Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Focus
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A wandering mind isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Drifting off can lead to creative bursts of inspiration, new ideas and a needed break from a busy day. However, if you are struggling to focus at work or at home, then your wandering mind might be turning into more of a liability than an asset. While getting distracted is simply human nature, some mindful techniques can help you focus and achieve more. 

These top 10 tips will help you reach your goals, stay on track and enjoy the benefits of greater focus throughout the day:

1. Use all of your senses

We are all pretty good at using our heads, but we don’t always take advantage of our other senses. When you use your eyes and ears more than your mouth – and even your sense of smell (cinnamon and peppermint can both boost focus, for instance) – you will see more clearly and remember more. Take notes, read aloud, share observations with a friend, ground your hands and feet, or close your eyes and focus on the sound of your breathing for a few moments.All of these tactics can heighten your attention span and ability to retain information.

2. Perfection is the enemy of progress

If you are a natural born perfectionist, focusing on progress instead of perfection may be difficult, but it will also allow you to accomplish more and feel better about your work. You can still perform high-quality work; simply set smaller milestones along the way.

3. Meditate

The results are in and meditation is at the top of the heap when it comes to excellent techniques for focus. Meditation can increase grey matter in the brain, literally making you smarter, while expanding your ability to focus, according to a study. Set a timer, focus on your breath (and nothing else) and reap the lifelong benefits.

4. Consider Nootropics

Highly engineered supplements designed specifically for focus, concentration, energy and alertness, nootropics are smart drugs comprised of herbal and dietary supplements, research chemicals, caffeine and other ingredients that offer an energetic charge. A variety of formulations can help with enhanced focus and vitality throughout the day.

5. Monotask instead of multitask

It is hard to concentrate closely on two separate things, let alone 10 or 12. When your mind jumps from topic to topic, you only give partial attention and begin to sacrifice efficiency and productivity. Do your best to focus on one thing at a time before moving onto the next item on your list. 

6. Get more sleep

You have permission to take a nap or sleep in a little later – a good night’s sleep leads to improved memory function, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Don’t work until your eyes are red and your brain is fried – ensure that you get adequate rest to make your working hours more productive.

7. Let technology support focus instead of distraction

You might use apps for games and fun, checking the weather and connecting with others. While technology can be an easy distraction, it can also help you stay focused. Search for the keyword you need most – whether it is “focus” or “efficiency” or “organization,” for example – and check out the many cool apps that can help you effortlessly achieve your goals.

8. Take breaks

Regular breaks are key to focus. Check out the Pomodoro Technique, which employs a timer to break up work into intervals – usually 25 minutes of work followed by a short break. There are six simple steps to this technique: 1) Determine the task. 2) Set the timer to 25 minutes. 3) Work without breaks until it rings. 4) When the timer buzzes, place a checkmark on a piece of paper. 5) If you have three checkmarks or less, take a short break of five minutes or less to relax, and then repeat steps 2-4. 6) After you record the fourth checkmark, take a longer break of up to 30 minutes. Organize your work and your breaks to enjoy more focus and productivity.

9. Add working out to your daily agenda

Your mental game is strongly influenced by your physical regimen. If you aren’t already exercising regularly, find something you love (or at least like) and commit to it. According to the Harvard Business Review, your boss and colleagues will thank you.

10. Maintain work-life balance

Time off is good for your relationships, good for your health and good for your work, according to the Harvard Business Review. If you are working around the clock, plan a vacation or a few long weekends, readjust and give yourself some valuable time off.

Clearly, focusing isn’t all about work, discipline and pushing through. In reality, scheduled breaks, exercise and eating right, dedication to “good enough” instead of “perfection” and a few deep breaths can make all the difference.

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Dan Scalco
https://www.linkedin.com/in/danscalco/
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