By Thomas Griffin, co-founder and president of OptinMonster. Entrepreneur, investor and software expert. Helping you be a better leader in your organization.
The human mind is extremely fluttery. It has a high tendency to wander away at the very first opportunity that presents itself. But you can’t really blame the mind for its unsettled nature.
What you can do instead is to train it to be more composed and attentive for better focus. This will boost your productivity and help you accomplish your tasks more efficiently.
But how do you do that? Here are a few ways that you can try out.
Get rid of obvious distractions.
The first thing you need to practice is to get rid of distractions. The human mind, by nature, is a frivolous one. This decreases its capacity to focus on one task for a very long time. Digital connectedness has made things even worse. It’s one of the main reasons you’re constantly distracted.
So why not turn this distraction away? The best way to do that is to take a digital break. To make this task easier, you can create a distraction-free zone. Keep all digital devices, including television, mobile phone and computers, away from this area and spend at least one hour in this zone every day. You don’t have to lock yourself in a room for that. It can be in the open too.
Try going for a walk or doing some yoga. You can even read a book, engage in some outdoor activities or spend time in nature. This will keep your mind occupied, and you’ll not feel overwhelmed by the absence of your phone or laptop.
It can be a difficult exercise, but once you start practicing, you can easily master it. Getting rid of distractions is a great way to boost your attention span and increase your focus.
If you’re someone who likes multitasking, you should stop doing that now. Instead, try accomplishing one goal at a time.
Although you might feel like multitasking helps you get more work done, it does just the opposite. When you’re constantly switching between tasks, you have to spend a little extra time repeating some of your work to find out where you left off. This shifts your attention and dilutes your focus.
So instead of doing things faster, you end up spending more time getting things done. This causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. Concentrating on one goal helps you achieve laser-like focus and makes it easier to reach your goals faster.
Take a break.
Another very efficient way of increasing your attention span is to take breaks between your work. Studies have shown that the brain is designed to detect and respond to change. This means that it stops responding when you’re constantly doing something for a very long time.
That’s why when you work for long hours at a stretch, you feel exhausted, even if you haven’t engaged in any physical activity. This creates a mental block and results in decision fatigue.
Taking a quick break can help stimulate your brain and regain your focus. You can either take short breaks at quick intervals or take a longer one after working continuously for some time. That way, your mind gets a chance to recharge itself and be more focused and productive.
One of the most powerful ways of increasing your focus is to meditate. It’s a great way of training your mind to be more aware of where you are and what you’re doing.
This helps you bring back your focus the moment you realize that your mind is drifting away. Meditation is just like an exercise, where you train your brain to stay focused without letting it wander away.
Many people think that meditation can be done only by sitting down with closed eyes. But there are other techniques of meditating too. You can try doing it through practices like deep breathing and yoga and see how effectively it helps you regain your attention.
Proper sleep is extremely important for you to stay focused. But nowadays, many of us stay up late for various reasons. This results in different problems like stress, anxiety and lower concentration levels. It also slows down your reaction time, making it extremely dangerous to continue engaging in focus-oriented activities like driving. If you don’t want that to happen, make sure to get at least seven hours of sleep every day.
With proper sleep, your brain gets to reinforce the connections between its cells, reactivate old memories and pass on different information from the short to long-term memory. As a result, you wake up with a fresh mind and a better attention span.
Staying focused at all times may not be possible. But the problem is that without proper focus, even the simplest task appears to be more complicated. This can directly affect your productivity and cause stress.
If you want to stop that, train your mind to be more focused, and learn how to boost your attention span. This will quickly help you gain clarity of thought, work with more efficiency and make better decisions.