Could you use some advice to help you focus?
Focus is a habit, just like being easily distracted is a habit. But talking to a lot of people, you get the sense that they think it”s in their nature to be easily distracted. As if, it’s a trait they inherited or something. No. People who are able to focus, practice controlling their impulses to watch TV when they should be studying. People who are easily distracted, quickly and without thinking, give in to those impulses.
At the end of the day, we become who we are by repeatedly doing the things we do.
To help you break the distraction habit, there are things that you can do; a bit of habit reengineering, if you will.
We combed through a thread on Quora where the question was asked, How can I improve my focus and found a lot of great advice.
But before you check out our favorites, I want to give a bit of advice of my own: As you read these, don’t just silently nod when something resonates with you.
Think about why it does. Ask yourself, do I need to do that? And if you think yes, think and rethink and think some more about how you can start integrating it into your life. You’re reading this because you want to improve your focus. So do more than just read about it.
At a minimum, bookmark this post or add the good advice you want to try later to your personal development journal. Doing something now! is a habit we all need to work on.
Now let’s check out what these Quorans had to say about how to increase your focus.
Dylan Woon said this:
View sleep as a productivity investment. Once I started treating my sleep as a productivity investment, my waking hours become much more productive.
Elias Scully said this:
Group your impulses
We all feel the urge to check our email, watch YouTube videos, or check our phones when we’re working. Next time you feel the urge to do so, try to group your urges together instead of pursuing each urge individually. Schedule a time for when you can “satisfy” all of your urges at once.
Arnav-Wadhwa said this:
Running changes your brain’s wiring. Research showed a runner’s brain to have greater connectivity in regions involving ‘working-memory’ and ‘self-control’. Running demands immense self-control, and a ‘not-giving-up’ attitude. [Running produces] endorphins which help you overcome negativity. This gives you more mental control over yourself and lets you focus on what is important.
When I started preparing myself for the marathon, I lacked focus. When I pushed myself every day into running regularly, I started developing the ability to focus.
Simon Rakoff said this:
Consciously use your phone
Every time you interact with your smartphone, try to make it a fully conscious decision PRIOR to physically reaching for the phone. In other words, begin each interaction with your cell phone with the THOUGHT,” I am going to use my phone now.” Then reach for it and do what you need to do. The important part of this practice is the concept that your MIND moves to the phone well before your physical body does.
Be prepared to change entirely
When I lost my first kickboxing match there was nothing I wanted more than to wait for the next match and rip my opponents chin off (sorry for my language but that was going through my brain). …I waited one year and finally, the day came. I had two months to practice. During those two months, I was another person. My friends said that I seemed a bit different. They thought I was “another guy”. I would say that I wasn’t another guy; I was entirely focused on my opponent.
Be prepared to change entirely and even become a new person because the focus will change your overall perception on life. That’s what focuses tastes like when you want something so bad.
Look back (from time to time)
The biggest motivational boost is to check out on our achievements from time to time. It will give us enormous boosting ground and it will make us stay super focused.
Find a partner in crime
Teaming up with a coworker will keep you accountable – if she’s coding while you’re checking Facebook, you’ll feel foolish.
Use the Pomodoro technique
Taking its name from a Pomodoro timer, which runs for 25 minutes, the Pomodoro technique is a practice of focusing intently on something for 25 minutes and then taking a five-minute break to get coffee, go to the bathroom, whatever.
Wake up at the same time every day
The regularity, giving you the most energy, clarity, and focus through the morning.
Do things you enjoy focusing on
It takes “” to do work that you don’t engage with, so try to arrange your work day around that engagement, and when it’s not there.
Christine is a Life Strategist and Emotional Health Coach living in Los Angeles. She's big on meditation and believes in systems and routines, and in personalizing everything you do to help you get where you want to be.