Have you ever tried studying or tried to do work only to get sidetracked by internet, television or some form of distraction very easily? Have you ever wondered why you have so much trouble focusing and concentrating when the person next to you can do work for hours on end? After trying so hard at focusing you end up frustrated, you end up thinking that the subject matter you are learning is so mundane, useless, not necessary for the future. That the main reason why you can’t focus and the person next to you can, is because you are uninterested in the topic and that person somehow is.
Well there’s some truth to that and some good news, though that assumption may not be fully correct. Our ability to focus is like a muscle, meaning we can improve our ability to focus through practice. While some people are born with better capacity to focus, our ability to focus can be improved like a muscle, and for many that improvement can be pretty drastic, given enough practice. And for that person you see pushing through hours of work at that mundane topic, it’s possible that person may really love that topic and can slog through the countless hours. OR could it be that that person has learned to develop the discipline and focus muscle to push through topics he needs to get through even if he doesn’t like it? Regardless of what the answer is, the more important thing is to realize that your ability to focus can be significantly improved. Here are some very tried and tested ways to improve your focus:
5 STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS
1. Remove Distractions
The first way is very obvious and simple. Remove all distractions. Keyword here is ALL. Everything that might distract you: cell phone notifications, social media access, anything that might take you out of your focused state. You might be tempted to think that some few notifications on your phone can’t do much harm, since it probably takes a couple seconds to check it. However, it takes a person about a few minutes to really get into the zone with any tasks. When checking your phone for particular notifications, it really can take you out of that mental zone and make you lose the momentum. It takes a few minutes to get back into it. When you have a few other things on your mind, it also distracts you, leading me to the next point
2. Creating To Do Lists and Brain Dumps
The second way is to create to do lists and an alternative “brain dump” list. We all know that creating to do lists are very important and crucial to our workflow. It provides us what we need to do and to get work done. By having this list, we know exactly what to do and to be focusing on at the moment. It clears us from the uncertainty of not knowing what we should be currently doing.
What are “Brain Dumps” you ask? These are separate lists that are not to do lists but lists that are used “dump” whatever information you want to remember. If any task that needs to be done pops in your head and you are afraid of forgetting, you jot it down the “Brain Dump”. The reason you do not put it in the To Do List is because you want the To Do List relatively simple. You keep the To Do List short and simple and manageable while the “Brain Dump” consists of any tasks that are not prioritized in the list of importance.
3. Being Specific and Cutting Tasks Down