Feeling Scatterbrained? Here Are 8 Ways To Maintain Your Focus

How is your concentration? Have you found it hard to focus on what is important because you feel scattered? You’re not alone!

We live in unprecedented times where being pulled in many directions while being bombarded with information and stimulation is common.

Gone are the days when you could just focus on one thing at a time. Now, there is a constant interruption from your phone, which makes it hard to stay focused and know what’s most important in life.

The secret is to be in control of what you focus on. While it’s impossible to avoid distractions, you can learn how to focus your attention back on the things that matter most to you.

There is A LOT Battling for Your Attention 

It’s hard to get through the day without a series of alerts letting you know you’ve got mail, a voice message, an urgent text, or something else vying for your attention. And if you’re like most people, you can’t resist the urge to check right away – and this behavior seriously interrupts your focus.

If you don’t know how to say no, or respond without getting sucked in, it’s easy to lose your sense of control.

Living in a world where contact is easier than ever, also has its setbacks. Each time someone tries to connect with you, they don’t realize everything else you’ve got going on.

We live in a time where busyness is a badge of honor, and multi-tasking is considered a top-tier skill, but the pressure to respond and connect can keep you from being focused on one thing at a time.

Some people are so tuned into what’s going on that it’s challenging to find time to focus on themselves. They feel they don’t have the luxury of slowing down or prioritizing their own needs.

How to Manage Your Scattered Mind

Managing scatter-brainedness is about finding balance with everything vying for your attention. It starts with taking good care of yourself, so you have the energy to concentrate on what matters.

Here are some strategies to help you manage your scattered mind:

1. Create FOCUS Time:

Schedule an hour or two each day for activities that require focused attention. Whether studying for a test, working on a project, brainstorming ideas with a colleague, or simply reading a book, carving out this time each day helps keep you focused and engaged.

Scheduling FOCUS Time is essential for managing your scattered mind because it forces you to engage in activities that require concentration. Your mind can’t wander if your schedule says you’re focusing on X between 9-11 AM every day. It’s a great strategy for staying present and productive throughout your day.

2. Take Notes:

Taking notes is an excellent way to stay focused on what you’re learning and studying, but it can also help manage your scattered thoughts. When we take notes, we engage different parts of the brain and muscle memory, which helps us focus more intently on the task at hand.

Taking notes also helps us retain information better, primarily when written down. Of course, with the advent of smartphones, taking physical notes isn’t always an option, but there are many apps available to help you take digital notes on your phone or tablet. Some even allow you to record lectures and upload them to your notes, which is super helpful for capturing information and staying focused.

3. Reduce Overstimulation:

Removing overstimulating triggers can help you manage scatter-brainedness by removing distractions and giving you the chance to calm your mind. So whether it’s turning off electronics, getting outside, or listening to relaxing music, find a few things that help you relax and focus on what’s most important.

Over-stimming can overtax your mind and make it harder to concentrate. When we’re overstimulated, we become distracted by everything around us—including ideas for other things we’d rather be doing—instead of focusing on one activity at a time. For some people, it can be helpful to remove themselves from overstimulating environments and put their energies toward more fulfilling things.

4. Manage Your Time:

Everyone’s schedule is different, but most of us have the same blocks of time in our day. So challenge yourself to use your time wisely and prioritize activities that help you meet your goals, such as studying, exercising, and socializing.

Prioritizing activities that help us be productive and effective is important for staying focused throughout the day. It’s not always easy to manage your time so you can study for an exam, work on a project, or meet with friends. But scheduling these things helps you stay focused—and it’s more productive than letting distractions and last-minute rushes rule your day.

5. Exercise:

Getting your heart rate up can help you manage your scattered mind, whether it’s a quick walk around the block or going for a jog. Exercise helps release endorphins that improve mood, energy levels, and mental focus. It also helps you sleep better at night, which can help manage your mind’s tendency to race when it should be winding down.

Moving your body helps release feel-good endorphins that boost energy levels and mood, which is why it’s so helpful for managing mental fatigue. And exercise—even just a quick walk around the block or jogging in place—can help lull you to sleep. It also helps manage stress, a significant cause of mental fatigue and scattered thinking.

6. Meditate:

Many people turn to meditation to calm their minds and relax. For those with ADHD or ADD, it can be especially useful to focus the mind and remain present at the moment. If you’re new to meditation, it might be helpful to take a class or watch videos online that teach you the basic techniques and provide guided exercises for managing your scattered mind.

7. Practice Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is about focusing on what’s happening right now rather than letting the past or future dictate how we experience life. It can help manage distractedness by slowing down the racing thoughts that keep us from staying focused on one task at a time. Practicing mindfulness allows you to stay in the moment and block out distractions.

Staying in the moment helps manage scattered thinking because it takes your mind off things outside of what you’re doing. Of course, it doesn’t mean you can’t consider the past or future, but it does require you to stay focused in this moment.

8. Take a Deep Breath, It’s Time to Get Focused

Feeling scattered can make it hard to know where to put your emphasis. It’s best to start by stopping anything that is not vital. Taking a deep breath and realizing you can’t do it all right now can help. Realizing you feel scattered but aren’t sure where to start for your focus can help you stop and evaluate your next steps. From there, you can start to narrow your focus and boost your production.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month: What Your Therapist Wants You to Know About Mental Health

There are many reasons to celebrate in the month of May-   May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Graduations, and Mother’s Day.  All of these are significant holidays, people talk about them, make plans, throw parties and celebrate.  But there is one other important event in the month of May. Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May by reaching millions of people in the United States through the media, local events, and screenings.


Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Why Does It Matter?

Mental health issues used to be associated with the stigma of “being crazy.” However, that stigma is quickly slipping away, and now more than ever people are embracing the benefits of good mental health and mind-body wellness. Today, it’s common for people to see a therapist for a variety of reasons, from anxiety and depression, to dealing with relationship issues, healing from past traumas, grieving the loss of a loved one, or to simply stay on top of a healthy state of mind.

Of course, there are still those who think seeing a therapist shows weakness, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Asking for help is a sign of strength, if anything!

To dispel the common myths about therapeutic support, here are 5 facts that our therapists want you to know about mental health:

  1. Mental health is as important as physical health. The mind and body are connected—one will always affect the other. For instance, if you are in good physical shape but have anxieties which cause stress to your body, you could have a deficient immune system and get sick more easily than others. Or if you suffer from depression it may lead you to stay indoors more often and potentially get less exercise, resulting in physical ailments. Mental and physical health affect each other equally, and need to be treated as equally important entities
  2. Mental illnesses are not permanent, and are treatable.Don’t think that, just because you’ve lived with poor mental health for a while, you can’t resolve it. Effective treatment includes talk therapy, EMDR, CBT or DBT therapy, exercise, light therapy, medication and supplements, being in nature, and more. Effective treatment can help you feel like a whole new person!
  3. Mental illnesses are common.An estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States have had at least one major depressive episode at some point in their lives; this is 7.1% of all U.S. adults. Then there are anxiety disorders, which are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults, or 18.1% of people every year. It’s far more common that you might have expected.
  4. There are ways to help with mental illness besides prescription medication.Medications can treat some mental health disorders, but that isn’t the only option by a long shot. Therapists may recommend EMDR, CBT therapy, exercise, art therapy, acupuncture, or light therapy to treat certain disorders. There are many holistic treatments for mental health that will effectively supplement the counseling you’re receiving.
  5. All types of people suffer from mental health issues.In the past, the stigma was that only those who are violent or “crazy” suffer from a mental health disorder. We imagine, like the movies, where “crazy” people are locked up in asylums, unable to function in society. This is a wholly inaccurate portrayal of what it looks like to suffer from a mental health disorder—mental health disorders can manifest in anyone, and oftentimes look very normal from the outside looking in. Those who have mental health struggles are well-functioning folks doing everyday work, living an everyday life.

Taking care of your mental health, just as you would your physical health, can change your life for the better in ways we can’t imagine until we experience the shift. If you are looking for a therapist, San Francisco Stress and Anxiety Center is here for you. Our counselors help individuals just like you with a variety of mental health struggles, from finding gratitude and happiness to mourning the loss of a loved one, relationship woes to overcoming past abuse, neglect or simply managing anxiety and depression…and everything in between. Request a free phone consultation today and get started on your journey to happiness and fulfillment.

Here are 14 ways you can promote mental wellness this month:

  • Maintain uninterrupted sleep for 8 hours each night.
  • Avoid sugars, greasy foods, salts, processed foods, and saturated fats.
  • Consume more whole grains, greens, unprocessed foods, lean meats, and unsaturated fats.
  • Eat 2-3 well-balanced meals per day.
  • Drink at least 3 liters of water per day.
  • Engage in a physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Stay away from toxic thoughts, toxic people, and toxic conversations.
  • Engage in positive thoughts and conversations.
  • Practice mindfulness or meditation on a daily basis.
  • Learn how to manage your stress.
  • Stay present in your daily relationships.
  • Pickup a new skill or hobby.
  • Avoid “screen time” and engage in more “in person time”.
  • Take time for yourself every day.

For the month of May, we challenge you to make 1 small positive change in your life that can benefit your mind and your body. You may be surprised by how much positive impact one small change can have on your life.

If you’re ready to work with a therapist, schedule a call with out Care-Coordinator to get started.