How many things are awaiting your attention right at this very moment?
Your phone? Your Instagram? Your Slack? That irritating to-do list on your table that keeps growing every day?
The world has developed multiple-fold in the past decade. While most developments have made our lives easier and bestowed us with some of the most amazing inventions (video calls, net banking, social media – thank you), there has been an awkward and frustrating development too.
Most of us are almost always distracted, and figuring out how to stay focused has become a new task in itself. Notifications, friends or colleagues, Netflix shows – countless things, people, and situations are breathing down our necks every living moment. Losing focus has become really easy, and figuring out to find our way back to productivity has gotten even more difficult.
In this post, we are going to dive deeper into how to stay focused in a world swarming with distractions. Whether you are looking to outgrow your distractions or just boost your productivity, this is the perfect place for you to get started. Let’s dive in.
5 Effective Tips On How To Stay Focused
1. Restructure your schedule to work to fit the brain’s natural working schedule.
Have you noticed how your concentration level dips at certain times of the day? Think of the time right after having a meal. Do you see it now?
This is because our brains are not smooth-running machines. Our reactions and responses are not perfectly similar throughout the day. That is why one of our first tips on how to stay focused is to realign your work schedule with your brain’s schedule. According to the Wall Street Journal, our peak distraction hours are between 12-4 in the afternoon, with a particular ‘crash’ time around 2.
Our brains are at their cognitive best in late morning hours, i.e., after 10 AM. This is when you should schedule the tasks that need intense focus and concentration.
2. Confront what is distracting you.
Distractions are omnipresent. They are frustrating to deal with and take up a lot of your time and energy. However, in order to learn how to stay focused, you need to ward them off. To do so, start confronting your distractions.
Simply put, start acknowledging a distraction and understand when it exactly pops up and why. When you understand the mechanisms of your distractions, you can finally learn to recentre your focus on tasks that actually matter.
3. Give yourself X number of minutes to stay distracted.
This might sound like a counterproductive tip. But, giving yourself a limited amount of time to stay distracted actually opens your mind, puts you at ease, and can help with your creative capacity. Once you have entertained your distractions for a while, you can actually start working with a fresh perspective and better focus.
4. Reward yourself for being focused.
Our brains learn by doing. Therefore the more you indulge in your distractions (like checking your social media feeds 10,000 times a day), the more you are tempted to do it. This way, you have programmed your mind in a way that it gets instant gratification or reward while indulging in distractions. To learn how to stay focused, this gratification needs to stop.
Instead, try to reprogram your brain to reward it for being focused. The harder you teach your mind to stray away from distractions, the more it will be focused.
5. Take breaks (the real ones).
We constantly live our lives on autopilot with 15 tabs in our browser and our brain working round the clock. This need to work continuously and as fast as possible is not going to make you more focused. Instead, it will wear you out and make concentrating more difficult. Therefore take regular breaks from whatever you are doing. And make sure when you are on one of these breaks, you aren’t stressing about your work. That will pretty much defeat the purpose.
We live in a world full of distractions. Learning how to stay focused in these times is challenging but not impossible. We hope the tips listed here — like taking regular breaks, rewarding yourself for being focused, eliminating distractions, and much more – will help you figure out how to stay focused.
Apart from being focused, being decisive is also an important life skill. To learn about how to be more decisive in life, click here.
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