How to Focus When You Just Don’t Feel Like It

GOALSNot in the mood to do anything, but have a million things that need to get done? Me too. That’s how I’m feeling right this very moment. I find that even with the best practices in place for getting things done, there are days when focusing on anything feels impossible. Maybe you didn’t get much sleep last night or you just have a lot on your mind. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the luxury of crawling back into bed and hoping that tomorrow will be a better day. We have workouts to do, presentations to create, kids to take care of, and blog posts to write.

You might wonder why I’m talking about focus on a fitness blog. There are two main reasons. The first is that exercise improves your ability to focus. The second is that if you can’t focus and get things done efficiently, you’re more likely to procrastinate and skip your workout. So here’s what to do when you just can’t seem to focus:

  • Take a deep breath and tell yourself that you can get things done without feeling stressed. Get rid of the drama in your head and try to relax.
  • Create a list of three things that are top priorities.
  • Take 1–5 minutes to move your body. Go for a walk around the block, do a few leg lifts right at your desk, or do a few stretches.
  • Set a timer for 30 minutes and try to finish your first task before the timer goes off.
  • Take a 5-minute break. Get some coffee. Go for another walk. Do some stretches. The only rule is that you need to walk away from your desk or whatever it is that you’re working on. If you did a workout as your first task, congrats! Whatever you chose to work on, you either now have it crossed off your list or you’re closer to getting it crossed off your list.
  • Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have finished the three things on your list.

Then decide if you’re ready to tackle three more, or if you just want to relax and celebrate the fact that you were able to finish the most important things on your list. Not every day is going to go according to your plans. Do your best and don’t worry about every little detail that might not get completed. Progress is more important than perfection.

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