We’ve all been there, you try to get your head down and focus on a task but you can’t stop indulging in all the various distractions around you…
Eating, sleeping, making a coffee for the sake of it (when it’s really for avoiding concentrating on a task!), social media, YouTube videos and whatever else pulls you away from something important.
Distractions are plentiful, especially in this day and age where we have a world of information and entertainment at our fingertips…
So how do you “cut through the noise” and laser target your focus, enabling you to actually get some work done or make some progress with a project?
The answer may be a little different to what you might be thinking. Rather than merely trying to “ignore” distractions, it’s more effective to develop a skill that will help us to remove the urge to become distracted in the first place!
What skill is that? It’s the skill of concentration of course!!
Concentration is most definitely a skill, and people often forget that fact. They also forget that it can be enhanced and developed so that you can block out distractions or simply let them be without engaging with them.
Improved concentration is something I feel MOST people could use these days, for the very reasons I’ve already mentioned regarding distraction overload in 2017.
Being able to dedicate undivided attention to a task requires solid focus. Focus is like a muscle, it can be worked out and developed into something incredibly powerful.
So how do you develop your focus and concentration levels?
There are many different techniques you can use to increase your level of awareness and concentration, but today I’ll be going through two of what I feel are the best options.
Option #1: Meditation
Meditation is possibly the BEST tool for developing your focus and concentration skills. It seems as if most meditation methods were designed for this purpose alone.
During meditation practices such as mindfulness, one must focus on their breath, bodily sensations, what they can hear, their emotions, and of course their thoughts. Don’t panic, you don’t have to do ALL of this at once! But you can build to that level of awareness over time.
What this allows you to do is “watch” your distractions rather than “engage” with them. Believe it or not, this is a skill and it can be improved upon. It’s parallel to focus and concentration, since the opposite of being focused is being distracted!
I highly suggest this method as there isn’t much else that can produce the profound benefits that meditation provides. Not only will your concentration go through the roof, you’ll learn to stop identifying with every thought and emotion you experience, so that you can reduce stress and negativity in your life.
There are also many scientific studies backing up the health benefits meditation gives rise to. 20 minutes per day is enough to get started with, and I also recommend going for 7 days straight, as it seems that the wonders of meditation start to really kick in around about that time.
Option #2: Light Exercise
Light exercise is an excellent tool for changing the emotional state we’re experiencing. A personal favourite for “light exercise” is going for a short 20-30 minute walk.
Without any real effort, I naturally begin to process things during the walk, helping me to get past my distractions by either putting them to one side in my mind or by “completing them” (resolving issues mentally).
I also find that my mind sometimes wanders onto the area I want to focus on. Some of the best ideas people have ever come up with have been when they stop “trying” and let go while doing something unrelated. Then the idea that’s going to help them progress or approach something in a different way pops into their heads automatically.
I say automatically, but it’s most definitely due to unconscious processing, giving the brain time to work through things without you getting in the way 😉 there’s nothing mystical going on here!!
I highly recommend “walking” for 20-30 minutes in a nice enough environment as your remedy for “light exercise”. However, if you wish to do something else such as cycling, jogging, yoga and so on, it’s your choice 🙂
Wrapping things up…
Overall, by improving our concentration skills we give ourselves the ammunition needed to see our goals through properly. Without real dedication it’s pretty much impossible to make progress, and without focus there’s no tangible dedication.
Try meditating and doing some light exercise to build your focus and concentration muscles, and see how much easier it becomes to dedicate your full attention to the things you wish to in life!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, remember to “like”, “share”, and “comment” below!