how to focus

Today I will go over how to improve your focus, which will help you maximise efficieny and producivity, ultimately helping you save time and move forward in life faster and more easily. When our minds are running are racing, it can be so hard to just sit down, to calm yourself and to focus. But having strong focus has an immense payoff, you can save time, feel proud of your productivity and achieve more.

Like with my last article on falling asleep fast and having deep, restful sleep, this article will focus on laying a foundation that’s conducive to great focus, then focusing on the tiny details to really tune it in. First things first, I highly recommend reading through my guide on deep, restful sleep. A tired and fatigued mind is hard to focus with, and deep sleep will help you immensely. The article link is here.

Secondly, we want to focus on hydration. Drinking about 2-3L of water a day is recommended for efficient functioning, and you need your brain hydrated and ready to go in order to focus. An easier way to keep track, is to ensure you’re drinking a glass of water every 60-90 minutes.

Next we’ll discuss diet. One thing I suggest you avoid is coffee and tea. Solely because caffeine has a very potent effect, and while it feels good while caffeinated, it makes focusing when you’re not caffeinated harder and as you gradually build a tolerance to it, you’ll need heavier doses for the same effect. Best to cut out the dependency, and learn to focus alone. Generally, ensure you’re hitting 100 grams of protein daily and you’re not going too hungry, protein is vital for bodily repairs which includes your brain and brain function. Some other foods you can consider introducing into your diet is fish, blueberries, eggs, avocado and nuts, but always do your research and see what works best for you.

I’ll briefly touch on posture, sitting up straight, elbows slightly out and feet flat on the floor signal to the brain that you can relax and are safe. Doing these things helps you feel more confident, helping to reduce the occurence of negative and intrusive thoughts that often derail people’s focus.

Also briefly touching on temperate, go based on what makes you comfortable but too comfy can make you sleepy, so see what works best for you and go from there. Get airflow and try sit around 22-25 degrees celsius.

Last thing before we move into the mental aspect is physical distraction. As a rule of thumb, sit it an area where there’s as little distractions as possible. Out of sight, out of mind is the name of the game, put things away and keep it tidy. It’s hard for the brain to be distracted, unless it’s right there. Move as many things out of eyesight as possible, and if possible lock your door so others can’t disturb you.

The mental aspect of focus is quite simple to understand, but difficult to practice. It can be seen as a muscle, where you slowly exercise it and make focus stronger. For example, turn on a timer and see how long you can focus on your breath for before something else catches your attention. Statistics say the average person can only maintain focus for 10s, so please don’t judge yourself for how you go, just be honest with yourself. What you want to do is to slowly build up that focus, spend time sitting alone, no distractions and just a timer and see how long you can maintain focus on your breath.

Why the breath? Because it can be very unexciting, scrolling through social media, watching a video, texting a friend, or spending time with a loved one is much more exciting. If you can learn to focus solely on something so boring, then there’s no limit to your ability to focus on anything else. The breathe is relatively boring, so focusing on work becomes more tolerable. Practice, set goals and keep working on it, your focus will improve.

The very last thing I want to leave you with is that scientifically our focus significantly drops off after 30 minutes. So please don’t set the expectation of being able to study or work effectively for hours on end, because that isn”t realistic. The pomodoro technique takes advantage of the science of focus, which in a nutshell is set a timer for 25minutes and focus on your work for that period. Once that period is over, take a 5 minute break, go for a walk around the house, say hi to your pets, get some water to drink, something short and easy for 5 minutes to take your mind off things. Then go again for a 25 minute session, your focus will maintain a near 100% efficiency, and you won’t feel burned out. After about 2 hours of cycling like this, take a 1 hour break to fully reset then get back into it again.

Taking breaks is fine, take it easy on yourself and like with everything, good things take time. So enjoy the process, and watch as it becomes easier for yourself to focus for longer periods of time with greater intensity. I hope this article helps you, and see you next time.

Anandu Pradeep

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