Avoid March Madness With These Hacks for Focusing

tips for focusing

I love a good game, but I think it’s safe to say that “March Madness” applies to much more than basketball this year. We’re collectively living through all different forms of madness and some days it’s hard to keep our heads on straight — rightfully so. While it’s crucial that we listen to our bodies and know when we need to rest, some days we need a little extra boost to meet a deadline or wrap up a project. I promise you, we can do it. So how do you structure a day for success and productivity? It’s time to put the “grind” in Grace & Grind. Here we go!

Lock your phone away

If you’ve ever done a Getaway trip, you know that the first thing you see when you walk into your cabin is a lockbox for your phone. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself in this 21st-century world is the present. Snap out of phone fog, doom scrolling, and pesky screen distractions by putting your phone out of sight and out of mind. You can buy and decorate your own little box from Michael's if you’re feeling crafty, simply zip it up in that make-up pouch you never use, or even throw it in your kitchen cabinet. Whatever you use doesn’t actually need a lock, but if you struggle with self-control, try leaving it in another room or have someone you live with hiding it somewhere until you’re done with the task at hand.

Hide your emails

I’m telling you this because I love you: put your email tabs in a different window. Not in a smaller window and not in a split-screen, but in a completely different window. If you keep your emails up where you can see them and while you’re working, you’ll feel obligated to respond immediately to whatever comes in. Say it with me: it can wait. Especially if you’re on a deadline! If your job requires you to be in constant communication, don’t hesitate to set up an automatic response saying you’re working on an important project and will respond by the end of the day. 2021 is the year of reclaiming your time!

Drink more water

Whenever I can’t seem to mentally wake up or focus, nine times out of ten I’m simply just dehydrated. Those memes harassing us to drink water? They’re doing it for a good reason. If you’re anything like me and despise drinking it (I’d rather be sipping on coffee or juice, oops), chug a glass of water at the top of every hour to keep you feeling refreshed and revitalized. It’s also good for your skin. Boom.

Play to your productivity

I’ve seen a lot of well-meaning advice out there telling people to get their most important work done at the beginning of the day, but I digress. Play to your most productive time of time. Mine just so happens to be in the morning, but if you tend to crank at night, after a long mid-day gym session, or in the afternoon following lunch — you do you. As long as you don’t procrastinate on your project and give yourself time to get it done, you know your rhythms better than anyone else. Listen to them.

Work in one-hour increments

One thing I’ve found that has worked for me is working in one-hour increments. I start work at the top of the hour, focus for 45 minutes uninterrupted, then break for 15 to get up and walk around, check emails, or read something cool. I start back up at the top of the next hour, this way I’m always on track. It's also fun to time myself on a task and race against the clock!

Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan!

One of the worst things you can do walking into a busy day is not structuring it. I find that the easiest markers are meals. The night before, I plan out what I’m having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so I’m not overwhelmed with those choices the next day. It also gets me excited for the day ahead when I pick something yummy for breakfast to start me out, a healthy lunch with lots of greens to keep me fueled, and a hearty dish or my favorite take-out to act as my dinner reward! One less thing to think about makes your day a whole lot easier. Good luck, you got this!