In today’s fast pace life, we tend to get distracted very easily. Technology may or may not be the culprit here but we all know it is one of the reason for our procrastination. Probably the most valuable skill we could all work on is our ability to focus. While staying focused on a mundane task seems easy in theory, it is far more difficult in practice. The good news is that there are a number of techniques you can use to focus on the task at hand. One or all of these 14 tips might help you stay focused.
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What causes you NOT to stay focused?
Before getting into the ways to improve focus, we all need to know why it is so difficult for us to focus on one thing at a time? Well, some of the contributing factors are as follows-
- Lack or poor quality sleep
- Being hungry
- Being tired
- Stressing over things
- Feeling worried or anxious
- Distractions in your surroundings
You may be able to resolve the problem by managing the cause of your inability to focus. In contrast, if you frequently have difficulties focusing on tasks that require full concentration, it may be a symptom of something else.
Anxiety, depression, dyslexia, and insomnia are a few of the condition that might be responsible for your poor focus.
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What can help you stay focused?
As discussed above, there are various ways which can help you to focus in one thing at a time. That is what we are going to discuss in this article but before that, you must understand that focus comes with practice. The more you practice to eliminate distraction during your work hours, the more you’ll stay in focus. Now, let us quickly get into the ways that can help you be focused and achieve your target.
Declutter your mobile phone
Oh come-on! we all knew this point was gonna come. Like our parents say, our phones are our biggest enemies. Not only social media but so many apps now-a-days have started sending us notifications. Believe it or not, we always get distracted when our phone vibrates. Our hands reach out to check the notifications as we give into our desires. When we give into our desires, our brain secretes hormone named Dopamine, also known as “Feel Good” hormone. So here, the point being, you can find the “feel good” feeling in something more valuable and meaningful than just scrolling through the Instagram reels. To avoid doing this, declutter your mobile phone. Delete all the unnecessary apps or switch off the notification for them. Instead find a hobby to stick to. Go for a walk, read a book, do some painting, learn a new language.
Use time blocking app
In case decluttering your phone isn’t enough, use a time blocking app. You can always check your screen time through settings. You can also use any time blocking app to prevent using one particular app for more than the required time. To make you understand better, here’s an example- suppose your most used app is Instagram and you want to limit your use on that app, so you can put a limit onto it, say 1 hour. Now the time blocking app will block you after an hour of using that app.
Check your environment
Your focus is directly proportional to the environment you’re in. The better the environment, the better is your focus. If your environment has excessive noise, or negative vibes, you will not be able to focus on your work. In fact, you will get distracted very easily. Instead find an alternative, change the environment. Listening to some ambient noise can help you concentrate well. Change up your space of work, maybe work from a café for a while or just sit in the sofa rather than your desk. Small changes can make a huge difference.
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Take time to wake up
This generation has trouble with waking up early. We generally wake up right before the time of going to college or office. Waking up so late always keeps us in a rush which our body is not used to. Since you have taken a good rest, you need to wake your body up slowly. Take your time to feel energized. Wake up, drink some water, DON’T scroll through your phone. You have the privilege of waking up slowly so please use it. Trust me, it feels amazing!
Set aside specific hours for tasks
Not all of us can manage our time well. We generally give up on your daily task and start procrastinating which in turn wastes our time. When we block out time during the day for specific tasks, we won’t waste time deciding when to complete them. Tasks can be treated as appointments when time is blocked out, allowing for more organized time management. Keep time aside for lunch and short breaks throughout the day!
Fuel your body to stay focused
You believe it or not, you cannot get focused if you do not have food in your body. Your body needs fuel to work. We don’t need “Hanger” strikes in between work. Hunger and anger makes a dreadful combination and all you need to do is to stay filled. Do not skip a meal in order to keep your energy levels up and emotions in place. Try to have a balanced diet with lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. You can snack on healthy and “brain food” such as berries and nuts.
Set a daily goal
Setting up a daily goal can help you understand what is at the top of your priority list and what need to be completed without getting distracted. If it is difficult for you to achieve larger tasks at once then divide it into various smaller tasks. Set your goal in accordance with five things- specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Also, When you break larger tasks into smaller ones, you will be able to focus better as well as get a sense of achievement.
Plan your day a night before
Now this is similar to the above point where you need to plan your day and set your goals a night before. If you have a plan set for the next day, it will ensure that your be productive and focused in order to complete the tasks. Do it in the evening or before going to the sleep. You can either write it on your diary or use your phone to remind you of the tasks. The point here is to know where to spend most of your time and focus.
Multi-tasking is NOT the key
You need to avoid multi-tasking no matter how much you think you’re good at it. Avoid doing more than one task at a time as it affects your focus and ultimately you won’t succeed in either of them. Multi-tasking is stressful and it limits the creativity of a person. Create a list of your task and check the one that is at utmost priority. Start your day with completing that first and then move on to less important tasks. Do not multi-task as it won’t provide any benefit to you rather you will end up spending more than the required time on both the tasks.
Procrastination will keep you from staying focused for a longer period of time. You will be distracted from your most important activities. It is common for people to procrastinate even when they know they should do something, or when they know they shouldn’t do something but persist anyway. Focus and concentration are lost when you procrastinate. Moreover, you tend to waste a lot of time and energy.
Workout or Meditate
It has been scientifically proven that working out or meditating can improve your focus. Doing wither of the two everyday can help your mind and body to relax. It also provides your with a sense of well-being. A chemical named endorphins is released that helps you feel better as well as stay focused during your working hours. There are plenty of workout videos online or meditating apps that can make you feel calm and composed.
Use Pomodoro Technique to stay focused
It is one of the most useful techniques that can help you get rid of distractions. In this technique, you work in half an hour slots. This technique is proven to maximize your attention span. So what you can do is- put a timer on your phone or any device for 25 minutes and 5 minutes. You’re going to work for 25 minutes and rest for 5 minutes and do it all over again till you’re done with the day. This 30 minute of time slab is called Pomodoro. After 4-5 pomodoro, you can take a long half an hour break. There are also a lot of apps available on both Apple and Android that can help you track this technique.
Restrict your information source
In today’s world of internet, there’s information coming your way from everywhere. Be it social media, YouTube, or any websites, there’s plenty of news from every sector. Be smart and just choose a few ways from where you can get the most accurate information. Social media is very vague and should not be on your list. Read news and information from reliable resources. This is not directly related to focus but getting correct information from reliable resource can help you save a ton of time on research and you will be able to concentrate on your priority task more efficiently.
Spend quality time on things you love
Spending some time with yourself or your loved ones can do wonders but it is equally important to spend some time on things that you love. Take out a little bit of time from your daily/ weekly schedule to spend on something you love. It can be anything from reading to dancing to gardening. Do something to relax your mind. You will realize that this will instantly help you to unleash your creativity and concentrate better.