How is your focus at work?
How good is your attention?
Are you bored yet?
We get sucked in to so many distractions on a day to day basis. Even just going to write this post caused me to spend 5 minutes aimlessly scrolling through photo's and statuses of friends and family, as well as getting sucked in to videos that the algorithms have conveniently gathered enough about me to know I'll want to watch. So how do we stop ourselves from this pull of social media or our devices? How do we gain a better focus on what we are doing?
Research has shown that our brains are actually rewarded for checking Facebook and social media, just like anything else that makes us feel good, there is a release of dopamine - and this means that we are then being conditioned to check it more. So in order to calm your mind from distractions you need to start thinking about how you focus yourself. We can often drift through day to day, knowing what we are doing but with no real plan. This is where we can have a really busy day and yet at the end of it question our productivity - giving us no real sense of achievement.
A great way to hyper focus your thoughts is to plan your day in bite sized chunks, and when you go in to those chunks of focused time, take away the distractions. Like anything it takes time to make things a habit, so at first this may need to be a forced action, to be strict with yourself - if you're anything like me you may need to leave the distracting object (maybe your phone) in another room in order to make this work (or universe depending on how attached to you it may be!).
Plan your day... By writing down the goals to achieve through your day, you are setting your intentions for it. When you are thinking about these, try to set realistic goals that you know you can achieve. It may be that you are working on just a couple of items, or that you have a few on your list as you are tying up bits and pieces, but be sure you will be able to get through them, so that you are more likely to stay focused on what you have on the agenda.
Put time frames on them.... break them down further and give yourself working windows. This will mean you have a specific and shorter time to solely put your attention to and by doing this you are less likely to get sucked in to that YouTube video or looking for that app that's calling you.
Challenge yourself... Set yourself a challenge to complete one of your daily goals in a short time frame, push yourself to see if you can complete the challenge. You could try a method called the Pomodoro Technique. This is where you choose what topic to work on, set a timer for a shorter period of time (say 30-45 mins) and then put everyting in to what you are doing for that time. When the timer goes off - reward yourself with a 5-10 minute break. When you complete four of these short blasts, you can take a longer break.
Distractions are everywhere and even with our best intentions the most of us find ourselves on at one point of the day flicking through apps, websites or videos of things that stop us getting the job done. By trying the tips above for a week you may find yourself being in better control of your own focus and attention.
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