Whether that be in work or school, tough projects will always come around to challenge your wits and senses. These projects might seem like a huge inconvenience, but it can actually help you refine your skills and increase focus. It also helps widen your experience, and could even be used as a bragging right (if it is a really big-time project).
It is normal to feel anxious before any difficult project begins. This is because our minds anticipate the looming dread, stress and fear of the work that is still ahead of us. This is why some people contribute stress as a partly psychological thing - and the good thing is, we can actually prepare ourselves psychologically to lessen the stress.
So before you start working on any tough project, below are 3 way to mentally prepare yourself so that you can lessen your fears and feelings of anxiousness, and increase your focus and productivity for the project at the same time:
Longer periods of focus and concentration is needed when it comes to big and difficult projects. No one can be productive enough if the attention or concentration span for serious work is only 10 minutes or less. And with so many distractions nowadays (such as Social Media, streaming services such as Netflix, memes and cat videos), it is almost impossible to keep working on the same task for more than an hour.
You can train your mind to increase focus and concentration - and this can be done in many ways, depending on your preference. It could either be through meditation, reading a book, or even writing a journal.
To be effective, you must set a goal each day. If you want to meditate for example, you can start by doing just 5 to 10 minutes during the first 3 days, then increase it to 15 minutes in the following days, until you can do 30 minutes or more.
You can also do the same with reading - but you may do it by chapter or page number. You can start with 5 pages per day (or 1 chapter per day), and gradually increase it until you can finish a chosen novel within a week.
Another source of stress and frustration can also come from lack of direction and preparation. Without a step-by-step approach to any project, you’ll tend to waste more time going around in circles and redoing stuff that should have been finished in one go.
To eliminate stress and possible waste of time, write down what you need to do for your project. You can even classify the easier ones from the more difficult tasks so that you can already tick off those that can be done immediately.
More importantly, plot your to-dos in a calendar. This way, you can simply glance what you have to accomplish for the week (or for the day), and not waste time wondering (and forgetting) what you have to do next.
All these boils down on your ability to discipline yourself. You cannot increase focus and productivity if you only set certain goals, but not do any of them at the end of the day. On this end, no one can really push you but yourself. Sure, you can use apps and programs that can help improve your concentration/focus/productivity, but these are simply guides and trackers - the work still needs to get done by no other else, but you.
Before working on your discipline and improving your focus and concentration, you must learn to free your mind first. Take out all the stress, anxiety and negative vibes that are plaguing you because of the upcoming project. You have to relax and unwind before putting yourself to work.
Lastly, avoid overworking yourself just to impress your manager/supervisor/teacher. The need to impress them will only add unnecessary stress to your system, and may even cause you to lose concentration and direction.
Just focus on doing good and quality work. As long as you produce quality work, you don’t have to stress about getting noticed or recognized for it. Your office mates/supervisors/teachers can immediately spot a job well done even if you won’t be pompous about it.