Focus - Easy Right?
One of the most fundamental activities we can do, but usually do not, is to have focus in life.
Focusing is putting your attention at will, for the period you want. Sounds easy, but while even reading these few sentences how many times have your eyes gazed to the picture on top, or jumped to some words earlier, or thinking about the groceries you still have to do or that you have to call your mother to for something important.
At least you are thinking about it now.
Welcome back. Mind wandering happens all the time.
In all honesty it is because your brain is a lot smarter than we actually think. The brain capacity far exceeds the work we usually do.The reason why your mind wanders the whole time is because your brain needs to be actively engaged in everything we do. That is why on moments of complete flow (e.g. where your skill level meets the challenge you are facing) your mind is completely in the moment. All other times when we are mind wandering our brain is bored and looks for something more interesting. A genius guy has written tons of books about it, check out his TED Talk.
Even though we cannot focus 100% on multiple things at the same time, we can switch vary fast between thoughts. However, in doing so we become less productive. If you are doing two things, which require absolute focus – let`s say doing a Sudoku quiz and at the same time writing your boss an important email – you will be slower, less productive, and have a lower quality in both activities than when you would do one of those things purely focused.
Therefore, when doing something, regardless of what it is, do it with full focus.
Our attention span is quite short. Therefore, the key is to train your focus. Luckily, focusing is a skill. And each skill can be trained.
One particular way that has proven to be very successful is using Mindfulness techniques, or similar meditation techniques.
The technique for focusing your mind, when and where you want.
so to train your focus do the next things:
Every morning, right after you wake up, sit up straight and decide to focus on your breath. Just witness how it goes in and out. Do that for only ten minutes.
What you will notice is that your mind will naturally wonder off. That is absolutely normal, and let that be okay. The key is when you notice you have slipped off put your mind back to your focus (e.g. breathing). The actual learning and training is in bringing your mind back and being able to focus on one thing longer each time.
How I noticed my focus got better is when I realized that in conversations with people I spend more time looking in the other persons eyes – this gives a double benefit. The first one is that I became aware of being more focused and the second things was that the other person felt that I was really listening or paying attention to what was being said, which resulted in a stronger rapport between both parties. A typical win-win situation.
Try this technique for one week
See if it helps you in becoming more focused (do not expect 10 minutes of sole concentration, be happy with every second you win!), in situations where you usually mind wander.
If it helps, continue. If it does not help, try a different technique (we have loads more ideas)