Focusing can be easier said than done. Whether it is on assignments for work, or daily tasks to take care of in your personal life, some people may find it difficult to focus. Some strategies for focusing can be utilized to help you discover which strategy works best for you and shows you how to focus better. These five strategies can be used together, or separately depending on your needs.
How To Focus Better: Surrounding Environment
The first way of helping you figure out how to improve focus, is to decide whether you work better with background noise, or dead silence. Some adults with ADHD have a difficult time focusing when they are in a quiet setting, and require the use of background noise to keep them from being distracted. If you find this noise helps you to focus, you can utilize things such as music, television, or even the chatter of a coffee store to help you stay focused on the task at hand.
Some people, on the other hand, need absolute silence to work. Settings such as a quiet library or a personal bedroom can be uses to help keep a quiet place. If you are having difficulty finding a quiet space, whether it is at home or the work place, you should invest in noise cancelling headphones. These headphones will sufficiently drown out any outside noise that might bother you, thus making any busy, noisy place into your own quiet space to show you how to focus better.
How To Focus Better: Set a Time Limit
Another strategy that you can use to show you how to focus better is to follow a set time constraint. You can do so by setting a deadline for you work. Knowing that you have to finish a task within a certain amount of time can make you focus on finishing your task with much more urgency. However, it is important to set a reasonable time limit for yourself. By being unreasonable and demanding yourself to complete multiple tasks in a limited amount of time, you will put more stress upon yourself, thus making it harder to complete the tasks. If you know that a task should take you an hour, then give yourself an hour to complete it. Trying to finish an hour’s worth of work in a half hour will just make for sloppy work and a more stressed out you, so be reasonable with your deadlines.
Breaking up your time into smaller chunks can also be helpful in ensuring you stay focused and get through all your tasks on time. Working diligently at a task for hours can be taxing on your mind, thus making it more likely that your mind will wander and not stay as focused as you were at the beginning. By breaking up your day into set time chunks, you can be sure to stay focused on the task at hand without becoming distracted through hours of work. A half hour of focusing and working hard on your task can be rewarded by a fifteen-minute break. This will keep your mind fresh and focused, while allowing yourself some time to relax in between. This is a great answer to the question, “how can I focus better?”
How To Focus Better: Reward Yourself
Focusing intently on a task can be taxing on your mind, and a nice way to help alleviate all the pressure is to reward yourself for completing a task. If you still have more work to be completed, your reward should be a short break from the strain of focusing. This can be a ten-minute break to walk around a bit and stretch, or maybe grab a quick snack. Then you can go back to complete the rest of your task with a much more refreshed mind and the knowledge that once you complete another task, you can reward yourself with another break.
At the end of these short breaks, after completing all the tasks you had assigned yourself for the day, you can reward yourself with a longer break. Whether this break include going to dinner with a friend, or settling down to watch a television show, the knowledge of this reward will keep you focused during the day. The knowledge that you can only watch your television show if you’ve completed all your tasks will keep you focused and motivated until the end of the day. These breaks and rewards are necessary to keep your mind focused and sharp throughout the day.
How To Focus Better: Create a List
While creating a list seems like a simple thing to do, it can really help keep your mind focused on the task at hand. By creating a list, you are ensuring that you have all of your assignments or tasks in one place, and that you know which ones to prioritize. Gathering all your thoughts and writing them down allows you to clear your mind of having to focus on all of your tasks at once, and instead allows you to look at them one at a time and give them the proper attention that they are due. Once you complete the task, you can cross it off of your list and switch your focus to something else. This allows you to stay focused solely on each assignment as you are working on it.
Creating a list also allows you to prioritize which tasks are most important and which tasks should be on the top of your list. The most important ones will require the most time and attention. By placing these tasks at the top, you are giving them the attention and focus of a fresh mind. Writing everything down not only helps to stay organized, but helps clear the mind of wondering about other assignments while already working on another one. This allows you to stay focused on a single task at a time with the knowledge that you have a roadmap to follow and will not lose track of any tasks.
This road map of your tasks will also help you stay focused by guiding you through all the assignments you have to complete for the day. Even if your mind wanders, the written down list will help you focus back on what needs to be done for the day. It is very helpful to write a time limit down next to each task to show if you are on track or not, and if your breaks in between assignments are taking up too much of your time and allowing you to become distracted.
How To Focus Better: Thought Notepad
The last tip to help stay a wandering mind is to invest in a notepad to write down your daily thoughts when your mind wanders. If you are in a meeting and have a stray thought that catches your attention, thinking about it can distract you from paying attention to the rest of the meeting. If you write it down, you can ask questions about it after the meeting, allowing you to remain focused on the meeting itself and giving it your utmost attention.
Likewise, if you are at home working on a daily task and you feel your mind wandering, write it down so you can come back to it after completing your task. If you are folding laundry but thinking about making a grocery list, you are taking away attention from the folding and most likely taking a slower time than you would if you had remained focused solely on the laundry. To remain focused, write down any time your mind wanders and allow yourself to think about in your free time, not when you should be focusing on another task.
These tips can be used to help you focus your mind on tasks both in your professional life as well as your personal life. By taking the time to recognize what processes and strategies help you the most, you can better focus your mind and stay focused through completion of your tasks. These tips offer a variety of ways to focus to ensure that you can find something that will work for you and your mind.
Keeping your focus in shape is much like keeping your body in shape. You work on it at the gym and follow a daily regime to keep your body healthy and functioning properly. Working out your mind and focus requires attention and diligence. You can easily slip into a wandering state and lose focus. By practicing focus, either through these strategies or others, you will be able to work out your mind and become a more focused and driven individual.
Another way to learn to focus on something is to practice meditation. While not listed under the five tips previously mentioned, meditation is a practice in both relaxation as well as focus. It can not be applied directly to your workload, but by meditating and focusing your mind on something so simple as just your breathing, you are working out your focus and making it even better so you can apply this focus to your tasks and assignments. Daily use of meditation can ready your mind for a day of concentration and focus and teach you how to stay focused.