Covid-19 has taken the world by surprise and managed to bring many industries to a standstill. However, pandemics, epidemics, and virulent diseases are no strangers to humanity.
Many different countries suffer from regular lethal outbreaks and still manage to maintain productivity. But how? Can you apply similar principles to your own situation to help keep focus and continue with your daily life? Let’s take a closer look.
It’s the Simple Things
With all the major things going on right now, it’s easy to get distracted from the little things. Here’s a small reminder of some of the things that affect your focus level.
If you want to maintain the right level of focus, you must feed yourself. Schools offer feeding programs for this very reason. Hungry children struggle to concentrate and have less memory retention than well-fed children.
As detrimental as sleep deprivation is to children’s learning practices, it harms adults as well. Most healthy adults require 7-9 hours of sleep in every 24-hour cycle. You may function with a lesser amount, but you definitely won’t be at your optimum level.
Believe it or not, hydration also plays a role in your ability to focus. Since the human body is made of 60% water, and the brain itself consists of 73% water, it’s a logical conclusion that dehydration can severely impact focus.
Men require a daily intake of at least 3.7 liters, and women need at least 2.7 liters. Preferably, at least half of this daily fluid intake should consist of water. Coffee, sodas, and other diuretics can serve to exaggerate dehydration, rather than relieve it.
But This is a Pandemic!
You must be thinking to yourself, ‘But this is a pandemic!’ surely such simple things don’t matter. In all honesty, these do matter. When a house is made of bricks, they’re still important, even if the roof is on fire. Sometimes we forget that, long after it has burned away, been replaced, and been painted four different times, we’ll still rely on the foundations to keep everything in place.
So yes, the basics still matter, and you still need to make generally healthy decisions. However, there are some things that you can do to help you during these, particularly trying times.
When the world is a blur, and it’s painful to look at the big picture, there’s only one thing to do. When the prospect of looking at everything at once is dizzying, a good choice is to focus on the details.
Every day, consider setting yourself a list of tasks that you need to get through. Don’t zoom out; don’t look at the full picture. Focus on one at a time. Once you’ve completed a job, move on to the next one. You’ll soon find that this task-focused approach will help you get through a lot more.
Calm Your Brain
One of the main focus inhibitors during such a stressful and challenging time is that new reasons to panic constantly assail your brain. You barely have time to recover from one set of alarm bells before another arises to take its place.
If you work in a public workspace like a store or open-plan office, you also aren’t given the luxury of forgetting about the outside world while you are working. Every day, you see people in masks, face shields, and medical professionals rushing to assist others.
Therefore, your only option is learning to calm your brain. Let’s look at a few options for this.
There are many fantastic and natural solutions for calming your nerves and focusing your brain. Some good options are things like chamomile, echinacea, and even redbush or honeybush tea.
Of course, if you don’t like tea, there are other options as well. You can get the same calming herbs and plants in the form of extract drops. Excellent choices are chamomile, lavender, or echinacea scent blocks, which have much the same effect.
Some research is sure to deliver more herbs that offer similar benefits. If you’re very creative, you can combine multiple types of essential oils in a diffuser to keep you calm, and still provide a scent that you love.
If you are prone to a nervous personality or get distracted easily, avoid consuming high-caffeine liquids like coffee and sodas, or other stimulants like energy or sports drinks.
The effects of music have been well-documented. The sounds that you listen to can do several things:
- Music affects your mood.
- Music lowers your heart rate.
- Music promotes your ability to concentrate.
It probably goes without saying, but a pandemic isn’t the time to listen to death metal, scrounge metal, or hardcore rock and roll.
It has been proven that our heart rates automatically sync to the rhythm of the music that we listen to. Therefore, you want to listen to slow, calm music with a peaceful beat. This is not to get your groove on; it’s to help you focus.
Some great options are smooth jazz and classical music. Coincidentally, both of these genres have proven effects on both focus and intelligence. There are many beautiful playlists online that are meant for focused or peaceful times.
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the benefits of meditation. This practice doesn’t have to be accompanied by chants, strange music, or sitting down with your legs crossed. Meditation is simply the act of focusing on one specific thing, thought, idea, or place.
Make time to meditate. Spend dedicated time thinking about the things that feel peaceful to you, and make you happy before beginning your workday.
Things are different right now, and they’re unlikely ever fully to return to the way they were, but you can still maintain a productive life in a pandemic.
Focus on your basic needs, become more task-orientated, and take time out to relax, calm yourself, and switch-off when you can. This situation won’t last forever, and it’s just a matter of waiting it out.