Make time and create the mindset for full focus

It takes time for our brain to get into full concentration, especially if we were busy doing other things, even simple tasks like clearing up after breakfast. In scientific terms it is called the ‘attention residue’ – the time it takes our brain to re-calibrate to the task in hand.

The most important first step is therefore deliberately to create time for focus – defined moments when you allow yourself to delve deep into the task with no disruptions or interruptions. This may sound obvious, but with busy calendars, back-to-back meetings and unexpected requests during the working day, creating such a sacred, dedicated space can be a challenge.

Plan for deep, intense work on your top priority task and block this time off in your agenda (morning hours tend to be best for focus for many). Then further prime the brain towards a ‘dedicated focus mode’ by choosing a mentally supportive statement. For example, you can tell yourself ‘I’m delving in right now’ or ‘time for laser sharp focus’or ‘I can easily complete what I set out to do’. Your mind is powerful; use it!

Write down your chosen statement on a Post-It note and stick it somewhere visible on your desk. It will serve as a reinforcing mental cue.