Maybe you want to focus on a single task, but find yourself easily distracted. You find it difficult to focus on what you are doing because you find your mind wandering, you’re worrying about everything or maybe you just have way too many things you need to do to make a choice of just one task to start with. After all, this is how you’ve been working for a long time, right?
Here are some valuable tips on how to improve focus.
Listen to music to help improve your focus. Really concentrate on the music. Try to focus on a single instrument. It also helps if you can work with background music on. I’ve been doing it so long that when I can’t focus on work, it occurs to me I don’t have my work playlist going.
Try to allocate at least 30 minutes each day to meditate. If you can’t dedicate that much time you can still do a short breathing exercise. Focus on your breathing, really focusing on the air. Think about how nice it is to just breathe, in and out. Your mind may wander, trying to fill itself with endless thoughts. When this happens bring your thoughts back to focusing on your breathing. Continue this process for several minutes. Five minutes can do wonders. Train yourself to work up to longer times. It’s worth it.
Regulating your breathing relaxes your circulatory system and brings you a sense of peace.
Cut goals into small targets.
Having an end goal in mind while working on the tasks to achieve it can frustrate you because your target goal might be too big or difficult. Your results won’t be quick, and it may seem like you aren’t getting any closer to the end. Instead of working toward the ultimate end goal, break it down into smaller, more achievable goals you can reach within a few days. Then cross each smaller goal off your list as you achieve it.
You can’t paint a picture all at once. You have to concentrate on one area at a time. Try this with your big projects—break them down into sections.
Work within your body’s most comfortable time period. Maybe you work best early in the morning before sunrise. Or late at night. Work when you are most productive. For example many authors get up early to do their writing, while artists often do their best work late at night.
Have you ever eaten a big meal for lunch when working only to feel lethargic and weighed down all afternoon? Eating a heavy meal slows you down and makes you sleepy. If you need or want to, you can go on a small juice fast on a regular basis. It will keep you alert and help keep your body in good physical condition.
Exercise your mind and body every day. Do crossword puzzles. Engage in lively discussions. Build something that’s creative. A simple 30 minute walk every day is all you need to keep your body healthy. A simple five minute walk around your house can do wonders too.
You may need to push yourself some when you’re feeling lazy. If you are hitting a mental roadblock, though, take some time away from the task. Do something else until you can regain your focus on the original task.
Learning to improve you focus will take time but it is worth it. Begin by implementing one or two of these tips into your day to begin changing how well you can become focused.
This is a 6-part series which includes these articles. (Note: live articles will have a link.)
Part 1: Increasing Your Focus for Better Writing Productivity
Part 2: Multitasking Does Not Help Writer Productivity
Part 3: Tips to Improve Focus for Better Writer Productivity (You’re here.)
Part 4: Strategies to Improve Writer Focus & Productivity
Part 5: Exercises to Improve Focus & Productivity