Are you easily distracted? Do you find it difficult to focus on the task at hand because your mind keeps wandering? Do you worry too much or have too many things to do, that you can’t sit down and concentrate on one thing? Here are some tips, which will help you improve your focus.
We all struggle to maintain focus in our daily lives. Endless distractions keep our brains from concentrating as we struggle to get things done at work and complete projects around the house. But remember – with pure focus, we can be unstoppable. You can get more done in a day than most get done in a week if you just learn how to improve your focus and stay on a task for long periods of time.
Simply put, learning how to stay focused every day is a must. Why? When you lose yourself in that task, you become so immersed in the work, that your happiness increases, stress levels go down, and work quality improves. You become a better student or employee as well as a more organized person overall. There is no universal approach to improve your focus, but what works for most people is to create a distraction-free space.
Tip #1: Remove distractions
There’s never been another time in history when there was so much to be distracted by. Technology reinforces the feeling that you’re missing out on something if you don’t check your Facebook feed every 15 minutes or reply to that email the minute you get it. Just because someone decides to email or call you, doesn’t mean it’s more important than the project you should be working on. In reality, these distractions can wait, but you will be tempted to check on them. You should avoid the temptation to do that at all cost because your mind won’t be able to focus on the important task otherwise.
So, get rid of everything that is not needed for the task at hand. Close all applications and browser tabs on your computer which are not absolutely necessary. Your phone can also wait until you finish your work. So, pinpoint what breaks your concentration and remove it. Make sure to subtract whatever is distracting you from immersing yourself in the task at hand.
Tip #2: Meditate and read
If you are completely relaxed and stress-free, then your mind will also work more efficiently. Meditation is not only a great way to wind down. If you meditate for just 10 to 20 minutes every day, you will slowly improve your focus and concentration. A study has shown that intensive meditation can help people focus their attention and sustain it, even during the most boring of tasks. You can easily transfer these meditation skills to focus on the work ahead of you.
Reading is also a great way to improve your focus. To read a book, you need to actually sit down and read word for word. Being able to concentrate on the material in front of you, whether you are reading a romance novel or a biography, will help you learn to focus on your work. If your mind wanders while reading, that’s a good indicator that you need to improve your focus.
Tip #3: Slowly build-up your focus stamina
Each person may start off with a low level of focus. The good news is that this is something that can be improved over time. To build your focus stamina, just give yourself a certain amount of time, let’s say 5 minutes, to do nothing but work on a certain task. Once that time passes, see how long you can keep going before your concentration breaks. Keep going until you feel you need to stop and try to focus for longer next time.
This can be hard to do in the beginning, but if you consciously focus on focusing, it shouldn’t be a problem. You can do multiple focus sessions a day. Remember to start with periods of no distraction, which you feel comfortable with. Once you get to 10 minutes without breaking your focus, get 2 minutes break. When you get to 20 minutes, take a 3-minute break. At 30 minutes of focus, you’ve earned a 5-minute break. And once you can concentrate for 30 minutes without stopping you can stay there. There is no need to burn yourself out with longer periods of full concentration.