The average human life is bursting with parades of
distractions. As a student, employer, employee or any other person, your mind
is naturally attuned to both internal
and external distractions, making it even harder to remain focused.
In reality, staying focused goes beyond switching off your
computing device or muting messages from friends. It may mean smelling a flower
every time you get up to raise your spirit. So weird, isn’t it? Don’t fret.
Here are five cardinal tactics to keep in mind whenever you want to stay
- It starts with self-assessment
Self-assessment provides crucial insights on
self-comprehension. It helps with understanding key gaps in your behaviour that
take your focus down the drain, and therapeutic models to employ.
To gauge the level of your mental focus, ask yourself
- You daydream, or able to remain
awake most of the time?
- You complete all tasks at hand,
or loose track and leave them hanging half-way?
- You beat your deadline, or
procrastinate and give an excuse in the long run?
- Identify and monitor your time
If at all you daydream, lose track of your work and don’t
beat deadlines, then there is no doubt you have time wasters. These can be your
friends, popular series, obnoxious co-worker, social media sites, or a popular
game on your phone.
Start by eliminating the time wasters. Apps such as Rescuetime
help with tracking down the sites and websites that waste your time. Firefox’s
Leechbox and Chrome’s Stayfocusd
also do the same thing. Moreover, the two browser add-ons have an option that
enables users to block notifications from infuriating sites. Feel free to check
tips for keeping focused here, especially the apps that can help you to
- Establish a time management
The burden of staying laser-focused lies in how you manage
your time. To remain hyper-productive throughout the day, don’t multitask.
Rather, do the tasks beforehand one at a time starting with the most
block method has proved to work for many people, including Bill gates. In
this plan, all you need is to divide your day into 3:2:3 blocks consisting of
90, 60, and 30 minutes respectively.
Go ahead and divide the day into 3 blocks consisting of
high intensive tasks, medium intensive tasks and quick win tasks. Dedicate most
of the time to high intensive tasks based on your individual priority.
- Inculcate short breaks between
your daily tasks
Do you know that prolonged gazing at something can make the
object to gradually “fade” out of sight? It is called Troxler fading effect.
Scientists say that by fixating your gaze on a visual element for hours, the
constant light stimulus desensitizes the linked neurons. This reduces the
strength of the stimulus to the brain hence leading to a fading effect.
Short breaks are ideal ways to staying overly focused more
so when doing a tedious task. When you take a break, you allow the body to
rejuvenate hence minimizing burnouts. Secondly, the breaks enhance retention
and creativity in the brain.
For a busy day, you will need breaks of about 5-10 minutes
each after every task. For example, in the time block method above, you will
need a 10-minute break after the first high intensive task whose designated
time is about 90 minutes. For the medium intensive and quick win tasks,
you can do with 7 and 5 minutes breaks respectively.
5. Reward yourself
Self-reward is the glue that sticks focusing on your daily
routine. Contrary to popular belief, the reward should not be costly. There are
that come at marginal costs to give a try. When rewarding yourself:
- Go for the self-compassion
mechanisms–being kind on your well-being
- Go for the discretionary foods
if at all you have to do with the food. The foods should not be junky or those
which are deleterious to your health
- Roll some alternative rewards
such as sound sleep, domestic tourism, movie or marathon night up your sleeve.
They are the best option more so when time is a major cause for concern
Staying laser-focused is a behaviour that you cannot build
and nature overnight. The moment you allow the brain to wander, then you are
automatically losing it. Therefore, alongside these five tactics, you may need
to practice mindfulness and adopt psychological remedies such as meditation.