Life is often filled with ups and downs and ups and more downs. Not always an easy ride. Sometimes we have a handful of things going on. And as such, it becomes so difficult to handle it all. That’s why today I’d like to share some tips on how to focus your mind and energy on the important things that really matter in life.
You may be swamped with a job or business that barely gives you time. Perhaps you have a partner who depends on you for most things. Your kids are your responsibility too. What about your old parents – plus your siblings? Then there’s house chores and home management. Besides, you have friends who count on you. And to crown it all, life has not really been smooth because the economy is not always encouraging.
Considering how chaotic life can be at times, you might end up acting irrationally, and at the end of the day, you’ll make no headway.
When your life is full of confusion, it becomes practically impossible to get things done. The only way to salvage this unwanted situation is to focus your mind. If you really want to get things done, then the most important resource you must command is attention.
The ability to remain focused on your tasks without quavering – even amidst difficulties – is very important if your aim is to be productive. Our brains are basically wired to function through complicated mechanisms – which subconsciously work for us or against us.
Our mental strength mainly consists of our memories, feelings, emotions, temperaments, and subconscious mind. These qualities can either help us to focus our minds or to lose concentration. This is why we need to discipline our minds in order to be more productive – even in this chaotic world!
Rest assured, in this post, you will learn how to remain focused on any given task while navigating through obstacles and distractions.
How To Focus Your Mind
1. Eliminate Distractions
It’s actually very difficult to stay focused and remain on a task for an extended period. But it is even more complicated when we have lots of distractions to contend with. In today’s world, we are highly interconnected. And for that, a diversion is barely one click away. The distractions are always there. It’s almost like an inescapable phenomenon.
Even in your quietest moments, you still have distractions sitting next to you – thanks to your mobile phone. Before you know it, you’re already scrolling through your social media, attending to your latest notifications.
Now, if you must learn how to focus your mind, then you must start eliminating some of these numerous distractions around you.
Eliminating certain sources of distractions is not always as easy as it seems. Because while it is quite effortless to turn off your television or radio set, it might prove very difficult for you to deal with a co-worker, a partner, a roommate, or a sibling that distracts you.
One way to deal with this sort of distraction is to seek out a calm place where you can have alone time. There you’ll be able to work without any interruption. This special location could be your room, office, library, or even a serene relaxation park.
Another way to avoid certain distractions is by setting out a particular time of the day when you’ll request to be left alone. Sure, it might not seem nice to ask your loved ones or co-workers to leave you alone. But it is what it is, you need to avoid certain distractions by being alone.
However, not all distractions come from external sources. For instance; Worry, fear, discouragement, anxiety, and other internal distractions are quite difficult to bypass. Nonetheless, you can actually avoid some of these internal distractions by having adequate rest before you begin any task.
Also, ensure to drive your mind towards harboring only positive thoughts. If you can avoid all sorts of negative ideas, your mind will be way more focused.
2. Plan A Few Critical Tasks For The Day And Visualize Your End Results
Our realities are molded by our thoughts. This is simply because our thoughts determine how we feel, and our feelings result in our actions and behaviors. And finally, our actions bring about results.
If all your thoughts are centered on the results you’ll achieve if you finish your tasks at the end of the day, then you’ll do anything possible to accomplish those tasks!
Therefore, while planning your day (probably in the morning), specify two or three critical tasks that will take you almost the whole day to complete. Don’t meditate on those tasks shallowly, rather, visualize them and imagine the feeling you’ll have when you accomplish these tasks.
If your thoughts are always about those end results, you will be subconsciously focused on how to turn those thoughts into reality. Hence, you will be motivated to work hard and complete the tasks.
3. Take Advantage Of Your Peak Hours
If you really want to focus your mind better, then you have to take advantage of your peak hours – those hours of the day when you are most efficient!
Some people perform better during the day, while others are simply exceptional at night. Some work harder in the morning, others in the afternoon.
To determine your peak hours, you have to measure your productivity level throughout the day. Pay attention to your energy levels, motivation, thought patterns, moods, and distractions while experimenting on different work hours. Repeating such experiments day after day and week after week will help you draw a credible conclusion.
For instance, if you want to experiment on “the morning hours”, you can attempt to do the most difficult chores from 8 AM to 10 AM – repeat the process every day for one week. Then the next week, concentrate on doing those tough tasks from 10 AM to 12 PM.
As for the “the afternoon hours”, start executing those difficult tasks from 12 PM to 2 PM, or 2 PM to 4 PM, repeat every day for one week… And so on.
The sum of results you are able to achieve within those time ranges will help you ascertain your peak hours. By doing this, you’ll be able to make the most of your peak hours and become more productive.
4. Avoid Handling Multiple Tasks At The Same Time
If your aim is to get through a chaotic life, then you have to focus on a single task at a time. Avoid multitasking!
According to research, multitasking reduces cognitive abilities because our brains are typically designed to fully focus on one task at a time.
Sure, there are people who manage to handle a couple of chores at the same time. And it is quite an advantage to them. But if you are handling a critical task, you have to fully focus on that single task to avoid costly mistakes.
In a nutshell, to improve the quality of work and the speed of delivery, you need to avoid multitasking.
5. Exercise Your Mind
The best way to build your muscles is by exercising regularly, right? Now, that is the same way you should build your mind. You have to exercise your mind (on a regular basis) in order to build your mental strength.
Learning how to focus your mind is all about constant practice. Whenever you encounter thoughts or things that distract you, you must perceive them as what they are – time and attention killers!
Whenever you feel weary and feel like giving up on a particular assignment, you must try harder by pushing it a little further. That’s how to exercise your mind, and a good way to build your mental capacity.
Sure, you might not get to your full mental capacity at the first attempt. But you can build it gradually.
For instance, you shouldn’t start by forcing yourself to work for 6hrs straight. You can start with just 30 minutes. Then after a week or two, you can progress to an hour or two… from there you can keep building on it – from strength to strength till you are able to work for 6hrs straight.
Remember, mental focus is all about constant training (of the mind).
6. Build Your Willpower – Be More Disciplined
Another important way to focus your mind is to be disciplined. One reason people easily get distracted is that they lack the required discipline to build their willpower. They hardly make a decision and stick to it!
The only way you can make a realistic decision is when you resolve that no matter what happens, your decision stands.
Say, for instance, you want to start exercising daily…
You shouldn’t decide by saying; “I will exercise today” or “I shall exercise today” (for those who still talk like Shakespeare).
Rather, your decision should be; “I must exercise today”. Make it compulsory.
When you sound very certain, that’s when your brain will take your intent seriously – and you will be inclined to perform. Willpower and self-discipline are two important traits that must be developed simultaneously.
Your willpower is the source of your intent to work – it empowers your actions. On the other hand, your discipline ensures you deal with any distraction or obstacle that undermines your focus. Self-discipline ensures you get past your comfort zone, laziness, or any other intrusive ideas.
7. Deal With Your Fears
For any given activity, you either feel pleasure or pain (sometimes indifference). And often, we tend to quickly attend to those pleasurable activities while shying away from those that are seemingly painful.
The reason most people procrastinate is because of the fear of pain. And that is the same reason they hardly focus.
Well, it is normal to encounter fears. Because that’s how we are all wired. Nobody wants to be hurt!
However, if you must maintain your focus at all times – then you must start dealing with your fears. That’s when you will stop procrastinating those difficult tasks and start getting your desired results.
8. Live In The Moment
When you allow yourself to be constantly drawn to past memories, there is no way you can stay focused on the present tasks at hand. And when you are deeply worried about the future, there is every tendency for you to ignore your present needs – which are of course, very important.
The importance of being present-minded cannot be overemphasized. Living in the moment is all about dealing with your distractions, whether they are physical (your phone) or psychological (your worries), and staying mentally committed to the present situation.
Now, the fact is that you cannot change the past and the future is not certain for anyone. So, why bother so much?
The most important thing is what you are doing at this very moment. Your dealings today can help you avoid repeating your past errors and even drive you towards a more flourishing future.
So, why not stop worrying about things that are far-off. And start living in the moment?
9. Always Practice Mindfulness
The most direct way of learning how to focus your mind is by practicing mindfulness. However, it’s not easy to build your mental capacity up to the level where you are fully mindful. That’s why you have to practice it all the time.
When you are mindful of your physical and mental space, you can easily deal with any form of distraction or chaos that life throws at you. You will effortlessly stay connected to any task you’re working on.
A mindful person is an intentional person. And such an individual is fully aware and in charge of any given situation.
Want to be a little more focused? It’s simple; be mindful.
Finally, the whole idea is to remain focused despite the turmoil that comes with life… Despite those worries, fears, and anxieties, and amidst those distractions posed by immediate pleasures. Because it’s only when you are focused that you’ll become more productive.
It will not be easy to make a sudden U-turn (from being distracted to being focused). But if you can gradually put the tips discussed above into constant practice, rest assured, your progress will be simply remarkable.