Leadership: 3 tips to sharpen your focus, boost your health

Kathie Rotz PHOTO CREDIT: Christian Del Rosario Contributed

Kathie Rotz PHOTO CREDIT: Christian Del Rosario Contributed

Kathie Rotz PHOTO CREDIT: Christian Del Rosario Contributed

In our fast-paced, technology driven world, we have successfully taught ourselves how to be unfocused. In other words, we are not as focused on our thoughts and tasks because of numerous distractions and poor habits.

Many of these distractions we purposely turn on and activate, even though they create more interruptions and chaos.

As I write this column, I must find my groove to complete this assignment. I have turned off my phone, silenced my computer and shut the blinds in my office. I have found that a bird flying past my window is enough to derail my thoughts. Once I lose my train of thought, it takes me many minutes — maybe even hours — to get back on track.

There are other habits that we have adopted to discourage focus. These habits are related to our health.

Here are three ways to increase your focus, which will, in turn, make you healthier, more efficient and empowered during your day:

What goes in will come out

The other day, after enjoying an iconic Iowa lunch, complete with sweet corn, I had the honor of changing a toddler’s diaper. Guess what I found? The corn that went in at lunch came out a few hours later.

That is true of everything that we choose to put into our bodies. What we put in will come out somehow. Choose food and drinks that provide our body with good, high-octane fuel. Avoid the excess sugar, processed or greasy food that will slow down our body and brain. Even though some of these edibles create a jolt of energy, it is temporary. They also cause an energy crash.

Move your body

Our bodies were created to move. Sitting is the new smoking. Our sedentary habits can be detrimental to our health. I experience severe back pain and migraines if I don’t move enough daily.

Create opportunities for yourself to add more steps easily:

Take the stairs.

Park far from the front door at work or the store.

Walk the kids to the bus stop.

Add a dog to the family, so you must get outside and walk the puppy at least once daily.

Sleep tight

Our bodies need sleep to rejuvenate and prepare for the next day. In his book, “The End of Mental Illness,” Daniel Amen calls this process, “taking out the neural trash.” While we sleep, our brain eliminates toxins. This process benefits our immune system, appetite control and neurotransmitter production.

The best habit I adopted years ago was wearing an eye mask while sleeping. We have so many little lights in our bedroom (even the smoke detector above my bed has a tiny, annoying light) that affect my sleep. I didn’t realize it until I entirely blocked out all light by wearing an eye mask. I always thought eye masks were for pampered princesses, so I never entertained this idea until one was attached to a new pair of pajamas.

Rather than throw it away, I gave it a try. I woke up the following day invigorated. It was amazing what uninterrupted sleep did for my next day.

These suggestions probably aren’t new to you; however, do you seriously follow the recommendations? Do you plan your day around these necessary events? Not only will you be healthier, but your focus also will noticeably improve.

Isn’t it worth a try?

Kathie Rotz is an executive leadership coach and speaker with Unity Consulting and the author of “You Have Superpowers” online learning program.

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