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How to Do Anything You Want- 7 Ways To Improve Your Focus

Achieve your goals by getting more focused

By Abdul Rehman JavaidPublished 4 months ago 7 min read
How to Do Anything You Want- 7 Ways To 	Improve Your Focus
Photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash

You want to be successful. So you start planning your dream project and start executing it, but even after months, you stay stagnant. You sit at your desk for hours planning the next big move but when it comes to implementing them you find yourself stuck.

That is hurtful, right? You hate that feeling of being stuck in the implementation process. Yet, you find yourself helpless, in front of your dwindling attention. However, before discussing what can be done to focus better let’s have a look at the reasons leading to the lack of focus.

Factors Impacting Your Focus

1. Laziness: Living in this technological era, everything is made just so seamless and easy for us that most of us have become increasingly lazy. Laziness kills the drive and motivation that you have inside yourself leading to a lack of focus and eventually giving up on your priorities.

2. Distraction: Even a small thing such as having a notification pop up on your phone can distract you as you may start scrolling uselessly forgetting the initial purpose. Studies have shown that even the presence of your phone near you can impact your focus as your mind might think of just checking for a text that once again might lead to a decrease in your attentiveness.

3. Mentally Disturbed: Having increased levels of stress and anxiety could impact your focus. As you are going through a worrisome condition it gets hard to remain focused. However, if you are constantly facing anxiety or high levels of stress, it may be a great option to consider having an appointment with a therapist.

4. Sleep Disorder: This is one of the most ignored reasons but eventually goes on to play a significant play in your productivity throughout the day. Not having a proper sleep routine may badly hamper your performance/productivity during the day.

5. Tiredness: Having a tedious day at work can be a major contributing reason why you can’t pay enough attention to detail. The load of work one can sustain may vary from person to person, but if you try to work beyond your limits as a habit, it may impact focus. However, pushing through your limit every once in a while just to progress a little might be a smart move.

How To Improve Focus

Now that we have already learned a fair amount of possible reasons why you fail to be attentive let’s discuss how you can regain control of your life. Remember, these tips are not just a one-off thing to magically make you more focused. All these things would require you to inculcate them as part of your lifestyle to reap the benefits.

1. Preplan your Day: Most people would just wake up every day, without any clear goal or plan in their minds. Even though you might think that you know what you want to do, you might get confused about what to do when and how much time you need to allocate for each activity. Also when things are not properly planned, you might end up forgetting about some of your goals throughout the day or just end up in deep thought on what should you do at the moment, eventually falling prey to distractions. The best way to eliminate such confusion during the day is by planning it. Ideally, you might want to plan the upcoming day at night so you wake up with clarity. However, even planning the day in the morning just to get the ball rolling may work in some cases.

2. Set Deadlines: An ideal plan would include, clear deadlines and goals. E.g. “Write 2 blogs in the evening => 5 - 7 p.m.” This would train your mind to think about the specific task at the very time it is supposed to be done, compared to, if the goal was, “write blogs during the day”. Now, whenever, it clicks 5 p.m. on the clock your mind will tell you that you have to write 2 blogs in a span of two hours, giving you no choice but to write. This eventually will lead to better focus as you don’t need to constantly think of the next activity and eventually make you more productive.

3. Mediate Daily: No matter how much you claim that meditation is not your cup of tea, practising it is a must. Our brain is constantly thinking about hundreds of things during the day. And the major cause of lack of focus is that our brain is constantly thinking about stuff other than what we are currently doing. Therefore, practising a few moments of mindfulness can greatly increase your focus as it will train your brain to be present at the moment. Also, meditation is known to reduce stress and anxiety (even improve sleep quality) which contributes to a lack of focus. Making meditation part of your daily life might be one of the wisest decisions you will ever make.

4. The Pomodoro Method: Even though this is not part of a lifestyle, you can practice this technique every once in a while to get things done. The plan is simple. Whenever you find yourself lazy or demotivated to do a task, just set a timer for 25 minutes and get into deep work. Once the timer rings, take a 5-minute break (walk a little bit, drink water, do stretching etc but no digital interaction). Then get to deep work again. Continue with the cycle until the work is completed. This is one of the most effective methods of focusing on something you want to do while feeling stuck or demotivated. When you break the eventual long goal of sitting for 4 hours working on the brain-draining tedious project into smaller packets of 25 minutes, your brain will think of the goal to be easy leading to a more relaxed attitude and therefore, better focus.

5. Avoid distractions: This is a no-brainer. The reason why you lack focus is that you are constantly getting distracted. You want to work hard, and you want to write that thesis, you are working on but here comes a notification and you end up uselessly scrolling through the next two hours of your precious time.

So an amazing way to deal with it can be first to recognize the distractions. It may be some social app that you are addicted to or maybe playing video games. Then remove them from your sight while you are working. So if it is getting distracted by your phone, you can keep your phone on “silent” or “do not disturb” mode or if possible you can just simply keep your phone away while you are working. If it’s an app you may simply just delete the app from your phone and use the web version of the app creating a barrier in reaching that distraction eventually leading to better focus.

6. Remind Yourself of the Reward: Yes, motivation is short-lived and being disciplined is surely the key. However, getting some motivation boost right when you are feeling stuck, mentally disturbed or just simply demotivated to do the task, motivation can be used to fuel your focus. So if you want to go the gym because you want to get in shape and look better, tell yourself the benefits of going to the gym at that moment and the possible consequences if you keep skipping days in between. However, making it a habit to motivate yourself every time you want to do something can lead to further laziness and therefore depletion of focus.

7. Dopamine Detox: The amount of dopamine that one consumes every day through social media, short-form content, music etc is unreal. When such an amount of dopamine is consumed daily, the body experiences some unusual spikes in dopamine throughout the day, while the baseline stays low, making the body habitual of spikes in dopamine making it difficult for you to focus without getting any reward (dopamine spike) in return.

So to get back control of your life, dopamine detox is a practice in which you stop doing stuff that releases a lot of dopamine such as playing video games, partying, using social media etc(exercising also releases dopamine but it is still encouraged). It is generally practised for a period of 7-21 days with some cases in which people practice it for even 30 days to practice deep work. After a successful detox, one gets the ability to control habits as well as to better focus on the important stuff. (Remember that dopamine is not something bad but experiencing highs of dopamine that go well above the baseline daily is problematic).

All these things combined might help improve your ability to focus and make you more mindful and present in the current moment. Applying these strategies in your life as a newbie might come as difficult in the start but you will get the hang of it over time. Even if you fail a few times in the start, don’t give up just yet. Continue trying to change and you will see positive changes in the long run. However, if after applying all these strategies, you still struggle to focus then consider having an appointment with a mental coach or a therapist.

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About the Creator

Abdul Rehman Javaid

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