How I Stay Focused (and Extra Sparkly)

Staying focused as a blogger can be really difficult. I often find I’m trying to work hard but really can’t focus (or stay extra sparkly) when I need to. Through spending time in different jobs, working from home and blogging full-time, I’ve figured out a few ways I can stay focused and complete a task in good time.

Get organised
For me, the day starts with making my bed. If my bed isn’t made and looking all tumblr-worthy, my day just can’t begin properly. If I leave the house and return home to a messy bed, I somehow feel even more exhausted and don’t even want to jump in! Cleaning my desk before I leave the office also ensures a good start the next morning. It’s also really easy for me to get lost in notebooks upon notebooks of scrap paper and post ideas. Narrowing everything down to one book, or even just my phone stops the overwhelming feelings crawling in. An organised space is a huge essential for staying focused. If I’m at home, this is easy to fix. But I also check to see whether or not a cafe or coffee shop is tidy because mess = stress.

Drink plenty of water
I’m a sucker for fizzy drinks, I could sip Lucozade all day without thinking twice, but I also think those drinks are the exact reason why I can feel lethargic or just worn out. They may give me a tiny sugar rush, but it’s never worth it, not matter how nice they taste. The more I drink water, the more I realise it’s the best drink for staying focused. It boosts everything and contains nothing. Water has been my saviour during the grueling diet I’m currently under, so I just drink as much as I can throughout the day. It stops me snacking and helps me stay awake. I’ve also found water to be really effective in clearing my skin.

Take a break
I have no idea how people work for eight hours straight without a single break. When working in Leeds, I constantly saw people working on the train, or during their lunch – a break is to take a break. It’s essential for me to take 10 minutes out every so often, mainly because I have a pretty short attention span. I can get bored easily if I’m doing the same task for hours on end, so no matter what the job; taking a break is the best way to stay focused. When returning to the project, a new refreshed brain is really helpful for coming up with new ideas.

Motivational quotes and photos
I love a good quote. My Pinterest board is full of them and I like to have them around the house too. Even though it’s the same words I see almost every day, they still motivate me, even if it’s just a little bit. I have a wall of photos above my desk which I where I do the most work. I also have a framed quote I got from Coconut Lane, one of the sassiest websites I’ve ever come across. In fact I love this site so much, I have a discount code so you can get 20% off your order! Use the code: anikamay20 to receive the discount on everything from wall art to greeting cards. Badass quotes and photos from my Pinterest and Tumblr accounts brighten my mood, which pushes me into focus-only mode.

A good playlist
Music can really affect my mindset, and even the way I write. As mentioned in a previous post, my writing style changes depending on the artist or genre and it’s a method I’ve used to motivate myself. It’s very rare I’ll shuffle a really slow and gloomy playlist because it makes me want to climb into bed and cry for a few hours. Sad songs about heartbreak and low confidence don’t boost my mood at all, so I avoid them, no matter how much I like the lyrics. If I know it’s really time to focus and pull my socks up, a fierce R&B or upbeat Indie playlist is going on. It doesn’t matter whether or not I actually know the song, I can find myself tapping along to the beat or dancing around my room and that is what helps me to stay focused.

No more TV
If you know me or my blog, Netflix is mentioned on a regular basis. It’s my kryptonite as it will always steal my focus. When it’s time to buckle down, get a blog post written or some images edited, I have to turn off the TV. I’ve recently started getting back into all of The Real Housewives series (I know, it’s bad) and persuaded myself to series link all episodes on my Sky HD box. As you’re reading this, there’s probably about 12 episodes recorded and I’m so tempted to binge watch them all right now. To reason with myself, I used to split my computer screen in half. One side would have Netflix or Sky Go on, the other would have a Word document or Photoshop open. This isn’t the best idea as I begin to lose focus on the actual work, even though I’m still doing it. The best option for me is to shut off the TV altogether.

Save the best for last
There are some parts of working or even blogging that I really don’t enjoy. Maybe it’s a strenuous task which includes a lot of filing and no fun, or a blog post that I’m desperate to write but isn’t coming across the way I would like it too. It would be easier for me to just leave the bit I don’t like until the end and get on with the more exciting tasks. But one way I stay focused is by completing the less appealing assignments first, leaving plenty of time to have fun with the remainder of my to-do list. This tip sounds much more difficult than it is. Saving the best jobs for last not only gives me something to look forward to but also helps me push through the not-so-interesting duties that stand in my way. If there isn’t an amazing job waiting at the end, I’ll reward myself with a YouTube video (or two).

This post is a sponsored collab with Coconut Lane.