Today it is harder to focus than it ever has been. If you daydream, can’t tune out distractions, or lose track of your progress you are suffering from a lack of focus.
Recalibrating your ability to focus may take some time but building a routine around focusing and understanding what distracts you can help.
Here are Seven Steps to Rebuild Your Focus:
- Minimize External Distractions – Turn off the TV or radio, avoid having multiple windows open on your computer, let those around you know you need uninterrupted time.
- Reduce Internal Distractions – Take a short quiet break before beginning the task, visualize a positive outcome, set aside other concerns for a set period of time.
- Limit Your Scope – Do not try to focus too often within a day. Your ability to focus is like a muscle that hasn’t been trained in a while, so give it time to recover between sessions.
- Commit to the Time Box – If you have set a 30-minute window for a task, start and stop on time. Stop even if the task isn’t complete. Take a short break and if needed you can resume if you are able.
- Be Aware of Your Limits – Do not set unrealistic goals or try to force yourself to focus for longer than 30-45 minutes at a time. Especially at first, this can damage your ability to maintain focus and set you back a few steps.
- Use Your Breaks – Breaks are meant to clear the mind, not clutter it with additional thoughts. Use your breaks to support your mindfulness by keeping a clear head and minimizing external inputs. I use making coffee, sketching, and other simple routines to maintain a calm mind during breaks.
- Remember that this is a Process – You will get better over time and there are no shortcuts. Taking the time to rebuild your focus is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself so enjoy every moment of this time well spent.