Being solely focused on a particular task can be challenging. The situation becomes particularly complicated when there are many distracting issues. It is necessary to admit that in the contemporary world, distractors are right around the corner.
Even if you are having rest, you can still be easily distracted. For example, you may browse the Internet in search of some interesting information or check on your profiles on different social networks.
In order to learn something new, it is essential to be able to concentrate one’s attention and expend much mental effort. These capabilities are also required to reach the set objectives and fulfill the given tasks effectively.
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Regardless of the matter, you are focused on, e.g. sporting competition, business report, etc., your ability to stay focused is what determines the final outcome that can be either success or failure.
Luckily, everyone can learn to concentrate their attention. In this case, it is suitable to mention the saying “Practice makes perfect”.
Though it is possible to learn to stay focused, it does not mean that it is an easy and quick process. If it were so simple, we would not have any problems with task performance.
In order to succeed in learning to concentrate attention, you may need to change your habits. Below, there are several helpful hints on developing great concentration.
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Evaluate Your Mental Focus
Before you begin improving your mental focus, you may desire to evaluate its present state, if it can be said so.
Your focus is strong if:
- You can stay concentrated without any extra effort
- You set targets and break the tasks into smaller sub-tasks
- You take some rest and then go back to work
You need to improve your focus if:
- You are often in a state of reverie
- You cannot avoid distractors
- You lose your train of thought
If the points related to the first block are intrinsic to you, then you can concentrate without any problems. Still, you can improve your skills by practicing more.
In case the second block of points sounds like you, it means that you have to work hard to achieve better results. It is certainly a time-consuming process, but constant practice and change in habits will definitely lead to success.
It seems obvious, but many of us do not even imagine how many things divert us from fulfilling our duties and tasks. For example, the music playing in the background or a noisy colleague walking back and forth can be considered serious distractors.
It is not always possible to reduce the mentioned distracting issues to a minimum. If turning off the music does not presuppose any difficulties, dealing with a noisy colleague, child, etc. is much more complicated.
One of the ways out of the situation is to stay away for some time and ask those surrounding you to give you some space. Alternatively, you may search for a quiet and cozy place where you will not be interfered with by anyone. You may go to the library, a small caffe, etc.
It is necessary to admit that not all distractions come from the outer world. Our emotions, worries, irritation, concerns are extremely hard to handle.
In order to get rid of the inner distractors mentioned above and feel ready for performing some tasks, you may try following such strategies as positive thinking and imagery. These “tools” are quite helpful in reducing stress. If you notice that some negative distracting thoughts come into your mind, strive to keep your focus on the given task.
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It sometimes seems that multitasking is an effective way of doing a lot within a short period of time. Nevertheless, it appears to be vice versa. Being involved in numerous tasks simultaneously results in low productivity. Being tired and distracted, people start omitting important details which leads to unsatisfactory results.
People’s resources in terms of attention are not unlimited. Thus, it is essential to renew them.
Regard your attention as a spot of light. If you direct it to a specific place, you can clearly see the things located there. If you try to light a dark room with the help of the only spot, subtle shades are what you will see.
In order to make your mental focus stronger, you should make the most of the resources available for you. You should stop doing a lot of tasks simultaneously. Instead, concentrate on one undertaking at a time.
Feel the Moment
It is difficult to concentrate on something if you cannot stop pondering over past events, worrying about your future, or thinking about the issues that do not let you enjoy the present.
You must have heard people stating that it is important to live in the moment. It means that you need to put the things diverting you away regardless of whether they are physical (PC) or psychological (emotions) and enjoy the moment to the fullest.
Being present here and now means that you should reload if it can be said so your mental focus. If you can feel the moment, you will manage to stay focused on the matter under consideration which will certainly lead to a successful outcome.
It goes without saying that you need some time to learn to live in the moment. The past cannot be altered and the future has not come yet. What really matters is the present! The actions you are taking today will help you avoid the mistakes which you made in the past and build a successful future.
Practice Staying Mindful
At present, such issues as mindfulness are discussed extensively and there are solid reasons for this. Though mindfulness, which is considered a kind of meditation, has been practiced for many years, its benefits for people’s health are just being outlined and explored.
There was research, in the course of which HR experts had to be involved in multitasking every day at work.
The given tasks had to be done in 20 minutes. The specialists had to answer phone calls, arrange meetings, and write memoranda. As to the memos, those professionals had to create them based on the information received from the phone call, text messages, and emails.
Some of the participants of the survey attended 8-week training in mindfulness. As to the results, it was detected that only those who underwent training could improve their mental focus.
Those attending meditation courses were able to stay focused longer, switch between the imposed tasks less frequently, and work more efficiently than others.
When practicing mindfulness, people also learn to meditate. It can be as easy as doing breathing exercises.
Good Advice on How to Recapture Focus
Take a few deep breaths and try to concentrate on each of them. Once you feel that you start distracting, kindly take your focus back to your breathing.
At first, this task may seem easy. However, once you try it, you will see how much effort and concentration it requires. Luckily, you can do this kind of activity anywhere and anytime. As a result, you will see that it becomes easier for you to stay concentrated on the items you are dealing with.
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Have Some Rest
Have you ever tried to stay concentrated on some things for a considerable period of time? You must have noticed that your attention starts wandering after a while and it becomes harder to do the task you are involved in. As a result, both your performance and outcome are far from the expected ones.
If you refer to Psychology, it states that it happens due to the depletion of people’s attentional resources. However, some researchers think that such a phenomenon is connected with the tendency of our brain to neglect constant simulation.
It has been detected that even short breaks during which your attention is concentrated on something else than your task can help you improve your mental focus.
Thus, the next time you are managing a time-consuming project, do not forget to have some rest. Take short breaks and you will feel much better.
Try to refocus your attention on something that has nothing to do with your task. Even the break lasting for a few minutes will help you stay focused on the matter under consideration and achieve great results.
Remember to Practice
Learning to concentrate your attention requires some time. It is no secret that even expert sportsmen need a great deal of time and much practice to build a strong mental focus.
The first step that has to be taken to mastering one’s concentration skills is to realize the influence the distraction makes on your life. If you see that some minor issues do not let you stay focused on important things and, therefore, prevent you from achieving the desired results, you should start training your mental focus.
Once you build a solid mental focus, you will see that you can do many things and focus on the activities that can fill your life with joy, happiness, and success.