Back in college, I was getting bad grades and found I couldn't focus. I picked up chess, not necessarily to help with that, but just because I enjoyed it as a child. My grades immediately went up when I began really studying chess, and while I've tried to be careful to not commit post hoc ergo propter hoc, I, to this day, still use chess puzzles as a way to amp up my brain and get myself thinking better and more focused. Do you have any tricks that you do for that purpose?
I'll take a break, shut my eyes, and clear my head...or...I'll play a quick game of spider solitaire on the computer. Probably like chess does for you, it seems to reboot me. Or, if I'm really tired, I quit and start again the next day. I also know that I'm more focused in the morning, so if it's a highly demanding level of focus needed, I try to do it in the morning.
I have adopted the "NO HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS" principle. At the very moment I say I will make a call, look something up, etc.....I do it right then. Believe it or not it has helped 1000%. BUT...it pisses people of for some reason. LOL....who cares. I just don't have that weighing list of things to do anymore.
Usually, if I lose focus when reading or doing other things, it is because something else is on my mind. Something that maybe I should take care of, rather than doing the activity that I'm doing. I have found that if I take care of what's most important first, I can focus better on other things.
I play competitive pool a lot (pocket billiards) and it is a game that requires intense focus to do well. When I'm playing bad, it is almost always due to something else being on my mind that breaks my focus. When this happens, I try to identify what is on my mind and then, if I can't take care of it immediately, make a mental note to deal with it later. If it's emotional, which it often is, just acknowledging the emotion is sometimes enough.
I have struggled with focus my whole life. Looking up techniques to even START a task I have found committing like 10 min at a time helped. Even if it's not your best work. And usually I'll keep going but after 30 min take a break bc I think adult mind can only really focus that long.
I pick up some mindless knitting or crochet project at home...a few minutes seems to clear my head and free-form thinking begins to help me solve a problem or stay on task...
At work, I listen to jazz...this seems to allow my analytical brain to focus on numbers, data, stats, etc. I also get up and take a quick walk around our huge office building if I get too bogged down.
I color. Yeah, I color pictures. It's not difficult, nor time consuming, but it forces my mind to make choices and act upon those choices and also realize the consequences aren't gonna get anybody killed.
I particularly like tattoo imagery, so I color those types of pictures. The more I do, the more sure I am about the next tattoo I get.
And in turn my confidence helps my productivity in other things.
If there is work I have to do that I'm avoiding, I usually end up cleaning. It's an easy thing to do that makes me feel like I'm doing something productive. After that I usually try to minimize distractions, and just start. Take small frequent breaks if you need
I've struggled with this for as long adadd I can remember. I graduated summa cum laude with my bachelor's in 2009, and got my master's with a GPA of 3.65 in 2011, and did all of it putting off assignments until the last minute. I still haven't found my secret. I've said repeatedly it seemed to work for me, but boy it would have been less stressful to be on top of things!!