We live in a world where distractions are everywhere. As a result, you end up having a short attention span that we should, which affects our work, life and even relationships. We acknowledge the importance of staying focused on our life. So, in this article, we will talk about how to focus more on important tasks.
We have the attention span of 6 seconds. It’s the same length as for a goldfish… Chances are you already been distracted until you reached this part of the article.
So why is this happening?
As I said before, we live in a world where distractions are all among us. Television, loud noises, kids playing, phone notifications, emails, or even our own mind can make us lose concentration and cause us hours of work weekly.
Even though this is a severe problem, it doesn’t mean that we can’t do something about it. Even more, we can do some simple practices to train our focus to last longer. So here are our tips on how to focus more:
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You want to stay focused for more time and we bring this meditation into discussion… So what about it? Meditation is a mindfulness practice. This means it will train your brain to be engaged with the present ignoring any distracting thought you may have at some point in your work time.
I usually meditate first thing in the morning for 10 minutes. I focus only on my breath, and every time I catch myself daydreaming, I pull myself back to where I was. This way, I’m training my mind to be more aware of this slippery thoughts and to push me back into work when I need it!
But be aware of the fact that you will not become a focus master after one session. The focus span will build with time, and your quality of work will slowly but steadily increase.
Pomodoro technique is one of the best productivity tools you have at your disposal. It’s easy to use, and the results are, at least in my case, visible from the first session.
So what is the Pomodoro technique? Well, simply put, it is working for a 25 minute period, and then taking a break for another 5. You will keep doing this process as long as you need to. But I recommend 4 times. This way you will have 2 hours work-sessions.
How does it work? It is really simple. You are not productive from the get-go, you increase in productivity until you hit a peak, and from that point, your productivity decreases. The peak is at 15 minutes. After that you start to lose it, you will lose concentration, focus, and even interest.
The 5-minute break is to reset your brain. After those 5 minutes, you can start over and have another productive session where you will stay focused longer, helping you finish tasks quicker and better.
What should this suppose to mean? I know it sounds silly, but let me explain. Your brain likes the routine and uses some external factors to figure out what will happen next.
For example: If you’re hungry and you smell food, your mouth will secrete saliva because is preparing for eating. Or, this is why specialist advises you to use your bed only for sleeping. Because where you go to bed, your brain knows it’s time to sleep.
So what is that playlist about though?
You need to find a playlist that you listen only to where you work. In time, your brain will get used to listening to that playlist only when you are working. As a result, you will stay focused more on the task at hand.
The most important piece of advice about this tip is: you shouldn’t listen to that playlist anywhere else or while doing anything else but work. It will lose effectiveness and you will have to find another one.
Another important advice for this tip is to use a playlist with instrumental music only. The part of the brain responsible for thinking is also responsible for the understanding of human speech. So if a person is singing, your brain will focus on that, making you lose focus!
Turn off your notification
I’m saying your notification and not wi-fi because you may need your phone at work. In high school years, I had a lot of housework on my phone because we couldn’t buy that specific exercise book because it was old.
Therefore, we took a picture of the pages, and we look at that picture to read the question. And I wasn’t always turning off the notification. Therefore, I would lose time answering messages or surfing the Internet.
If you don’t need your phone to work, then I would advise you to not use it at all. Turn off the internet, put it aside, and finish your work before touching it again!
Create a workspace
Your workspace is your sacred place where you will do all your work. The way this function is the exact same way as with the playlist. You have a space that you use for work and work only.
This way your brain will know that it is time for you to get some job done, so it will concentrate more, making you stay focused and more productive.
Chunks are defined as small goals you must achieve in your journey of completing a bigger one.
Let’s say you need to write a five-page essay, and it is due next week. Well, you can start researching in day one, make a draft on day two, and then write a page every day, or take a break after you write a page.
Anyway, your goals should be to create chunks small enough for you to complete, but big enough to be a challenge. If it is too hard to do it, you will stress too much and quit. If it is too easy, you will get bored… and quit.
Chunks must have a deadline, and it must be measurable in some way. If done correctly they will boost your focus, because you will work on a very specific topic, and your brain will go into a single direction!
This is it, guys! These are our tips on helping you expand your focus span and your productivity.
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it will take time. Also, you don’t have to do all of them at once. I would recommend meditating first. If you don’t know-how, we have an article right here. From there you can implement the tips you found the most useful or the ones you liked the most.
Let us know in the comments if any of them helped you, or if you have even more cool tips on how to improve your attention span, and to stay focused for longer!