“The ability to stay focused will be the superpower of the 21st century” says Cal Newport, a Georgetown professor.
With the constant smartphone notifications, messages and all time connectivity with internet, focus and concentration have taken a beating like never before.
The amount of time people can spend on a task without getting distracted is reducing rapidly. But, focus and concentration are crucial for achieving success.
Anyone looking to maximize their productivity, achieve goals, and advance their professional growth must learn how to focus their attention and improve concentration.
We are all doing the same things, but the different levels of focus and concentration. It is the focus and concentration that differentiates the top professionals from the ordinary ones.
In a world of increasing interruptions and ever growing distractions, your ability to focus and concentrate will the among the most valuable traits.
Here we look at science backed ways that can help you to focus and concentrate better:
“Continued meditation practice is associated with enduring improvements in sustained attention,” Anthony Zanesco, a psychologist at the University of Miami, and his colleagues report in the seven-year study.
Meditation can help you to decrease stress, connect with your deeper self and improve your ability to focus over sustained periods. When you meditate, your brain goes into a relaxed state and gets much needed rest.
Siegfried Othmer, former president of the neurofeedback division of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, conducted neurofeedback research on meditation. Those who meditated for 20 minutes or more showed an average gain in IQ of 23 percent.
Meditation helps you to focus better, activates your brain in surprising ways that can improve your intelligence and focus.
2.Do Fewer things better
Your brain works best when things are structured and organised. A todo list where you prioritise your focus areas for the day is a great way to kickstart things.
Planning and prioritizing your tasks will help you relieve stress, reduce burden on your brain to remember them and help you stay organized.
Studies have shown that multitasking lowers productivity. It is better to do one thing at a time and give your complete focus and attention to it.
Our attention is limited and when we are constantly switching between tasks, it depletes our focus. You can’t check facebook, texts and smartphone and do quality work at the same time.
Undivided attention is a great force, use it well to accomplish great things.
Our energy reserves are limited. The harder the tasks, the more attention and energy they demand of us. It is better to schedule things in such a way so as to focus your energy on the toughest tasks.
A short break, coffee, casual walk or connecting with nature can help you to focus better too. When your mind is relaxed, it is easier to concentrate.
Relax your mind and conserve your energy reserves. Don’t be a slave of your gadgets, social media and smartphone, use them wisely.
4.Positive Outlook & Simplicity
When you think positively, it releases endorphins, which give you more energy. A positive mindset increases our energy and enthusiasm for doing things.
This is the reason people who enjoy and love their work are able to go on longer hours than others. In the process, they accomplish amazing things that other people marvel at.
The greatest musicians, authors, scientists, programmers and other top professionals have very simple routines. They eliminate things which are not important and focus only on the core things.
A decluttered desk can be a great boon for you. It simplifies things, makes your mind free from distractions, where you can think more clearly and stay focused to do great things.
5.Mindfulness and Staying in the Present
If you want to make a difference with your work, you have to develop deep expertise, knowledge and achieve excellence. You need to be agile and fully alert.
Present moment awareness is when your mind is focused on what you are doing, it is neither thinking of the past, nor the future. Being in the present allows you to do top quality work.
Scientists have found that you can improve your ability to focus by changing your behavior. You can reduce interference and distractions that might take away your attention from your current activity. For e.g. phone, social media, constant emails and chatter etc.
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”