Improve Your Focus and Get More Done
By Paul Rothbart
One of the biggest challenges many people face each day is staying focused on the task at hand. There are distractions everywhere. Even in the privacy of your own home, there's the television, the internet, and your smartphone. It's very common for the mind to just wander and create its own distractions. How much more productive could you be if you could only concentrate better? There are things you can do to help you focus better and get more done each day.
You can't fix anything unless you know exactly what you're dealing with. The first step is to honestly access your focus. If your breaks are brief and you quickly get back to work, you break goals down into small parts, and remain alert with ease, you most likely already possess solid focus. Keep doing what you are doing. However, if you are easily distracted, daydream frequently, and lose track of what you are doing, your focus could use some work.
One Thing at a Time
Many people try to multitask but very few can do it effectively. When you attempt to do two or more things at once, your full attention is never on any of those tasks. It generally will take you longer to accomplish them all together than it would to do them separately. Doing just one thing at a time will allow you to place all of your attention on that particular task. Focus requires mental energy and you conserve it better by not scattering your attention.
Get Rid of Distractions
Distractions are everywhere and may not even be aware of all of them. Background noise, such as a coworker's radio or loud conversations can harm your focus without you being conscious of it. Eliminating distractions altogether may be difficult but you can take steps to minimize them. Find a quiet spot to work, in an office with the door closed. Perhaps a quiet little coffee shop. Before being a task that requires focus, ask those around you to leave you alone for the next hour or two while you work.
Mental energy can be exhausted just like the physical type. Taking breaks will help you to refresh your brain's batteries. Instead of pushing through when your focus wanes, step away. Get some coffee or water and take a short walk. When you return to the task, you will be refreshed and able to hone in on the job at hand.
One of the biggest detriments to accomplishing things is a lack of focus. Some people focus more easily than others, but by taking the right steps, anyone can improve focus and productivity.
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