Nowadays, it is increasingly difficult to stay focused on one task or thought at a time. Thanks to a variety of sources of entertainment, news, socialization and more work, it is easy to get distracted. Sometimes, distraction can be destructive in nature. For example, it impedes your ability to learn or perform your job. Not only do distractions slow us down, they can cause serious errors. To prevent this, we can develop better mental focus. This is a skill which allows us to begin a job without procrastinating it. Focus also facilitates continuous effort and attention until the task is completed. When we are focused, it is possible to keep going on with a task despite any distractions or setbacks. In addition to that, we are able to sustain energy in the job at hand until we reach the goals that we purposed upon. Here are some practical ways to train your brain to stay focused.
Create routines which you can perform right before you begin working
A routine works to train your brain for the activities that will follow. It conditions your brain to expect the work that you have in store. By following a routine, you are able to perform the same activity every day right before you begin working. As such, this activity in your routine acts as a warm up for your brain. It can be as simple as making a cup of coffee or as vigorous as a session of exercise. Our brains recognize routines and proceed to create the neural pathways that are necessary to complete the tasks signified by the routines. As such, to boost your ability to focus, create some routines. Your brain will adapt and condition itself for the tasks within your day.
A schedule helps to arrange all the tasks that you intend to perform throughout your day. It helps you to identify them so that you can create focus and complete them. Majority of us have a wide variety of activities that we need to accomplish daily. These could be related to work, leisure, exercise or family. Creating a schedule helps us to get control over these activities. It allows us to focus our energy in different ways according to the task at hand. Moreover, it allows our brains to expect certain activities at specific times of the day. As a result, the brain is able to gather the information resources necessary for the task and boost focus at that time.
Maintain realistic To-Do lists
In an effort to complete as much as possible every day, we are tempted to fill our daily To-Do lists with a wide variety of tasks and no breaks in between. While we may be able to perform most of the activities in such a list, the ones occurring in the latter part are bound to suffer. This is because we are already fatigued by the time that we get to them. As such, be realistic about your To-Do lists and include only the kind of activities which you are sure that you can do with the resources at hand. Moreover, include breaks in-between these tasks. They give you a chance to relax at specific times of your day. This is known as the Pomodoro Technique of time management. According to management gurus, this technique allows you to rejuvenate yourself and refresh your brain in between tasks. As a result, your focus is laser sharp once you resume your work. As such, be realistic about your working capacity and take breaks throughout your day.
Begin with the creative, high priority work first
Throughout our day, we always have some tasks that require more creative energy than the rest. In most cases, they are of the highest priority because they stimulate our minds. Despite being difficult sometimes, we feel that they are not so hard because we enjoy doing them. To train our brains on how to focus better, these are the tasks that we should always begin with. Get them out of the way and feel the confidence of accomplishment. After that, you can move on to the others that are not as creatively demanding.
Identify when and where you are able to focus best and then invest your time there
We all have only 24 hours in a day. Moreover, according to research, we are only truly capable of being focused for six of these hours. As such, we have a very short time period to be fully focused. Take the time to find out where you are most capable of focusing. This can be in your office, at the park, in the gym or at breakfast. Use this time to assign tasks to your brain. Carry a notepad along if you have to. This will help you to note down the results of these focus sessions. In this way, you are able to boost your focusing ability over time.
Apply a fitness approach to developing your focus
The brain is the most important muscle in our bodies. It is the center of all processes. Just like any other muscle, it can be trained and made stronger. To do this, you need to dedicate consistent effort to it in small increments. Begin by turning off all distractions and focusing on a task for a total of 5 minutes. Once you complete this period of time, take a short break and reflect on your performance. Do this throughout your day and observe your ability to handle attention increasing. At the end of a week or a month of doing this regularly, you will see your focusing ability having improved tremendously.
The Important Take Away
For you to complete any tasks and achieve quality outcomes, you have to focus completely upon them. Your brain needs to be engaged by each task and nothing else. The tips above can help you to develop this ability. By applying them consistently over time, you can train your brain into a high performance muscle. They are gems of counsel that you can use to increase the quality of your focus and results as well.