Focus Your Attention

Focus Your AttentionWhen focused: work is easier, takes less time, we make fewer mistakes and are much more productive and efficient. The ability to focus enhances our ability to achieve what we want to achieve.

Plan your Day

Instead of chaotically trying to do 7 tasks at once first write them down and then prioritize them. Next decide how much time you need to spend on each task, today, and create a ‘schedule’ for your day. It helps to alternate the more mental tasks with a physical or less intense one. If needed, use an alarm to let you know when it is time to change tasks.

If a task is an all day job, give yourself regular ‘Attention Breaks’. Get up and move around. Go for a short walk. Get a glass of water (dehydration makes us feel tired.) Listen to a 5-10 minute meditation commentary. Click here for some examples.

Also, make sure you are as comfortable as possible. You will be able to focus much more easily if your back isn’t aching from an old computer chair. Unplug unnecessary distractions… close your email and networking sites. If you are in a noisy environment why not try putting on headphones and listening to some background music?

Increase your Attention Fitness

It is possible to increase our attention span. First of all, stop telling yourself that you can’t concentrate. Re-programme your mind; start telling yourself that you can concentrate.

Next, work out what your current attention span is. Maybe it is 3, 10 or even 20 minutes? Starting from wherever you are work on gradually lengthening it, say it is 5 minutes, for the next 30 minutes take a piece of work and spend 5 minutes working on it and then take a one minute attention break. Then repeat this another 4 times. Later in the day repeat this again, only make it 6 minutes work with one minute breaks. The next day increase it to 7 minutes and so on. Before you know it you will be up to 30 minutes and 3 minute breaks.

‘What about…?’ ‘I mustn’t forget…?’  

A great way to deal with these types of insistent thoughts is to acknowledge them, note them down (free your mind from being your reminder pad) and then set a time to deal with them later. You can do this with bigger worries too. Make a deal with your mind to think about them later. “OK mind, yes I know. Right now though I have to write this report. Let’s focus on this now and this evening we can think about that.”

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