Five Reasons Why You Can’t Focus, and What to Do About It
Do you often experience mixed feelings of uncertainty, anxiousness, unorganized thoughts, and being overwhelmed right in the middle of doing a task that you need to be done?
To be honest, it’s your lack of focus that’s hindering you from experiencing this as you attempt to work hard like you usually do months or years ago, if not weeks.
This is a must to learn! After all, one’s lack of focus is a very fatal issue for the sake of your own commitments in life.
Oftentimes, lack of focus leads towards demotion at your job.
It may even cause issues within your business ventures.
Lack of focus could even progress by affecting all the things you do in life. It could even affect marriages and your daily habits negatively if it progresses into procrastination once you find comfort in your lack of focus.
It is noted in an article by Entrepreneur that a statistic based on a Harvard Business School study by Shikar Ghosh has found out that 75 percent of startups that are venture-backed tend to fail. Lack of focus was number one among the seven key reasons why this huge percentage failed.
The article also stated that the success of failure of a business depends on the decision making of the entrepreneur, or let’s say for employees and students for the sake of increasing your focus in-general. Along with decision making is the knowledge of the business or study you’re focusing at.
This just shows that focus is the key for you to become better in decision making and how to manage everything in your life and at work.
You also needed that if you want to become a good person in socializing with other people.
However, people create or really have a ton of reasons why they find it hard to focus, and why it worsens.
Here are some of the reasons that you may have said just to compensate for your lack of focus:
- I feel tired/sleepy.
- I’m quite sad today.
- I feel down.
- I’m on my period!
- I broke up with…
- I’m so broke this week!
- My room/The office looks too messy!
- I missed my friend that’s why I chatted him/her in Facebook.
- I got carried away and browsed the web for too long.
- It was a very fun trip. That’s why I had to take that chance then do my work later.
- I feel kinda sick…
- I had to do blah… blah… blah…
- I had to go blah… blah… blah…
The last three may seem like a valid reason at most times, but some already tried to lie by using those.
But nonetheless, these reasons are often the excuses a lot make. But little do they know that it just led towards their negative approach in life to the point where they don’t want to stay focused at the things needed to be done.
If you want more reasons that people put when they lose focus at work here are some more:
But don’t worry anymore if you feel like it’s hard to get rid of these reasons and if you feel like focusing at work seems impossible anymore!
We can give you a better details based on these reasons for you to fully understand the five main reasons why you can’t focus, and what to do about it!
THE ROOT OF EVERYTHING
Before learning what are those five main reasons, you need to briefly learn the root cause of this problem: procrastination.
Your habit of doing unnecessary things, instead of accomplishing important goals for the day, is the main reason why you lack focus in the first place.
There is no actual need for you to get prescription for this as it’s a very powerful disease in your lifestyle, not in your brain’s health condition.
Procrastination has been labeled by Rick Thomas as something that can affect one’s “soul and marriage”. This has been a proven fact as he conducted a case study about a person named Mable who earns $250 thousand per year with her husband Biff.
They are committed in their religious ministry for 13 years as well. However, Mable became very dull and boring over the years due to her procrastination, and she even became piled up with work after that.
Researchers said that a failure of self-regulation coordinated with a bad behavior that leads to lack of self-control is often the main cause of a cluttered mind.
And when our mind is preoccupied with a lot of things, that is the time that we cannot focus well.
PROCRASTINATION: DIVIDED INTO FIVE
Discovering that procrastination is the root cause of your lack of focus isn’t enough.
You have to completely understand the five main reasons why you tend to lack focus in order to realize why you experience those instances of procrastination.
Along with these facts come tips for you to understand everything as you live on your daily life and accomplish whatever needs to be worked hard on. Remember, a hardworking mindset leads to a hardworking body, which leads to a better life.
In this article, our goal is to elaborate and discuss the different reasons for this matter. These also have legit proofs that were researched and discovered by scientists around the world as well.
For sure the following can help you in having a healthier lifestyle as a hardworking individual:
A Distracted Mind
Delaying things happens due to your mind being distracted by other stuff.
In fact, you may even focus on other stuff rather than the work at hand. This means that you still have good focusing skills; only used in a negative way.
Negative emotions can also cause you to focus on it even more due to the impact that it can lay on your mind and feelings.
That’s why sadness due to a broken heart or due to lack of money can often leave you tired and unfocused at work. Seeding anger towards someone or being mad over something bad that happened to you can lose your focus as well.
This occurrence leads to poor performance in our daily routine. A case study at Western Reserve University from 1997 shows that college people have a higher stress level and distracted mind.
Timothy Pychyl, a professor who studies procrastination at Carleton University, in Ottawa, says, people that are in the midst of an important task, often feels anxious. Too much worrying can cause uneasiness and develops a behavior turning into a vicious, self-defeating cycle. Therefore, it causes a person to be distracted.
The most notable example of issue are the typical students with many school works. Stuff such as project deadlines and the exams are the heaviest examples of these works.
Usually, most students will just keep on overthinking, wasting a lot of time in return of analyzing stuff and memories over and over.
As a result, they do stuff that can alleviate their stress. This also happens to them when they are already in the corporate field, especially when a lot of task needs to be done.
But whether you have a broken heart, mad over a rude neighbor or workmate, or maybe because you have a ton of stuff to do, you still need to commit to your first priorities in life. Here are the best ways to stay your mind on the most important things to do:
- Self-Discipline – The best way to overcome these dilemmas is to invest in self-discipline. Learn to become disciplined by committing to the work at hand and whatever goal there is behind it. These commitments will surely be enough to keep you focused.
- Stop Over Thinking – Unnecessary thoughts are the major causes of this problem and it also leads to unwanted behaviors. And this matter causes the person to postponed their duties and tasks. Overthinking can also lead to stress as repeated thinking over a bad situation can just worsen your mood.
- A Positive Lifestyle – Living a healthy lifestyle is the essential thing to consider in handling the thoughts and behaviors that lead to this habit. Learn to practice relaxation techniques, to make yourself protected from everyday stress. Exercise can also give you a more positive mindset due to the hormones that it can release for your brain.
Lack of Decisiveness
You got an exciting and interesting plan for today, yet your bad habit and lack of self-motivation hinders you from finishing your important tasks.
Have you ever wondered what could probably be the reason for this behavior?
Here are the signs that you could probably lack decisiveness:
- Doubting your ability in making a decision
- Overthinking the things that you should do
- Afraid of doing things because you might be rejected.
All these will make you spend too much time worrying and become unproductive. It could also lower your motivation and self-confidence. Lack of self-confidence and motivation also worsen this issue as it can hinder you from thinking properly about the right decisions for your work or business.
According to Netherlands Journal of Psychology, (p. 63, 2-13), decision-making and choosing are not always easy. Thus, indecisiveness seems to be a widespread phenomenon. However, the scientific literature on indecisiveness is rather limited. I
ndeed, even a clear definition of indecisiveness is lacking, let alone a model in which various indecisiveness-related concepts are integrated.
Indecisiveness also refers to the experience of decision problems. Here are some of the experience of issues with decision-making:
- Lack of information
- Valuation difficulty
- Outcome uncertainty
The following always results in overt choice-related behaviors such as delay, tunnel vision, and post-decision dysfunctional behavior (e.g., worrying too much).
To let your worries go, and for you to make clearer decisions that can drive you better at work, here are the things to counter this issue:
- Make a Firm Decision– This is more of a skill that can be practiced into a habit. Start by simply making a minor way of deciding things. How long would it last you to choose on this matter?. Then continue practicing it on making major decisions. Do not let yourself consumed too long thinking what will the best choice to make.
- Think About Appropriate Decisions – Indecisiveness roots about overthinking the negative decisions. Always think about making the decisions that can benefit people and not just you for it to become positive. The essence is simply this if you have the capability to do appropriate decisions fast. Then you can surpass the worrying stage, and focus more on accomplishing the things to be done.
Lack of Adequate Rest
In our fast-paced life nowadays, it is becoming hard to get the sufficient amount of rest we need to become energetic and productive. A lot of factors trigger our stress level and causes us to have an inadequate sleep.
Unhealthy lifestyle and routine cause our body to be less productive and it results in poor performance. This lack of energy gives us this main factor why we cannot focus well on our actions, thus become absent-minded at times.
Lack of rest is bad for our health, sleep deprivation is the most common issue when it comes to this matter. Six to eight hours is the average amount of sleep a person must have daily. During sleep, our body restores its chemical balance, and also beneficial to have a sharp memory.
Less quality of sleep would result in low quality of life, unfortunately, a person’s immune system weakens, thus become highly susceptible to having an illness. Illness can lose your focus even more, and lack of sleep is always the root cause of it!
The most popular case study in sleep deprivation is about Peter Tripp, a radio personality known in New York City who stayed awake for over 200 hours. Tripp had called what he did as a ‘’Wakeathon’’ as a stunt to raise money for charity purpose. In January 1959, he decided to stay awake for almost 8 days in a row.
During the first stages of the wakeathon, Tripp seemed to be fine, he is known for his fun and cheerful personality. As days go by, he began acting irritable.
And the doctors who were at him during the situation noticed that his body temperature becomes lower than usual. As they go deeper with Tripp’s sleep depriving stunt, he began hallucinating. They discovered that Tripp is in a dream-like state already even when awake.
This goes to show that people’s thinking patterns negatively change due to lack of sleep. In a less-severe case compared to Tripp, sleep deprivation results a lack of proper function on your mind and body. Here are some good ways to make your sleep better:
- Schedule and Commit – Get a good sleep by simply committing on your sleep schedule. But if your lack of focus is already severe, the other tips below are the best to practice first before this.
- Lessen or Avoid Your Usual Favorite Drinks – Always avoid having drinks with alcohol or caffeine, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks 6 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid Gadget Use – Turn off gadgets 30 minutes before sleeping.
- Pre-Sleeping Routines – You can also take some relaxing routines like yoga to increase your capacity to sleep. As long as you can practice a healthy lifestyle daily, it will help you achieve the great focus you need to do your important tasks.
Physical clutter overloads your senses just like how loaded your mess is, making you feel unwanted thoughts that may affect your sense of creativity and drive to perform.
But in other cases, some people find a messy working area livelier than a clean one and may be a source of inspiration and good thoughts.
However, this only works if you have a different perspective and high tolerance over overloaded stuff in your place.
- Be Pristine – Most of the time, prefer a clean environment rather than a ragout one. It often gives a sense of focus, inspiration and less irritability.
- Remove Useless Stuff – Admit it, there are times where we become treasure collectors by keeping unwanted stuff on your desk. This can eventually turn into junk that you will just dispose, and the cycle repeats. It’s not that hard to eliminate useless things because they are so in the first place. So why keep them? If you can’t get rid of the habit, bring it home instead.
- Do It First Thing In Your Shift – You can start working by decluttering your desk before starting your work. Make a habit of putting just the essential things and avoid those that are unnecessary such as the junk you left last night after rushing to go home. This could even become your warm-up task before doing your actual job for you to stay hardworking.
Gadgets and social media is now a lifestyle for many of us as it has touched our lives in the way we communicate and learn.
However, you can still treat it as addiction if you a lot of time and effort using our up-to-date cellphones, tablets, laptop or even desktop without working properly.
Gadgets and the internet can make you spend the whole day posting different things on the internet due to the entertainment it can give you. It could even make you waste precious hours until you realize that it’s time to work.
According to Inquirer.net, the Philippines seems to be the leading country when it comes to time spent on social media. This is according to internet trends report released by social media management platform Hootsuite and United Kingdom-based consultancy We Are Social Ltd.
The report showed that average of Filipinos spent 4 hours and 17 minutes per day on social media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. The data were based on active monthly user data from social media companies as recent as Jan. 2017. (Inquirer.Net)
According to 2014 research from Global market research company, Millward Brown just released a report about the minutes spent of Filipinos in using gadgets. According to this, the Philippines ranks second worldwide when it came to most minutes spent using screen sat 531 minutes (or more than 8 hours) a day.
In the Philippines, the most used type of screen is the smartphone (174 minutes), followed by the laptop, tablet, and TV. (FFE Magazine, For Filipinos in Europe Magazine)
In these research studies, it obviously shows how a great amount of distractions Filipinos get in just using gadgets and social media. In another way around, using phones and social media are indeed useful in our daily lives. But without a proper discipline in using these things, it will literally affect our work routine.
This issue in the country caused many people to lack focus and spend time over trivial things that might make them laugh of entertained. Most millennials in the country are also reported to be surveyed many times in various college case studies. Many find out that usage of social media platforms and smartphone games led them to procrastinate heaving over their school works as well.
But even if you’re not in the Philippines, it’s a worldwide fact that gadgets can be a huge factor in lessening your focus. The major thing that caught our attention is by using our phone most of the time. Checking our phone once in while its either we just want to check our social media accounts or we urgently need to use a certain application.
We just can’t help looking by our gadgets from time to time, because most of the essential things we need are on our phone. A perfect instance of this is when you see that red circle on your notification numbers. Deny it or not, it often causes everyone to click on the app to see it.
Because of the rapid existence of technology in our daily lives, our gadgets become one of the major must have’s every day. And we can’t just simply get rid of this thing, even if we want too. But we can input discipline in using this. Here are some tips to lessen your addiction over technology:
- Use Your Gadgets Correctly – All things have its advantages and disadvantages, and it depends on us whether it will become a useful thing or can serve as a distraction. Gadgets are one of them as you can use it at work. And if we are sincere in finishing our goals for the day, you will choose to use your gadget apps for work purposes only.
- Put It Away Instead – Some companies do this by making employees put away their phones in a locker or in their bags before starting their duties. By doing this, employees can focus well and spend more time at work instead.
- Set Your Priorities – This is basically a tip for every main reason why you can’t focus. Choose to be productive by thinking that there are other matters that should be prioritized rather than seeing trivial stuff of getting an achievement in a game. For sure it will lead you to more opportunities in the future.
LOVE YOUR WORK TO FOCUS!
Procrastinating will just lead you to be a less progressive person, and the following reasons why are just what causes you to enter this bad lifestyle. These major reasons can serve as a guide in your everyday life, just like how you reflected on your mistakes upon reading the following.
This is excellent to read over again when you are on the verge of procrastinating important things as well. And we do hope that it can help you manage your stress and perform at your best.
Always remember that by a healthier mindset always leads to a more driven body when it comes to accomplishing things. This is a business trait that many entrepreneurs have done in order to become very successful in their businesses.
And to do so, setting your true priorities right is what’s needed to be done first. If you master the tips we gave, we are entirely sure that focusing towards hard work will become second nature to you!