It would be great when everyone could and wanted to stay focused for a long time. If you had to work on big projects and read lots of books, it would all seem like a walk in the park.
But the truth is that we’re all human, so you can’t keep your focus for long, and it gets even more difficult as the world gets more and more crowded with distractions and notifications, all competing for your attention.
How well you can stay focused is one of the most important things that will help you become a successful person down the road. It’s essential to stay focused when you’re at work.
This includes problem-solving, efficiency, organization, perseverance, and a long list of other essential skills.
Don’t give up if you start thinking about how you constantly check your social media feeds at work or completely zone out in most meetings. You can change these habits. Like most people, your attention span isn’t perfect.
According to an examination made by Microsoft in 2018, the average person now has an attention span of 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. This is most likely because of the introduction of smartphones.
But there’s no need to give up! Many things can be done right away to improve your concentration and focus.
If you want to study, finish a book, complete a task at work, or have laser-like focus, then take charge of your mind by checking out these ten tips. They’ll help you do just that.
Note why you lose concentration
Making a note of what makes you lose your focus is the first step in learning to concentrate better. This practice is very similar to meditating, in which you pay attention to your thoughts and accept them.
Then, you bring your mind back to the present moment (fellow Headspace users will be very familiar with this concept). So when you start to get distracted at work, the first thing to do is recognize it. Then, you can choose to come back to the task at hand and finish it.
When we think about distractions, the most important thing to remember is that we can’t avoid all the things around us. We can, however, choose to recognize when our attention drifts and then decide to return to what we were doing.
When you focus on something, your attention will wander, you’ll know it, and you’ll choose to return to the task. The more you’re aware of this cycle, the longer you’ll be able to keep your attention on the study.
Set small goals for each day
Big dreams and goals are great, but they can’t be done in a single day. It would support you if you worked hard to achieve them. Small daily goals will not only help you reach your long-term goals, but they will also be easier for your mind to process.
Imagine working on getting 500k people to sign up for your emails. Great, but that’s not going to happen right away. People who write new blog posts to put in their newsletter or set up a spreadsheet to track their analytics can set daily goals and tasks like these.
Besides, when you reach these goals during the day, you will set off the reward mechanism in your brain, which releases dopamine in your brain and is more motivating than leaving work feeling unfinished and guilty that you haven’t reached your bigger goal.
The world is full of distractions, but there are some things we can do to make ourselves less likely to go off-task (AKA eliminating pointless distractions). Your smartphone is indeed a big one, but it’s usually not possible to keep it out of sight all day at work.
Turn your phone on airplane mode and set a time when you won’t be able to answer calls or texts. There are a lot of apps that don’t have to do with work, so you might want to turn off notifications for them during the nine-to-five.
Having close friends in the office can be great, but it can also be very distracting if they talk a lot.
When you have a lunch break, make time for each other to get to know each other better. Make it clear that when you’re done with your lunch break, you don’t want to be bothered by other people. They may also be grateful for it.
Sleep is good for your health in many ways, so not getting enough of it can have a significant impact on how well you think at work and in general. Getting good sleep helps us feel, remember what we learned, and make intelligent, well-thought-out decisions quickly.
When you get enough sleep, you may not need to drink a lot of coffee during the workday to stay awake and focused. If you don’t get enough sleep, you cannot think creatively or develop new ideas. This could be hurting your focus and performance at work.
Don’t do two things at once
Multitasking can be a great skill to have, but for extended periods (like a workday), it’s not possible. To make things more exhausting, your brain switches back and forth between tasks so quickly that it can’t keep up.
It most likely takes more time to finish the tasks than if you did them one after the other.
Make a list of the things that need to be done first, and then work through the tasks one by one so that when each is done, you can start over with the next one.
Before you start a new study, take a short break. This will help your brain get ready for the new one, and it will begin the reward mechanism in your brain, which makes dopamine.
Take a breather
In the middle of a lot of work and trying to meet deadlines, taking a break can seem like the best thing to do. But, as you know, our brains aren’t built to stay focused on one thing for a long time.
You likely need to take a break and think about something else before you can get back into the groove of things.
Mark Waldman, a well-known neuroscientist and productivity expert, says this: “Our research shows that taking two to three breaks during each hour to relax consciously, expand, de-stress, or do something fun – even for 10 seconds – will reduce stress, improve your awareness, and significantly boost your concentration and productivity,” he says. Bring a short break before you begin working.
Make sure you set reminders to do so. Your brain will thank you when the day is over.
Before you start your workday, it’s a good idea to do some exercise. This will set you up for a productive and efficient day. You don’t have to take up early and go to the gym for two hours. All you require is 20 minutes to get the blood moving.
Take a quick walk to work if you can, or skip the coffee line if you’re short on time. Exercise in the morning will do a lot for your brain and overall health. It’s an excellent method to get your mind going and help you focus better all day long.