Are you finding it difficult to stay on task lately?
Whether you’re learning a new language or enhancing a skill, you need concentration to gain progress. Remaining focused is important when you’re taking those first steps.
If you’re the kind of person who gets distracted easily, here are ten tips that will show how to stay focused on any task:
1. Start Slowly But Surely
Staying focused is easier said than done. You might think you have the self-discipline for it, but even life can throw distractions and boredom at you.
The key is to start small.
You might have already done the Pomodoro Method before without knowing. It’s when you break work down into smaller time intervals. It is one of the easier ways to stay focused on a task.
Take 5 minutes from your day to focus on a book or a task. Afterwards, take a break for 2 minutes. Continue your reading or work for 5 more minutes.
On the next day, add a second break and a third 5-minute work time. In a week, you can do 40 minutes’ worth of work in an hour. As more time passes, you’ll be comfortable enough to work an hour straight with minimal breaks.
2. Create To-Do Lists and Divide Your Hours
How consistent are you with your work schedule? How strictly do you follow your own schedules?
Making to-do lists is a fun way to know how much work you can do in a day.
If you have time in the morning, don’t use it to scroll through Facebook. Pick up a pen and paper, and list down your tasks for the day. After each task, calculate how much time you’ll need to accomplish it.
As stated in the first step, divide the total time for each task to fewer minutes and multiple breaks. It’s great for when you find yourself overwhelmed by how long you’ll have to sit and work.
3. Avoid Distractions and Procrastination
Ever thought about how much time you use every day doing nothing? How quickly does a Facebook post distract you from your job? Do you put off doing tough work often?
At the beginning of the shift, it’s easy to concentrate on what you have to do. As the hour’s tick by, your attention span gets shorter. By then, you’re less efficient compared to your first couple of hours.
Despite this, you’re not yet done with your work. How then should you get your focus back? Ignore everything else.
Go offline. The less your phone rings or buzzes, the less likely you are to pick it up. Check it every three hours at the least for any emergencies.
4. Relax Your Mind, Meditate!
Sit down in a quiet, comfortable place. Take 10 to 20 minutes to close your eyes and breathe. Allow your mind to flow from one thought to another.
Meditation is a great mental workout which enhances your memory, clears your mind, and gives you focus. There are many types of meditation for you to choose from. Guided meditation is the best pick for beginner meditators.
If you’re looking to take meditation up a notch, sign up for yoga classes. Yoga won’t only help you balance out your energies, it’s great for developing focus too. There are also specific yoga poses for concentration.
5. Multi-Task Less
Are you used to cooking dinner while watching TV while doing the laundry while washing the dishes? If you have the machines to do the tasks for you, focus on the first thing then.
Multi-tasking is not effective if you want to remain focused.
It may be impressive, but your mind is not designed to concentrate on too many tasks. It doesn’t matter how much time you save up by multi-tasking. Your brain wastes more when it’s constantly shifting attention from one task to the next.
This is why the to-do list is wonderful. You must give all your attention to one thing before you move on to the next. Don’t spread yourself thin over too many things.
Think quality, not quantity. The better your focus is on your cooking, the more delicious the food is going to be.
A piece of helpful advice is to never multitask when you are studying for an exam.
6. Take Breaks
We’ve talked about how you get distracted and your brain has to restart to get in momentum again. There is a limit to committing to hours-long, continuous work. Your mind and body need a break.
As we said before, you can always divide your work hours with multiple short breaks. It won’t do you any good if you tire yourself out. Do something that isn’t work-related for a while.
For as long as five minutes, take a short walk, drink a glass of water, or watch cat videos. If your job requires you to stand or move around a lot, take a moment to sit. It’s even healthy for you to put aside twenty seconds to stare at something at a distance.
7. Declutter Your Desk
Staying focused can be a challenge if you feel bothered by that stray sticky note on the keyboard.
Even if you are not a clean freak, it would do well to organize your desk. Take out all the distracting and irrelevant items in your workspace.
Before you leave work, make it a habit to clean up. You’ll thank yourself the next day. Arriving at a clean workspace in the morning will help motivate you.
8. Physical Exercise
When did you last go out for a run?
Regular exercise promotes brain health. But, your brain shouldn’t be the only thing you’re exercising. Your body is a major player in keeping that focus, too.
Taking up martial arts is a great way to develop self-discipline. Plus, you get to kick ass and learn self-defense. If you think martial arts is a little too extreme, there are still tons of other sports out there.
Did you get six hours of sleep last night?
Don’t fret if you can’t, especially for females. In fact, 20% of women don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis.
Poor concentration is a symptom of chronic sleep loss. If you’re not getting enough hours of rest, you’re sacrificing your focus.
As mentioned above, taking a few minutes to rest your eyes helps in concentration. Sleeping the full six hours is giving your entire body that well-deserved rest.
10. Ask Others How to Stay Focused
Taking advice from others is always a good idea.
You don’t only get to bond with others, you also get a glimpse into their personalities via their work method. In turn, they learn a little more about you from what you have to share with them.
It’s not necessary for you to follow all their tips to stay focused, of course. Take only what would fit your work method best. If not, make up your own from what you’ve gathered.
Go and Get Things Done
Learning how to stay focused can feel like an uphill struggle but with these steps, you can stay ahead of the game. Don’t hesitate to try them out!
Remember, always start small. The next time you feel tempted to scroll through your Facebook feed or multi-task, think about how much quicker you want to get your work done.