5 Highly Effective Tactics I Use To Focus When I Just Can't Focus


Can I get some focus drugs, please?

I am someone very particular about, well, everything.

From my OCD habit of having my placemats perfectly square to hanging my shirts white to black, tee to jacket, it all has to be…right.

It’s no surprise then that I need to be in a very specific environment (clean, modern, colorful) to keep focused on what needs focusing.

SO! When the coffee buzz is gone and the exercise endorphins have wore off, here is what I do when my mind is spinning out on the 29 open tabs running amok.

I open my journal and write down the question, “What do I need to focus on today?”

I then write down NO MORE than 3 things to accomplish for the day. This keeps underwhelm in check, and guarantees confidence that I will accomplish whatever those three things are.

I put whatever is distracting me out of my sight.

This is typically my phone, which is difficult because I need my phone to work.

If I’m working from home (anyone else sick of this yet?), this is usually my dog barking or my husband bothering me, so I either head to a coffee shop with my laptop, or change rooms in my house.

The change of scenery is an instant energy boost/re-focus tactic that never fails me.

I go outside to breathe for 5 minutes

Aka close my eyes, take deep breaths, and think about one thing that I’m looking forward to (lunch with a friend), and one thing that I’m grateful for (my health).

Sometimes it only takes 1 minute. The point is to remind myself that I am alive, well, and lucky, when I’m stressed out about something stupid like not remembering my LinkedIn password.

Hack: This Feel Better in 30 Seconds trick is gold in directing your attention to where it needs to be.

I take CBG

Yes, you read that right. CBG, not CBD.

What is it, you ask? CBG is a mood-boosting supplement that clears your mind and allows you to focus better. It is extracted from the hemp plant (no, hemp is not weed, Baby Boomers), and gives you a steady yet subtle feeling of alertness.

10 minutes into taking it I feel calm, steady, and happy — a necessary hack for freelance writers juggling deadlines, clients, invoices, edits, and the like.

I take one capsule after I’ve had my 2 cups o’ Joe (homemade oat milk lattes with a teeny tiny dash of cinnamon), and have found it to be quite effective in turning my very annoying analysis paralysis function down — and my creativity levels up.

I call someone — but I cap the call at 5 minutes

Told you I was particular.

To ensure I don’t get sucked in a 30-minute gab sesh, I text the person beforehand: “HIE! Can you chat for 5 min?”

This takes the pressure off both myself and whomever I’m calling that we don’t need to have a full-blown life catch up. This is to benefit both of our energy levels — AND — it rejuvenates the friendship in the process.

Each time I do this, I go back to work feeling recharged and happy. Try it!

“How I Get My Focus Back” Recap

  1. Write down what you need to get done for the day

  2. Put whatever is distracting you out of your sight

  3. Go outside for 5 minutes

  4. Take CBG

  5. Call someone

My Focus Drugs Are…

  • Strong coffee — Piping hot espresso, please.

  • Peloton class — Are you there, Cody?!

  • Instagram saved posts — Colorful, inspirational tips (like this one) I save & read when I need a creative boost.

  • Sunshine — Through the windows, on my face, or via a bright bouquet of yellow flowers on my desk.

  • CBG — A plant-based supplement for mental clarity and focus.

  • Other humans — Do not underestimate the power of a 5-minute phone call or FaceTime.

  • Music — If only a song a two, music is always good for the soul.

This Week’s Mantras

I give myself permission to live how I want.

I will protect my energy.

I will do more of what makes my heart feel good.

HAPPY TUESDAY, FRIENDS! Thank you for reading today. I hope these focus tactics work for you. Maybe bookmark this one for the next time you’re pulling your hair out whilst reviewing your lady-do list.

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Be you.