For many people, life seems to run in the fast lane which can make focus a real challenge. We all have so much to do on a daily basis after all!
However, let’s not give up. It is possible to strengthen your ability to concentrate and focus irrespective of whether you are a young person or adult, or at home, school or work.
What gets in the way of you focusing?
Emotional distractions can be a major obstacle. Things in our lives that prey on our mind, often relationships, can occupy our thoughts constantly. Conversely, another big distraction for most of us is a wandering mind. We have all been there when we completely lose focus and track of what we are doing and before you know it time has flown by and nothing has been achieved.
Ways to Increase Your Focus
There are various strategies that can help you to focus more effectively and perform at your best both in terms of physical and mental changes.
- Make sure you’re comfortable by having your chair and desk at the right height for you. That way you can’t use discomfort as an excuse
- Put up pictures that will help to motivate and focus you
- Shut out distractions that will disturb you
- Get up and move around as research has shown that this can increase your focus during the day
- Drink water as dehydration can make us feel tired, irritable and slow. Being hydrated helps you to perform at your best
- Eat breakfast as it’s much harder to concentrate when you’re hungry. Eat healthy snacks throughout the day to maintain concentration levels
- Prioritise as having too much to do can cause overwhelm and procrastination or cause you to jump from task to task without completing anything
- Set aside time to deal with issues that are going to take up your focus, scheduling time will allow you to focus on your current to do items
- Focus on one task at a time until it is complete. Don’t be tempted to check emails or social media. Just get your priority task done and then move on
- Close emails and chat programs and let your voicemail do its job. Schedule in time to take care of emails, voicemails and catch up on social media
- Alternate between high and low attention tasks to give your brain a rest after heavy periods of concentration
- Reward yourself for focusing intensely on a specific task for some time, take a break and write down other small self-rewards
I would encourage you to take time and identify the key strategies for you that will make the biggest difference. Then be disciplined! It takes time getting used to a different way of working but stick with it and you’ll soon reap the rewards in terms of performance and results.