By Tonny Wandella.
Staying focused can be difficult when you’re surrounded by continual distractions.
Learning new things, completing goals, and working efficiently all depend on your ability to focus and channel mental effort.
These days with tech at our fingertips 24/7, it requires herculean effort on your behalf to combat the overwhelming desire to check your phone every few minutes.
Here are some psychological strategies and tricks I’ve find useful for developing laser-like mental focus and concentration.
Limit Your Concentration
While multitasking may appear to be a fantastic method to get a lot done in a short amount of time, it appears people aren’t very good at it.
Juggling numerous things at once reduces productivity and makes it far more difficult to focus on the details that matter.
Consider your focus to be a spotlight. You can see things well if you direct that spotlight on a specific area. But, if you try to disperse that amount of light across a vast dark canyon, you’d only see shadowy outlines.
Right now, mindfulness is a hot topic, and for good reason. Even though mindfulness meditation has been practised for millennia, its many health advantages are only now beginning to be recognised.
Take Short Breaks
Have you ever tried to concentrate on a single task for an extended period? Your focus begins to deteriorate after a while, and it becomes increasingly difficult to commit your mental resources to the work. Not only that, but your whole performance decreases as a result of it.
Traditional psychological theories say that this is due to a depletion of attentional resources, while some experts feel it has more to do with the brain’s proclivity to overlook sources of persistent stimuli.
So, the next time you’re working on a long-term project, such as filing your taxes or prepping for a test, remember to take planned mental breaks.
Even if it’s only for a few moments, divert your attention away from your current task. These brief periods of rest will allow you to keep your ability to focus sharp and your productivity strong when you need it most.
Of course its not possible to improve your mental attention in a single day. Even professional athletes are constantly fine-tuning their abilities to improve their attention spans.
Start recognising the influence being distracted has on your life. If you’re having trouble achieving your objectives and find yourself being distracted by minor issues, it’s time to start valuing your time more highly.
While it may seem self-evident, people frequently underestimate the number of distractions they have around them.
Such invasions could be in the shape of a loud radio in the background or an annoying co-worker who stops by your desk to chat all the time.
It’s not always as simple as it sounds to eliminate these sources of distraction. While it may be as simple as turning off the television or radio, dealing with an interrupting co-worker, spouse, child, or roommate may be far more difficult:)
Setting aside a specified time and place and requesting to be left alone for that period is one technique to deal with this.
Another option is to find a quiet spot where you know you’ll be able to work uninterrupted. A quiet coffee shop, the library, or a private area in your home could all be suitable options.
Finally, ensure you are well-rested before the activity and utilise positive ideas and imagery to combat anxiety and concerns are two more tactics you might want to try to minimise or eliminate internal distractions.
In conclusion, be vigilant of your time, focus on one thing to completion and ask others not to disturb you when you have important tasks to complete. Take planned breaks and when your mind wanders consciously return your attention back to the activity at hand.
With constant practice and awareness you’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Though many people will find you a little strange for not being as distracted as them:)
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