Actions to take
- Write the things you need to do
- Focus on one thing at a time
Research from Microsoft has found that since 2000 the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. With so many options and distractions in the digital world, it has gotten easier to get distracted. This statistic was concluded from a study of 112 participants using electroencephalograms (EEGs) and surveys of 2000 others in Canada. While it does show some patterns of decreased attention span but all is not lost. Let’s look at 3 of the most effective ways to boost focus.
Step 1. Start Mono-tasking
It might seem like you are getting a lot of things done while tackling too many things at the same time. But consider this situation, you are walking on a rope right in between 2 cliffs and your phone rings. Will you pick up the phone? Obviously not!
You know that walking on that rope requires a lot of focus to do it correctly and any lapse in concentration can be dangerous. While most of the things we do in our daily lives are not that dangerous, but if we can be focused on one thing at a time we can do things more effectively and faster. Even research has shown that multitasking lowers the quality of our work.
Not everything is worth your intense focus, but there are always those important things that require more focus than others. Try to be more mindful of the things that need your full attention and focus. The results can even shock you.
Step 2. Manage distractions
One of the most important parts of staying focused is removing distractions. Before that, you need to understand your distractions. You need to be mindful of the things or people that act as distractions in your day. Without knowing what is distracting you, it will be difficult to boost your focus.
Focus and distractions are inversely proportional to each other if one increases the other decreases. If you want to increase your focus, you will have to reduce the number of distractions. Be realistic, life is unpredictable, be it at work or home and there will be distractions. So going about removing them altogether is not practical. Look for a sweet spot.
According to the latest reports, the average time spent on a smartphone is 3 hrs every day. If you can reduce it to 2, you make one extra hour in your day. You can spend that extra hour in your dream project.
Step 3. Write things down
Writing things down and having your day planned in written allows you to be more focused and intentional about your day. Having things in writing makes them more concrete and tangible. When you keep things in your head, you are more likely to miss them or not follow through on them. The reason being you don’t feel accountable. If you write things down, you are less likely to escape them or even forget them.
You will feel more organized and in control when you have everything in writing. You can either go for the conventional todo list or just write small paragraphs about what you want to do. This can be done on your phone, laptop or the classic pen and paper, whatever you feel comfortable. Don’t worry too much about the tools, just focus on the process and it will help you be more focused throughout the day.
What is your secret to boost your focus? Share with us in the comments sections below. Maybe you can inspire us for the next post.