“The Best Strategies for Staying Focused During Stressful Times” by Cathy Habas!

LA-Story.com contributor, Cathy Habas has assembled this smart piece on how to stay focused during periods of stress. For anyone reading this ( guys, this means you, too!), this piece could be very helpful to you!

 

The Best Strategies for Staying Focused During Stressful Times
By Cathy Habas!

Do you ever get stressed out at work, lose your focus, and then get even more stressed because you can’t focus long enough to get anything done? Join the club!

When you can’t focus very well, just getting started can be tricky. Fortunately, once you get past that initial block, it gets easier to focus for short periods at a time. Even though stress might cause you to feel tired and unproductive, you can still take care of things. Just don’t forget to take care of yourself too!

These tips can help whether you struggle to focus one random afternoon, or whether long-term stress really has you frazzled. Of course if you feel like you might benefit from a health exam, talk to your doctor. Conditions like low vitamin D, B12, or hypothyroidism can affect your brain in odd ways.

With that caveat in mind, try these quick (but effective!) fixes:

Take it 15 minutes at a time.
What can you accomplish in the next 15 minutes? That’s probably enough time to read an email, make a phone call, organize a to-do list, start some research or gather the tools you need to do your job. After 15 minutes, check in with yourself: what can you do now? Breaking tasks down into tiny steps like this helps you get started, which is often the hardest part. Once you get started, you might find it’s actually easier to focus than you thought, and that the task at hand isn’t as agonizing as you thought it would be.

Set reminders.
Sometimes it’s hard to focus because there are simply too many things buzzing around in your brain at once. How can you possibly focus on preparing a sales report when you’re trying to remember to make an important phone call at 2 pm? You keep checking the clock, worried you’ll forget to make that call. Take advantage of your smartphone and set an alarm for 2 minutes before that phone call. Now your brain has one less thing to bring to your attention every 10 seconds.

 

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Make a to-do list.
Combine the previous two points by writing down a detailed to-do list. This serves two purposes: it frees up your mind so that you can focus, and it helps you feel productive because you can cross something new off your list every 15 minutes or so.

 

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Create your ideal working environment.
Do you work better with a little bit of background noise, or in utter silence? Do you like being in a sociable working environment, or is any kind of activity too much of a distraction? Take some time to understand your ideal working environment. Maybe when you aren’t stressed, you can focus in less-than-perfect circumstances, but when you’re having trouble, you need to make things as easy as possible for yourself. Get noise-cancelling headphones, take a laptop to a low-activity corner, put your feet up, etc. Do what you need to do!

Be kind to yourself.
It’s okay if you don’t get everything done or if you don’t have the most productive day of your life. If your internal voice needs to pipe down, make a deliberate effort to say some positive affirmations, such as: “I am smart. I am talented. I am good at my job.” Stop any negative self-talk as soon as you can. It rarely ever provides motivation, and usually just causes more anxiety.

Feed your brain, but be wary of caffeine and sugar crashes.
Coffee and cookies can give you a boost during the day, but you need to keep replenishing your supply of caffeine and sugar in order to avoid a mid-day crash . If you want a healthier source of energy, try sipping on peppermint tea or snacking on blueberries and walnuts. Be sure to eat both breakfast and lunch to power you through the day, because hunger also affects concentration.

 

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Try some visualization techniques.
If you still can’t get motivated to start on a task, sit and imagine yourself doing it. But don’t just think about what this task looks like; think about what it feels like as well. Visualization gets easier with practice, and some people say it helps them to remove the mental block that prevents them from accomplishing anything.

With practice, these strategies can stop the focus-stress cycle in its tracks. If you’ve been struggling to manage your stress or lack of concentration for some time, remember: you don’t have to accept this as your new normal. Try to get back on track and feeling good, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone and talking to a pro.

Be good to yourself, and leave your own tips in the comments below! If you find that these tips help you deal with stressful situations or periods in your life, comment back here on LA-Story.com!

 

Good luck!

Cathy Habas

Bio for Cathy Habas:

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Cathy Habas is a freelance writer who specializes in giving practical tips to busy people. She’ll tackle virtually any topic. Cathy is based in Louisville, KY and works with clients from around the world.

Thanks and appreciation to Cathy Habas for sharing these great tips for staying focused despite stressful situations!!

Stevie Wilson,
LA-Story.com

 

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Save has assembled this smart piece on how to stay focused during periods of stress. For anyone reading this ( guys, this means you, too!), this piece could be very helpful to you!

Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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