In a world as busy as ours, it is easy to lose focus. We might find ourselves distracted by new ideas, new tasks, too much work and especially busywork, as well as all the different information coming in from all sides. So, here are seven proven ways to regain focus.
Just do it
Sometimes, the best way to regain focus is simply by coming back to the work. Even if you have not done it for a while, it can be a good first step to simply open it and start doing something.
You might feel frustrated or tempted to get distracted at first, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes to build up focus. You will rediscover your interest, challenges, and skills and might find yourself becoming more immersed in the work.
But sometimes just doing it will not be enough. Here is when you might require other strategies.
Take it as a challenge
It can feel very overwhelming when we have to do something and it is not working out. But a change in our mindset can help us feel more engaged and excited. Don’t view it as a problem but as a challenge.
A challenge is something that can be used to defy ourselves, improve, and grow. It implies a more fun approach and not necessarily to test what we can do. A challenge suggests that it will not be easy but it will also not be insurmountable.
Consider all the things you can learn from this challenge and how you will come out on the other side. Don’t approach it as something stressful but as another goal you can do.
Find the fun or add the fun
Even a boring task can have an element of fun to it. Is there a part you are looking forward to? Is there something to enjoy? If there isn’t, can you find it or add it? Some tasks might be boring, but you can still change them to be more engaging.
You can try doing it within a certain time or do it quicker or achieve it faster than before to put an element of challenge. You can compete against yourself or someone else with the time or the quality of the task. You might also imagine yourself to be a character on a mission – a spy, an alien, or anything else that feels fun.
Try to start by discovering the pleasant elements of each task whenever you can. Focus on how it feels or what you can achieve through it.
Give it time
Don’t be discouraged after a few moments. Instead, plan to spend sizeable chunks of time dedicated to your new task. Give yourself the time to fully immerse yourself in your task by scheduling it for a couple of hours at least and committing to not doing anything else during this period.
Allow yourself to do badly as you start. Your focus will build up over time, which means that you might be more distracted at first. Don’t get easily discouraged if your mind wanders.
Distractions can pull you away from the task and make it more difficult for you to fully engage with the activity. For the specific time you devote to the task, turn off your notifications and find a quiet space. Beyond this, try not to overschedule yourself and give the task its time. It is better to give it more time than less to avoid feeling pressured or rushed.
Make sure others know that you are busy or find a place where it’s not easy for someone to interrupt you. Depending on your preferences, your home, a cafe, or a library can all be good options to minimize distractions.
Split the big goal into small tasks
A big task can feel intimidating because it is perceived as something that will take too long or be too hard. Our focus drifts away because we don’t want to commit to the situation as it feels as too much. Instead, we can split our task into smaller steps and focus on each step at a time.
This helps build focus because it reduces the pressure of getting it all done. It is easier to focus at a single situation rather than on a huge task that feels endless.
Focus on one thing at a time
Our attention does not function well when we have to split it. If you are trying to regain focus for one thing, don’t think you can accomplish this for several things at once. Instead, try to set your sights on one goal at a time.