Today, let us start with a tale from the Indian epic Mahabharata. In our main characters’ childhood, their weapons teacher was Dronacharya. Once, he placed a wooden bird on a tree branch & asked his students to shoot the bird in the eye with a bow & arrow. He asked students to come forward one by one & asked what they are seeing. Some said they saw the bird; some said they saw the tree, leaves, branches, etc. Even one student described he sees the sky, the nearby river & so on. Only one student, Arjuna, who later became an ace marksman, said he is seeing only the eye of the bird. That is the focus. While others saw many things, Arjuna focused only on the target. That concentration on the target is very much needed if we want to move forward & achieve success in our lives. In this article, we will share the ways to improve your focus.
The importance of being focused
Why is being focused so important? What happens when you are focused? Does being able to focus make you less stressed? If it’s so important, why some people cannot focus? Focusing on one thing for a certain period lets you perform better, more work gets done swiftly, & your creative ideas start flowing. Being focused means you have clear ideas about your objectives & your work is committed to achieving those objectives. When you decide what you will do, you choose how you can progress toward your goals with the time & resources you have. Being focused on the present moment means that you are exclusively focused on the one activity you intend to finish. Anything else is unimportant, so you avoid all distractions and give your undivided concentration to the task at hand.
How To Improve Focus
Some people find it hard to focus for various reasons. In the modern world, lifestyle is complicated. Some get distracted due to some issues in their personal or professional life; some get distracted due to all those social media notifications, e-mails, television, etc. With so many things trying to get our attention, we must learn how to avoid those & get focused. It’s hard to be entirely away from all these distractions. Now, let us discuss how to improve focus.
1. Eradicate Distractions
How can we focus better if we are constantly barraged with information? Practice allotting time in your schedule to do a precise task or activity. During this time, request people that you want to be left alone or go to a place where others are unlikely to disturb you. Turn off social media & other apps, silence notifications, & keep your phone away from sight, and put it in a bag or backpack. Researchers found that discernible capacity was significantly better when the phone was out of sight, not just turned off. Keep Your chief focus to complete what you need to do. Avoiding both internal and external disturbances can help you to focus.
2. Don’t Try to Multitask
Attempting to execute multiple activities at the same time makes us feel productive. It’s also a reason for poor focus, poor concentration, & lower productivity. Lower productivity can cause burnout. Examples of multitasking include listening to music while responding to an email or talking to someone on the phone while trying to write your report. Such multitasking not only obstructs your ability to focus but affects your work quality.
3. Try Practice of Mindfulness & Meditation
Meditation or practicing mindfulness activities can reinforce well-being, mental fitness & improve focus. It is one of the great ways to Improve Your Focus. During meditation, our brain becomes calmer & our whole body becomes more relaxed. We focus on our breath during the process so that we will not be distracted by any element. With ample practice, we can learn to use our breath to bring our attention back to a particular job so that it can be done well, even if we get interrupted occasionally.
4. Get Quality Sleep
Many factors affect the quality of your sleep. One of the most common factors is reading from an electronic device like a computer, phone, or tablet or watching your favorite movie or TV show. Research has found that such devices emit blue light. Such light can excite your eye retina & prevent the oozing of melatonin that induces sleep anticipation in the brain. Use a filter or “night mode to minimize such blue light or avoid all electronic devices before bed. Other ways to get better sleep include staying away from exercise late in the day, staying hydrated, using breathing exercises to calm the mind, & creating a bedtime routine.
5. Learn to Focus on The Moment
It might feel illogical when you cannot concentrate but remember that you choose the point of your focus. It’s hard to focus when your mind is always in the past & worrying about the future. It is not exactly easy to try to make an effort to let go of past events. Admit the impact, what you felt, & what you learned from it, then let it go. Likewise, acknowledge your anxieties about the future, consider how you are experiencing that tension in your body & mind, then decide to let it go. We can try to train our mental resources to focus on the details of what matters most at the present moment. Our minds go in the direction we choose to concentrate.
6. Take a Short Break
This also might seem weird, but when you focus on something for a long time, your focus may decrease sometime. You may feel more difficulty devoting your attention to that job. Researchers have found that our brains try to ignore sources of unvarying stimulation. Taking tiny breaks by refocusing your attention elsewhere can improve mental concentration. When you are working on a project, take a break when you feel stuck. Talk to someone, move around, or even switch to a different type of task. Sherlock Holmes stated, “The best way of relaxation is switching the task.”
7. Set a Daily Priority
Write down what you want to achieve each day, preferably the night before, & identify a single priority you commit to achieving. This will help focus your brain on those matters. Break large tasks into smaller portions so that you will not be overwhelmed. Identifying true priorities can help to ease distracting anxiety & achieving small daily goals can program your brain to achieve success.
8. Tidy Up the Space for Work
Try to create a calm, devoted space for work, if possible. Not everyone can have a well-organized office, but desk organizers, noise-canceling headphones, and an adjustable monitor can help. Clear the mess out of sight, make it as comfortable as possible & try to keep your space neat and fresh.
9. Listen to Music
Music has been proven to have some therapeutic effects on our brains. Light music may help you to focus better, but some types of music may distract you. Researchers generally agree that classical music & nature sounds, like water flowing and rain sounds, are good choices for focus. On the contrary, music with lyrics & human voices may be distracting.
10. Have a Healthy Diet
Choose foods that control blood sugar, maintain energy, & boost the brain. Fruits, vegetables, & high-fiber foods can help to keep your blood sugar levels even. Intake of high and low-sugary foods & drinks may cause spikes & dips in your sugar levels that can make you feel dizzy or drowsy.
Whenever we try to focus on something, distractions may come in any form. Sometimes we can neglect them; sometimes, we cannot. Still, we can minimize the sources of such distractions to keep us going. Without focus, no work can be completed productively. Here are some ways to Improve Your Focus. You can try to bring out the quality of your focus.