To learn how to stay focused requires you to change the habits that shorten your attention span.
After replacing some of your usual activities with activities that require more of your input you will be able to retain your focus for increasingly longer time periods.
There are many activities that negatively affect your ability to focus. You should eliminate as many of them as you can. This will increase your focus to a great degree.
The main focus killers
The main reason why people find it hard to concentrate on tasks is because they let their inner voice convince them how boring the task is and that they could be doing something more interesting instead. If you give in to your inner voice you will never be able to concentrate.
When you start ignoring such voice you will find it increasingly easier to concentrate. This happens because there will be no voice left in you telling how else you could be spending your time.
Also, watching TV greatly shortens your attention span. Quickly changing TV images make you into an impatient person wanting instant results.
It takes time to accomplish tasks. However, TV watchers would rather do nothing than spend time on activities that require their full attention. That is what observing fast changing images does to you.
You will notice that if you stop watching TV your attention span will gradually lengthen. That will happen very naturally and will not require any extra work from you.
There are many other influences that shorten your attention span. The customer service gets faster, online checkout process becomes increasingly shorter, products that save people’s time are the most popular ones. The society is gradually becoming less and less patient, wanting instant results no matter where they are or what they do.
Instant results are good because they save time, but this can backfire if you need to accomplish something. For example, if you are setting up your business, it will require at least couple of months of your constant attention.
However, if you are used to fast service and instant results, you will be demotivated to keep focusing on your business because you will not see any evidence of success during its early stages.
Prepare yourself for focus
If you want to learn how to stay focused you should replace activities that produce instant results with activities that require some time to accomplish.
For example, you can replace watching TV to reading books. You can replace online games with some activity that takes time, like painting, for example. This will make you understand how to stay focused without putting too much pressure on you. It will be like a game rather than a chore.
Also, if you take your car everywhere, try walking longer distances than you used to.
A great way to learn how to focus is to bring consciousness into your every day activities. When you are absolutely in the moment it is always easy to focus.
The best example of being in the moment comes from children and animals. When children play they are totally conscious of everything about the game.
The animals are absolutely conscious in every moment because they do not have the ability to logically think. You can learn a lot by just simply observing animals and children.
So next time you are trying to accomplish some task, you should be entirely present. If you need to write about something, you should be completely involved in writing and not let your mind wondering off.
Also organised surroundings can really help you stay focused. When you clear your desk you remove most possibilities for external distractions. If you are doing some project on your computer you should not open more browser tabs or any other programs than you need.
Meditation is a great method to understand how to focus because when you meditate you learn to be still for increasing periods of time. Once you learn to be still during meditation, it will be easy for you to bring that stillness into your daily tasks.
The focus time
You should always define a clear outcome of any task before actually undertaking it. Otherwise you will waste your energy without getting anywhere.
If the project is large you will need to note all the specific steps to take to get the project done. You should concentrate on one task at a time, complete it and then move on to another one.
You should also not forget to define the time when a particular task should be accomplished by and stick with this deadline. This is the idea behind the Parkinson’s Law.
It is beneficial for you to read the article about the 80/20 rule. It will explain how you can use your time in the most efficient way and get things done without using all your energy.
You should never attempt to accomplish important tasks when you are tired because they will never be done well.
The best time to work on projects is early in the morning when your mind is still clear. If after waking up you still feel sleepy, you should take a cool shower and/or exercise. You can also read this article on how to wake up early.
This will wake you up completely and you will be ready for undertaking new tasks. This makes you understand that whilst learning how to stay focused you shoud pay attention to the times of your concentration.
To keep your focus for extended periods of time you should remove all possible distractions, even the tiniest ones. If you have long hair, you should put your hair into a ponytail; You should wear comfortable clothes.
You should work in a medium warm environment. If the workplace is too warm, you will become sleepy or get lazy. If it is too cold, you will keep thinking how cold you are.
It is important to make sure that you are working in a quiet place, where no one can distract you.
It is better not to start any project whilst being hungry, because the thoughts of food will distract you for sure. Also if you eat too much you will get lazy, so overeating can be a focus killer too.
Whilst learning how to stay focused you surroundings should be very tidy and your phone should be switched off. You should not do anything else apart from the single task that you need to accomplish.
If you notice that you start getting thoughts that distract you, you should become conscious of the main task that you are trying to accomplish. This will eliminate off-subject thoughts and will let you concentrate on the main task.
Because people are so used to seeing and getting instant results, they become hopeless when it comes to accomplishing some task which requires more attention.
To tackle such problem you firstly need to prepare your mind for new concentration habits. You should replace your pastimes that produce instant results with new hobbies that take time to see the results.
After you have trained your mind to new activities you will be able to follow advice on how to actually retain your focus. This includes clearing your table before any project, putting away all the distractions and not letting your inner voice dictate what you should do.
If you follow these activities you will learn how to stay focused and next time you undertake some project you will be pleasantly surprised with the results you will get.
Read about the 80/20 rule to complement the “How to stay focused” article.
Read about the Parkinson’s Law to complement the “How to stay focused” article.