Moms can find it difficult to stay focused, especially with hectic schedules and tasks. Discover 5 tips on being focused, even on your busiest days!
I have been compensated by ZonePerfect® for this post; however I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own. #AD #ZonePerfectRevitalize
As any mom knows, long gone are the days when we had enough time to concentrate and stay focused on tasks.
We struggle with finding time to manage our to-do lists and juggle being with the kids. Endless tasks and hectic schedules make us feel unorganized and overwhelmed. Our whole day can feel like one blur.
5 tips on being focused
Just today, I had to squeeze in grocery shopping, dropping off and picking up library books, and buying swimwear for the boys at the mall. Oh yeah, and all while trying to knock out my work for the day.
Thankfully we have simple hacks and changes that can make even a busy mom’s day manageable. Here’s how:
1. Assign deep work to your most uninterrupted time
Parents can all agree that we lack long stretches of uninterrupted time. From the days of newborn sleep deprivation to kids asking constant questions, we don’t always have hours to devote to important work.
Interruptions break our concentration. We scramble to find where we left off before we were interrupted, wasting valuable time better spent on the task.
While we may not have endless hours to ourselves, we can find pockets of time throughout the day. Take a look at where you can find the most time to yourself, then pair that with your most intensive work for the day.
And by work, I mean anything that requires your full attention, where you’d rather not have others clamoring for your time. Maybe it’s finally getting around to calling the cable company, or dedicating time to revising your resume. You’ll have better luck getting these done when you’re least interrupted.
2. Give yourself a time limit to get a task done
I always know I’m not being productive at work when I’m switching between Facebook and email. I convince myself I need a break, when the real reason is I’d rather not work at all. So I check email, oh… 36 times in an hour and watch videos on Facebook.
To help me stay focused, I use a neat trick, especially with difficult tasks: setting time limits.
I assign myself one hour to work on an important task. No email, no Facebook, and no other interruptions, even to grab a glass of water. When the hour is up, I then allow myself a 15 minute break. I can use this time to check email all I want. After the 15 minutes, I resume the same cycle.
Because if you give me the whole day to get the task done, I’ll take all day (including all the interruptions). But with a limited time, I get the same task done, often within the hour.
3. Imagine your day
A busy day can feel overwhelming when we don’t account for what we need to do. One habit I’ve found indispensable is to imagine my day. This is what I do:
At the end of each night, I imagine myself doing the tasks I need to do for the next day. In the case of my grocery store/library/swimsuit buying tasks, I pictured myself running those errands, down to the time of day and what it’ll look like.
Come the next day, the tasks already feel familiar. And most important, anything that doesn’t align with my image of what I had to do will alert me that it’s not “part of the plan.”
This alert helps me refocus on what I had planned and to better assess whether to deal with that interruption or not.
4. Give your kids a heads up
Tasks come up when you’re with the kids—tasks you can’t put off for later. I’ve found that the simplest way to get them done is to explain the situation to your kids.
Let your kids know that something came up, and that you’ll need about 15 minutes of no interruptions to get it done. Providing a time frame lets them know that waiting will be temporary, and giving the reason you need to focus makes them more likely to comply.
Better yet, give them something to do, preferably a new or exciting activity that requires little of your help. Then, when you’re done, devote plenty of time only to them, as a “thank you” for being patient while you handled your business.
5. Eat the right snacks
If you’re like me, you’re ready to conk out come three o’clock, willing bedtime to come sooner than later. We’re often depleted of energy, both physically and mentally.
That’s why it’s important to replenish your body with energetic snacks. Today I stopped by my local Target and picked up a box of the new ZonePerfect® Revitalize for Mental Focus to help me do that.
ZonePerfect Revitalize comes in Strawberry Shortcake and Salted Caramel Latte flavors, and my favorite, Hot Chocolate Marshmallow! The bars make the perfect snacking solutions for busy moms. I like packing nutrition bars because they make for a convenient, on-the-go snack, right when you need the energy.
The Hot Chocolate Marshmallow has 11 grams of protein and green tea extract to increase mental sharpness and focus. In fact, the amount of green tea extract in these bars has caffeine levels equal to half a cup of coffee!
Find ZonePerfect Revitalize in your local Target. I found mine in the lunchbox aisle in the snacks area. You can learn more about the product here.