We live in a very distracted world where we are bombarded by information most of our waking hours. Our minds struggle to focus on one thing before it wanders off to the next thing you should be doing or is distracted by a beep from your smart-phone leading your attention elsewhere.
Every time we have to switch our attention from a particular task and then back again, our concentration levels drop dramatically until we feel tired and unmotivated.
Chances are you won’t even read the end of this short blog because you feel the need to check, or do something else, but please do, as you could learn some great techniques to stop the constant hijacking of your attention systems and stay focused on one thing at a time (like reading this blog).
Well done for sticking by me!
Here are three great tips to keep you focussed and train your attention muscle:
- Catch it and park it- the first step to train your attention systems better is to catch it when it wanders off. Let’s say your working on a project and you get a thought pop into your head about someone you forget to email yesterday, so you open your inbox and then you see some responses which then direct your attention elsewhere, then that leads to opening a document and before you know it you’ve got 12 tabs open and your attention is far from the original project you were working on. Distracted!!
A better option is: to catch your mind straying off track and write down on a piece of paper next to you the thing that popped into your head and park it to get back to later, then mindfully get back on track to the project you’re working on.
- Mini-Meditation breaks– when you start to feel yourself getting distracted, losing focus and feeling a bit stressed, it’s probably a good time to have a short renewal break instead of trying to charge through your work in a reactive manner sipping on more caffeine to get you through.
A better option is: to give yourself permission to take a 1-2 minute meditation break to recharge the mind. Let go of the mouse button, minimise the computer screen and take some time to tune into yourself. Close your eyes if it’s appropriate and tune into your breath, follow it for around 6-10 cycles. Aim to make your breath have more depth and purpose, this will instantly take you out of any reactive behaviour and restore your focus again.
- Switch it off, put it away- this might sound obvious but the most important thing to help you deal with distractions is to not have them in front of you. Many of us have our phones near us all the time, we have pop-up notifications on our computer, and we have reminders and beepers all around us constantly buzzing us into a distracted state.
A better option is: if you’re working on an important task, only do that one thing, give that task your full undivided attention as best you can. Switch off your smart phone or put it away out of sight (on silent), let your colleagues know you’re working on something for the next hour or so, switch off beeping reminders and notifications.
If you have made it to this concluding paragraph, well done for staying focussed! Try these simple tips to stay engaged and minimise distractions in your workflow. You will achieve so much more in your day and you won’t feel wiped out by the constant distractions at the end of your day.
Did you know that we offer meditation and mindfulness coaching to help you become more productivity, have more energy and increase happiness. If you’re interested in our coaching options, please send me an email at [email protected]