5 tips to become more focused
In our high-tech world, distractions have become all too common, and concentration seems to have become a transcendent force. As it turns out, focus not only ensures the quality/quantity of your work improves, but it’s what many successful people consider the most important “skill” to their success.
So how can you become more focused today?
1. Put down your phone
Specifically, put social media down. There is no question that the vast majority of young people use some form of social media to stay connected with their friends and family. But even when used strictly for business purposes, social media can easily drag you into the depths of distraction. Most of us have been hooked on instagram, but have you stopped to think about how much time is actually wasted? If you’re focusing on a task, you need to put your phone down (I’m face down) and resist the urge to swipe through your feeds.
2. Read a book
Reading is a cognitive skill, one that requires many different neural networks to work simultaneously. If you’re reading and get distracted by something, you’ll probably find that you don’t quite understand the last sentence you read – go back and read it again! Train yourself to sit down and read non-stop for an extended period of time. Start with just 10 minutes of focused reading, then 20 minutes, etc. I personally try (emphasis on trying) to read one book a week, because I understand its positive effects on the mind. my mind. Plus, I rekindled my passion for reading.
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3. Create a list
I’m a business school graduate, so lists are my bread and butter, but there’s more to list-keeping than just good habits. Keeping a list minimizes the risk of multitasking, which can harm the focused mind. Lists also help prioritize our responsibilities, so we can tackle serious problems early in the day, before getting bogged down by afternoon fatigue. Make a list, organize the things that need to be done, and don’t move on to the next business item until the previous one is done.
4. Take a break
When I do four jobs, I will force myself to complete many different tasks during the day. Even when I’m tired and mentally alert, I still get the work done. There were flaws, I overlooked things from time to time and my high standards of work began to dwindle. It wasn’t until later in my career that I started taking breaks when I felt tired and lethargic. The boy did it help. Even a 10-minute walk outside can help clear your mind and regain focus. Some of the best ideas I have, came after a long break from work (ideas like starting my blog, Millennial Moderator.)
5. Find a “quiet place”
This can be literal or figurative. The reason why libraries are popular in universities is that students can expect a place to meditate in advance to study and complete assignments. Their dorm may or may not be quiet, but the library is an icon to them, a place that says “when I’m here, I’ll focus and get things done.” For others, myself included, listening to a particular type of music has the same effect. When I put on my airpods and listen to lofi music, my mind immediately knew it was time to get serious – because it was tuned to do so. Now, while this is a great way to practice concentration, don’t use it as a crutch, as one day you may find yourself without headphones or a library nearby! Working outside can also benefit productivity – just make sure you have comfortable outdoor furniture to organize your workspace.
All in all, being aware of when you are/are not distracted can help you better understand what is hindering your mental focus. If you find yourself drowsy and unable to focus on work, perhaps you ate a big lunch and your body is in a food coma? Or perhaps you feel overwhelmed with things to get done today, so you decided to write a list?
I hope these five tips help you become more focused! If you have any comments or thoughts, please tweet about me.