How to Focus

man sits on chair in field beside lake focusing on reading book in cloudy sky
by Cumba Gowri

For many people, the desire to focus better and get things done overwhelms everything else. Yet when they get right down to it, the same people find it easy to be distracted and do not implement effective methods to boost focus. The key, then, is to identify simple tips that will show you how to focus better.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Know What Matters: The specific details will differ from one person to another. But all of us care about something. By deciding which are these important areas, you can select the right things to focus upon.
  2. Choose Important Tasks: Every morning, select 2 tasks that you will finish by the end of the day. These tasks will fall into categories that are important to you. You have already identified them in the previous step, by deciding what matters most to you. Now when you get these 2 tasks done, you will be moving towards your important goals.
  3. Get Things Done: You’ve chosen two tasks to complete. The next goal is to actually complete them. There is no point in just drawing up lists of things to do if you do not take follow-up action and finish the tasks. So make that your highest priority. Get them done as early in the day as possible.
  4. Put Off Distractions: Several things are interesting. You will constantly be tempted to try other things that you enjoy doing. But resist the temptation at least until you finish the two important tasks for the day. Once you get into the habit of resisting distractions, your focus will automatically improve and you will get more work done.
  5. Stop Multitasking: Maybe you are used to talking on the phone while typing on your computer and simultaneously taking notes. Or maybe you try to cram an important conference call into the time you’re doing the cooking while also keeping an eye on your son’s homework. Stop multitasking. It makes you less effective. And it worsens your focus. Instead, concentrate fully on one of the tasks. Get it done. Then turn your attention to the next one. This way, you will finish more work in less time.
  6. Slow Down: Hurrying through tasks is a surefire way to make mistakes or get things wrong. When you do that, you’ll have to repeat the task. That takes longer. And it is also more effort-intensive. If you go about your tasks methodically and slowly, you will complete it faster and with fewer mistakes.

These simple steps will improve your ability to focus and make you more efficient. Soon the improved focus will become a habit and your effectiveness will skyrocket.

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