Human attention, not money is the most valuable commodity. Whether it is exhaustion, lack of motivation, distraction or a wandering mind, the inability to focus reduces our productivity and limits our chances of success. A study conducted by Harvard University shows a person’s mind tends to wander 47% of the time, which means nearly half of the time our mind is not focused and lacks productivity. By eliminating distractions, investing time to maintain physical and mental wellness, we can improve productivity, vitalise minds, and achieve our goals.
MANAGE YOUR ATTENTION, NOT TIME
For a long, we believed that efforts around productivity and efficiency require time management, but it is not true. As a distraction and misplaced attention interfere with our ability to focus, not time but attention management is the key solution. It is the most essential tool against a technologically advanced world that constantly tries to divert minds. Attention management, in long run, is integral in giving you a sense of meaning and purpose. Explore to find strategies and conduct an attention audit that will help you improve focus on vital things. Layout a practical focus roadmap that includes all major milestones with realistic actions that you can achieve as you learn how to focus better.
MINIMISE MULTITASKING, TAKE SCHEDULED BREAKS
Though multitasking seems almost superhuman, multitaskers often pay a big price for it as it reduces their cognitive abilities. A Stanford study shows that the attention spans, memory capacity and the ability to switch from one task to the next are not a forte of multitaskers. Give all the attention to the task at hand to improve the quality and speed of work. Further, it is highly important to recharge and relax your body and prioritise mental health. It will provide enough momentum to you while getting back to work. Plan your day, week or month with downtime as a priority.
FIND YOUR GOLDEN HOURS
Everyone has a certain time of day when they feel most productive and energetic. Working towards being focused can be achieved by giving those hours of the day to spend on the most important and challenging tasks. Re-work on your schedule to utilise peak hours to focus on your priorities rather than someone else’s.
CREATING WORKPLACE OASIS AND REDUCING SCREEN TIME
Assign a dedicated workspace that is free from any kind of distractions and temptations. As physical clutter affects our focus and ability to process information, it is important to organise your space and keep it clean. When that is done, put your phone and tabs on silent and fully concentrate, make this a habit.
MEDITATE, EXERCISE AND PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: A HEALTHIER LIFE
There is a direct link between meditation, exercise and cognitive abilities, especially the attention span. It helps you promote new brain connections, reduce stress, and improve overall mental well-being. Practising mindfulness and meditation result in an increased attention span as it trains your brain to stay focussed for longer periods, while exercise doesn’t just improve your physical fitness, but also increases your focus to develop comprehensively.
Mental and physical well-being is the key to staying focused. Don’t let yourself be carried by unwanted thoughts, pleasure, fear and pain as every thought you experience and the consecutive action you take will generate an effect. Whether good or bad, it totally depends on you. You need to develop the intention to focus on organising and optimising your time and schedule.
The writer is Mental & Emotional Wellbeing Coach, Founder – Let Us Talk.