Do you often find yourself working on a project one second, and then the next, you’re thinking about something completely unrelated? Blame your brain. It’s wired to be distracted.
Distractibility is not a convenient or beloved trait when you’re trying to work or get something done. Research shows that close to half of individuals (42%) fail to focus on their tasks consistently throughout the workday.
For many, we are most focused in the morning until the distraction dragons (the distracting pull of co-worker gossip, Instagram, a last-minute sale, wedding daydreams even though you’re single) come out to play for a majority of our working hours. Towards the end of the workday, the dragons disappear, and our focus begins to recover.
Interestingly, each of us has a unique focus curve that reflects our needs and personality. Potential Project set out to create a way to help you track your mind wanderings and help you strengthen your focus over the week.
- Over half of all participants admitted to a significant disruption in the flow of work due to excess mind wandering
- Only 20% said they could cope with stress during the week.
- Younger people (uh oh) were less focused compared to more senior leaders due to a greater reliance on social media and phones.
- From Monday to Friday, people’s focus started high at the beginning of the week.
- On Thursday morning, however, people’s ability to regulate their focus and stress declined rapidly, with the most significant drop-off late Friday afternoon. #weekendvibes
Sleep and Mindfulness for Focus
- More people in the study got good sleep at the start of the week, then the amount and quality declined by Wednesday night.
- The lucky people who were able to keep a healthy sleep routine throughout the week were 15% more focused and 12% better able to manage stress.
- People who frequently practice mindfulness were 22% more focused and 23% better able to manage stress.
Figure out when your distraction dragons come out for attack with these questions:
- When are you most focused, energetic, and productive during the day?
- When does your mind wander? Where does it go? What triggers it?
- Do you become a grouch when you don’t sleep enough or have a restless night?
If you want a detailed report of your mind flow throughout the week, check out the app Mindgrow. With Mindgrow, you track your mood, distractions, and ability to focus. At the end of 5 days, you receive a Mind Discovery Report – a personalized summary of your mind’s travels from the week.
Armor up and slay those distraction dragons.