Sometimes, however hard you try to zone in on your important task, it’s impossible to focus. Whether you are trying to do work, read a book, or work out a complex problem, distractions lead us astray and disturb our thinking process. Sometimes our anxieties stop us fully investing in a task.
Many are finding it harder to focus than ever with all the devices we use every day, not to mention notifications. However, don’t worry: you aren’t doomed to distractions.
Here are a few tips for improving your ability to focus and making it easier to concentrate here:
Nobody can be blamed for needing a little boost every now and again. We all search for that extra kick to get us through the afternoon; we think drinking one more coffee or tea than we probably need will give us some kind of edge. However, there are some supplements that are created to improve cognitive function, including focus and concentration, without caffeine. These are called Nootropics, which can boost motivation, creativity, focus and memory.
As this Mind Lab Pro review makes clear, they can have a range of different benefits for focus. Nootropics can reduce your anxiety so that you can just get to work on the task. You aren’t inhibited by your anxieties about the task, or other worries in your life. These supplements will also enhance your mental clarity and concentration.
Regardless of what’s going on around you, you can think clearly about what you are trying to do, whether that’s getting through your book or finishing a project.
Trying hard to focus is admirable, but sometimes it’s a losing battle. You can end up devoting more energy to focusing than on the thing you are trying to focus on. If the distractions are there, they will keep taking up your energy.
But, if you remove those distractions, you remove the temptations that cloud your focus. You devote more energy to your work, rather than trying to resist hopping around YouTube.
Consider setting up site blockers on your computer. Depending on the site blocker you use, you can schedule it so that those sites are blocked during specific times of the day. In certain cases, site blockers won’t let you disable them when they are in use. You can’t turn them off when you are working, forcing you to limit scrolling to your free hours.
Schedule your time wisely
Different times of the day foster different kinds of focus. The first few hours of the day tend to be better for focusing on harder, complex tasks, because we are fresh. Working later in the day tends to be better for creative thinking. Consider scheduling your tasks for a time of day that will enhance your focus.
Also, set clear boundaries with your time; this specifies when you are focusing, and when you aren’t. You’ll have urgency and direction by clearly defining the time, and it lets others around you know not to disturb you. This will help you to be precise and concentrate on what you are doing.
Focus is only really useful if it is complete. If you are partly focusing on a few different tasks, you aren’t really focusing on any of them. You are going to fall short on all of them and you’ll probably take longer in total having tried to save time by multitasking.
It is tempting to multitask, but focusing is hard enough without dividing it up. Work completely on one task, and then move onto the next task. You’ll find that you can focus better on each.
Which will you try first?
These tips are all meant to make you feel less consumed by the idea of focusing, and more focused on the actual tasks you need to do. Whether you gravitate to a supplement or a schedule change, take the initiative now so that tomorrow is more productive.
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James Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.