. The entirety of the next half year he spend doing absolutely fucking nothing. He sat on every couch and chair in the house watching YouTube video’s on how to earn money online. He would then try one method for just a second and got distracted again by the shiny red icon on his home screen. At the end of his half-year off he looked back. There where only five weeks left until his next semester would start, and what had he done? NOTHING! None of his goals become true and he felt shit. The next five weeks he wanted to focus but couldn’t. He couldn’t think of anything but his failure. He was so furious on himself that he started to blame others for his own mistakes. After all, they had made him lousy, unfocused, and lazy. 

Skip forward about half a year and he would be on top of his game. Not working productively but effectively. Starting his workday at 10 ending it at 4 or 5 and then continue to work on his projects. It had finally worked out for him. He started on his long-awaited project to create a book full of poems and he started to look less at his goal of earning money and focused more on the art of painting. He wanted to become a master at it. 

This fucking dude was me. Not complete of course. I can’t paint nor am I a good poet. I did start creating a book, only on the topic of gratitude. I called him Jay because I didn’t want you to think of me at first. I intended to write this story just as an example for you. I didn’t want to be this vulnerable and show my bad qualities of the last year. Then I thought to myself, nope I am gonna say that this story is about me. I want you to see that everybody is beautiful yet has his ugly sides as well. A lot has changed over the last months, I learned my lesson from doing absolutely nothing all day long and got back on track. When I then heard so many people struggled with getting to their projects I decided why not share my personal story. So I have gone through the same struggles as you did. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I want to give you some ways to maybe learn from me instead of making the same mistakes. I have divided them into three useful ‘yet overly accounted for’ tips and three extremely useful ‘yet less accounted for’ tips. 

Photo by Cassiano Psomas on Unsplash

Three highly useful 'yet overly accounted' tips:

1. Get out of your bed

As you can probably tell from the story my morning routine was great. I got up early and took the time to eat breakfast and sit on the toilet for more than 15 minutes. Perfect morning routine don’t you think? Well, when I had to do it on my own it turned out to be awful. How could you sustain something that is not making you happy? You just go through it unconsciously. So I decided to change some things. I still get up at 7 am, yet I decide to always put on fresh clothes and splash some cold water in my face. After that, I would make breakfast and sit down with it. No phone has been touched at this point. I just simply sit there and eat my delicious porridge. Then after finishing my breakfast I am allowed to finally touch my phone. I still sit on the toilet way too long and often grab my phone before finishing breakfast but that’s completely okay. Then after doing my thing there I move on to reading about twenty pages a day. There it ends. I make myself a cup of coffee and then start to work on my book and blog. 

Oh, by the way, I would highly recommend getting ungrounded coffee beans, a grinder and a French press to make your coffee. The taste of freshly grounded beans is nothing compared to filter or machine-made coffee!

Crafting a routine that you both love and motivates you has proven to be essential to getting shit done. 

2. Craft your ACHIEVABLE To-Do list

The second thing that is incredibly powerful is a To-Do list. It’s such an easy tool. You can write it on a piece of paper or download one of these nifty apps. I love using TickTick, just because I can schedule task per day and have a build-in habit tracker. It doesn’t matter what you use, just try to find your way of doing this. There is one catch to it. Write it so you can ACHIEVE it. Take that in for a second. ACHIEVE. Don’t be like ‘go hard or go home me’ that wanted to achieve the world in only half a year. Write a to-do list of small individual tasks. Don’t go beyond more than 2 big tasks a day. It just doesn’t work to do more than that. It will either make you go insane out of pure anxiety of not finishing it or make you go nuts and not start at all. Both have no benefit to your productivity or health. 

So craft one that you can achieve. Make it as simple as 4 tasks you know you can finish before noon. Yes, only 4 things. If you can tick those boxes before twelve it means there is so much time for you left that you can not resist but do more. Well most of us. Some will take this advice way too literally and just do four tasks which consist of: making breakfast, going upstairs, sitting down on my chair, and looking at my screen. Those are four things everyone can do. Yet they don’t benefit your productivity nor effectiveness. So get those suckers off your list and start doing some real work. Start small and build up to a larger to do. 

3. Work towards something you are passioned about

The last one that is kinda obvious, but that is hard to neglect is working on something you are passionate about. Now I don’t mean that you should just quit your job if you are not passionate about it. I mean that you should take time out of your day to work on this. Especially if you work on it at the end of your day. That way you are working towards something you love. For example, if you work for a law-business and absolutely hate the job because you want to become a gardener then spend just a few hours a day, maybe even at work on gardening. Because no one actually spends his full 8-hour workday on working for the business. You browse through the internet at times or talk to your colleagues. Then just take half an hour of that at google places to work as a gardener. Next to that try to work on it once your home. Create a mini garden or just work in the garden you already have. It’s an easy fix to getting more energy out of the day. 

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Three highly useful ‘yet not mentioned often’ tips:

4. Watch a YOU CAN DO IT NOW video also known as motivational videos

If the satisfaction of ticking off boxes doesn’t make you more effective and focused then this might help. If I ever feel like not doing a damn thing and clicking one after the other ‘recommended YouTube video’, I decide to watch one of these. A motivation video. One of those a bit cheesy video’s where famous people who build up million dollar companies from scratch scream or talk loudly. Those are the kind of things that will get your ass fired up. You will find your heart lighting up knowing that it is damn powerful and you start writing one after the other essay for school. Trust me this is freaking powerful. 

5. Schedule not doing anything

Normally people would tell you to schedule your time to go hard and work on your dreams. I like to think of this differently. Try to schedule the time when you can be your lazy fucking self. We all have this characteristic within ourselves. At times that demon of laziness comes out and tries to lure you into doing nothing. The best way to help him is to give him a schedule when to come out. That way the demon can rest during the day, leaving you alone. You can go hard at school and feel focused. Then, let’s say 4 pm, that demon is allowed to come out till 7 pm. Viola, there it is. Your demon of laziness. Perfectly satisfied with only coming out of its cave for about three hours. There is nothing wrong with him, you will find him quite useful. He kinda feels relaxing. So try to schedule your off time instead of your on time. Sound counter-intuitive, just try it. 

6. Don’t look at others

Don’t you dare compare yourself to someone else? Your beautiful as you are. I don’t just call you a beautiful soul for no reason, right? You carry all the skills and powers within yourself to start doing it. It’s okay to look at others for inspiration or go through self-development videos or blogs to learn something new. Just don’t forget that it is more about implementing that knowledge than just getting it in there. I love that you are listening or reading this story, but I hope that after this you start to implement it instead of going on to the next video or blog post. 

I know that can be hard because you will be lured into one after the other post. The titles of some of these videos are just to catching to dismiss. What I am trying to say is, just try to love the other for their progress or ability to focus. Then take what you love from them and implement it. Don’t let it bring you down because you aren’t there yet. You will be, only it will take you the same amount of time falling and getting back up again. 

Photo by yns plt on Unsplash

Last tip

7. Sit the fuck down

Yes, sit down. Not the entire day of course but sit down and do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just stare at a wall, a flower, the ground, a picture, or the calendar on the toilet, you probably spend 15 minutes on their anyway. I can’t be the only one to do that right? 

I am not kidding just sit for 5 minutes a day. Quietly observing everything happening around you. The word meditation has a ‘woshy washy’ sound to it. Although I adore that, some might find it scary to even attempt or just find it plain stupid. “Who would want to be with their thought anyways? That won’t change anything!” It might not, at the same time it might as well. You don’t know. The key to meditation is the act of sitting down and doing nothing. Calming the mind. Now that is something we can all appreciate. If you want to focus that means that all the outside distractions and voices inside your head should just hone down on one individual task. Not at a million at the same time. 

If you want to read a book thoughts like “did I close the door behind me? or what shall I eat tonight?” are not useful at all. They distract you from reading and in that means from being here with your attention. Not doing anything forces you do focus on these thoughts and just allow them to flow. In the end, if all the thoughts have been gone through your head there is nothing for you to think of anymore. You have just answered all of their questions. You now know that you closed the door and you decided to eat taco’s tonight. Well great, that is two fewer thoughts. There might come up a few more and that is okay. Just answer them and let them leave again. 

Now you have all the tips I can share with you. Go and focus on what you adore! “You still can’t focus?” you say. What? Why not? I just gave you all the tips I have for you. Okay, I get it, this is the final thing I will add to the list. It’s not a tip but something you should take into every aspect of your life. 

“Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own!” ~ Bruce Lee

The thing is I as well as so many other individuals on the internet can give you list after list of how to developer yourself. Yet you will not get any better if you don’t make it your own. If you just take everything from the other person you will try to become the other person. Instead, try to mix what you love about the other person with what you hate about yourself. Then you can discard the things you lacked and kept the things you loved about yourself. You could love to make a better to-do list and feel that is the best way for you to focus better. That doesn’t mean you should also use the other six tips. Just take that one and implement it within your life. 

Absorb what is useful and discard what is useless. It’s simple yet the most effective way to become a more effective human being. With these tips or at least one of them I can assure you, you will not be that lazy prick, Jay (or me), at the beginning of the story.  

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About me

Today I lived is a three word quote that reminds me and you to live. To enjoy this life and look for the sunshine in your day! Cause “beauty is everywhere”