Ever noticed that trying to keep your focus on something over time is getting increasingly harder? Chances are you’re not alone in this as it has likely happened to most people, and it’s not going to be reversed unless you put some effort into fixing it. The content we read online is becoming increasingly summarised and snappy. In other words, perfect for our lazy minds. We also have social media, Netflix, apps and goodness knows what else to keep us occupied from anything other than what we’re actually SUPPOSED to be doing.
I really struggle with concentration and staying motivated. I sit at my computer to write a blog post and 9 times out of 10 I’ll have spent an hour aimlessly scrolling through the internet before I get to work. I find it really hard to stay on task… so here is a handful of ways to help your brain to snap out of its bubble and get focused on the things that really require your attention. That way, you won’t just be able to smash your work, but you’ll feel a lot better whilst you’re doing it.
1. Set a timer
Try to think about your brain as a muscle and consider how you would get back into lifting weights if you haven’t done it for a while. Hopefully, you’d pick up a few lighter dumbbells and steadily increasing the weight and intensity as you got stronger, right?
Then you should do the same when you’re trying to teach yourself to concentrate for longer and sharpen your focus. Set a timer on about fifteen minutes and give yourself a little break afterwards. It’s kind of like the recovery time you’re giving yourself in between sets when lifting weights. This will help you not to burn out so quickly. Continue to increase the time slightly as you go, but only when you feel like you’re able to concentrate with ease as the timer ticks on. Otherwise, you run the risk of running before you can crawl and you’ll soon find that your thoughts are wandering again.
2. Get some exercise
Talking about exercise; did you know that a good run will help you to focus a bit better later on? Try to make it outside for a little bit, or go for a walk if you’re anything like me and don’t feel like a run most of the time. It’s all about clearing your mind, getting your thoughts on something else and enjoying a fresh perspective when it’s time to get back to work.
You can still enjoy those shorter breaks as well, but try to have a plan and stick with it! That way you’ll find you’re less likely to start looking at cat GIFs when you’re still supposed to be reading. Then you’ll be back to where you started, in a way. You can register at a new site to get a great overview of all the new entertainment websites out there.
The most important part is that you’re able to focus for a short amount of time, to begin with. Treat yourself to a break and preferably some fresh air, before completing the next task and having another break. Continue like this until you know for sure that you’re able to sit down and work for the allocated time without feeling distracted or bored. Increase the time with another five or ten minutes, get back to your tasks, and notice how much more focused you are starting to become.
3. Start Reading Books
A lot of people are quitting books altogether as they’re not used to committing to longer texts anymore. While it will feel great to only consume summarised and condensed content, you’re not actually doing yourself any favours by avoiding them. Try to commit to reading at least one book by the end of the year and see if you’re able to improve your attention span.
something that you enjoy, and start with something that is easy to read rather than a heavy book or War and Peace. For some, it can be difficult to read any other books than those you absolutely have to in order to pass that exam or look-up that reference. But you might be surprised how quickly it becomes a nice past time for you. Reading has become one of my favourite things to do when I need some downtime and to switch off. It’s a bit like dancing, it’s exercise (for your brain) but it’s fun so you don’t even realise you’re doing it.
Remember that a wandering mind and trouble focusing also has a lot to do with your willpower. If you continue to give in to your need for entertainment every time it presents itself, you’re going to have a very hard time getting through anything. This has definitely been one of my biggest obstacles! But, if you keep working on committing to the tasks you’ve set out for yourself and you should be able to parent yourself through your work/schedules/deadlines/schooling with no problems!
Until next time ♡