How to Boost Your Focus

6 Effective Ways to Regain Your Focus Now

Everyone gets the same 24 hours to use every day. Those who best manage those 24 hours are the ones who forge ahead of the pack.

A big factor in managing your day depends on your ability to focus. This is more critical today than ever because we are living in the information age. We get bombarded with notifications, advertising, and sales pitches at every turn.

If we want to be more productive, we must learn to sharpen our focus. The individuals who succeed in the future will be the ones that have to master their mental focus.

Here are six (6) actions to begin sharpening your focus right now.

Knowing Where to Focus

Before your focus can make a difference, it needs to be pointing in the right direction. And this is all about your goals.

If you have no goals written down at the moment, no worries. Start thinking of what you need to do tomorrow or by the end of the week.

As you become more accustomed to goal setting, you can begin planning longer-term goals.

most important tasks

List your 5 Most Important Tasks for Tomorrow

The best time to plan your workday is the day before. This is because you have more objectivity. You are less likely to feel any immediate dread about tasks that you do not like.

Try to identify the five (5) tasks that will have the most impact on your goals.

When you begin working on your list, I recommend that you start with tasks that you dread the most. Otherwise, that cloud of dread will continue to hover over you.

Plan Time for Slacking Off

Here is where so many people fall off the wagon of time management. They try to maximize their productivity by planning schedules that are way too tight. Their schedules get blown to pieces by unplanned meetings, impromptu boss requests, and other brush fires. And then they quit trying out of frustration.

The best way to deal with these unplanned interruptions is to make time for them in your schedule. Insert time slots for slacking off into your daily schedule. You already know when many of these interruptions occur, so put them in your schedule.

This slack time is when to check social media, review email, and socialize with colleagues. The key here is moderation - don’t overdo these slack tasks.

letting go live in the moment

Letting Go and Staying in the Moment

A big secret to improving your focus is having the right mindset. And a focused mindset is most productive when your thoughts are only on the task at hand.

Yes, this is easier said than done. But when you let go of opinions and judgment that live inside your mind, you will have much more mental energy. Learn to let the world go and accept it as it is - we can’t control it anyway.

You also need to learn to stay in the present. I have found a great way to check my thoughts and stay in the moment. We do this by identifying two emotions - guilt and anxiety.

When you feel guilty about something, then your thoughts are in the past. And since we cannot change the past, why stress about it?

When you feel anxious about something, then your thoughts are in the future. And the things we see in the future haven’t happened yet, so why stress about that?

Schedule and Protect Time Slots for Your Important Tasks

Here’s where the rubber meets the road - your critical tasks. Set up time slots to get these tasks accomplished. Ensure that you give yourself plenty of time to get those done with your best efforts.

This is the time you need to intensify your focus and concentrate only on the task at hand. Silence all your electronic notifications, close your office door, and just focus. Get in the habit of reserving your mental energy for these critical times.

The real key here is to defend and protect the time slots that you have set aside for your important tasks. These tasks represent your real progress. There will be instances when your critical tasks get interrupted. Don’t get flustered, adapt as best as you can.

Time management is not a perfect science, it is a progress that changes from time to time.

Don’t Multitask Important Tasks

A few years ago, time management gurus were recommending that we learn to multitask. What I dislike about multitasking is that it destroys our focus. And our best work demands more focus.

This is why to never include your important tasks in any multitasking activities.

The best time to multitask is when performing mindless tasks like filing, shredding, decluttering, and so forth. I call them “mindless tasks” because they don’t directly impact your critical tasks. If you make a mistake with these, it does not hurt anything major.

The Big Picture

Sharpening your mental focus is like any other human skill, it improves with practice. The more you perform these six (6) actions, the more skilled you become at them. This is why it takes a real commitment to improve your mental focus.

As you set more goals, they become more specific. You then become more skilled at identifying tasks that have the biggest impact.

Try to concentrate on improving yourself 1% every single day. If you do this, you will improve around 500% after six months and over 2500% after a year.
It is through this steady approach that allows people to stand out from the crowd. Persistence becomes more important than talent.

Getting Started

I’m a big believer in putting new knowledge to work the right way. With that thought in mind, let’s review again the six (6) actions you can take now to boost your mental focus:

1) Know where your Focus Should Be - Ensure that your focus has a specific intention and direction.

2) Identify Your 5 Most Important Tasks for Tomorrow - Always plan your tasks on the day before.

3) Plan Time for Slacking Off - Plan for interruptions ahead of time.

4) Learn to Let Go and Stay in the Moment - Let go of judgment and opinions to free up more mental energy.

5) Schedule your 5 Tasks and Protect Those Time Slots - This is when you intensify your focus and suspend all potential interruptions.

6) Don’t Multitask Your 5 Important Tasks - Perform multitasking on small busy tasks only.