The human mind is one of the most fascinating works of nature. It can be filled with ideas, concepts, visions, and even imaginary arguments or anything that can keep itself occupied. These things may seem interesting, but when you’re working on something and needs to finish it fast, these thoughts can be distractions. In a world filled with easy access to friends and different information you may or may not need, avoiding distractions can be a daunting task. Staying focused in not just about ridding yourself from all the distractions, it is more about building good habits. This entry lists the seven best ways do just that – improve your focus, be it for long term or short term goals.
1. Breathe Properly
Breathing plays a huge role on how well you pay attention. Research shows that, simple breathing exercises sync both the mind and the body. This is exactly the philosophy behind mediation and yoga.
Before you start on your work, do yourself a little favor; sit back, close your eyes, relax all the muscles of your body, and take about 10 deep breaths. Oxygen will flow better throughout your body. You will be surprised how this easy exercise can change your mood, energy and focus. Do this breathing exercise again as soon as you feel stressed and notice distractions popping up your head.
2. Make Your Vision Board
If you have a goal in mind, or a long-term project that needs focus, then you should make a vision board which you can look and stare at on a daily basis. Put this board on your wall where you can easily see it. You can use words, pictures, images, or anything that relates to your goal and bring your focus back on track and keep you motivated to work.
Meditation has been around for thousands of years, and its benefits and efficacy has stood the test of time. Now, we have many different forms of meditation, but they all have a common denominator – they are all about personal experience. Study shows that, meditation improves certain brain functions linked to attention, reduces anxiety and stress, and improves creativity, memory, and compassion. There are tons of free resources online to learn how to meditate. You can head to YouTube for video tutorials, or download apps to get you started. You can never go wrong with meditation. After all, it won’t hurt you when you shut everything off to focus on things that actually matters, and get more things done in the long run.
4. Organize Your Workstation
Funny pictures and personalized slogans may seem fun, but they are also distractions. Clean off your desk, and remove anything that is not work-related or relevant to your task. Whether you are working or studying, keeping your space organized will help your concentration.
5. Rid Your Environment of Any Distractions
Distractions are everywhere, and today’s technology makes it even harder to keep all these distractions away. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. are all click away, you have fun apps and games in your smartphones, and you can connect to your friends through your phone or social media.
Be stronger than these distractions; lock your phone inside your drawer, logout from your social media accounts, and don’t check them until you get the job done. Keep in mind that there will always be time for those things.
6. Stay Away from Multi-Tasking
Multi-tasking may make you feel you’re doing multiple things at once, but you can’t effectively accomplish something while doing and thinking something else. There is no better way to lose focus than doing things simultaneously. Start with the most important things and finish them as soon as you can before moving to the net.
7. Take Frequent Short Breaks
Short but frequent breaks will re-energize both your mind and body. Instead of taking a full 30-minute break, keep your breaks short, about 5 minutes every hour. Stand from your desk, walk around, and get some fresh air. In this way, you can clear your mind without losing your focus and momentum from work. Do not use your five-minute breaks by logging in to your social media accounts though, as this can easily pull you from your focus, and you may end up spending more time browsing and messaging friends.