This is how you can train your brain to focus
Someone who is able to focus entirely on a task is a huge asset to a team. In this era of constant notifications from email, social media, digital calendars and workplace chat software, it can be difficult to tune your brain to one thing. But if you find that you’re easily distracted or that your work rarely holds your attention, here are some steps you can take to regain your ability to focus.
Like all skills, training your attention to detail takes time. It will grow in strength gradually, so you’ll have to want to make this change in order to have any amount of success raising your attentive abilities. This means that you have to put in the time, but also start where you’re comfortable, instead of immediately subjecting your brain to extreme strain. Focus sessions are a good place to start – they involve spending a set amount of time to completely focus on one piece of work. Start with an amount of time that doesn’t feel too intimidating, like 5 or 10 minutes, then gradually increase that with every subsequent focus session. This is a great mental exercise that helps extend attentive stamina.
Minimise your distractions
Focus sessions are a great way to stretch your attention span, but you won’t get the most out of them if you’re constantly being interrupted. As soon as you get distracted from a task, the focus session loses its purpose and your attention dwindles. To avoid that, try to prevent distractions from happening before starting your focus session. Compartmentalise your day so that you have enough time to go through the entire session without the distracting feeling of a meeting starting in a few minutes or the noise of everyone at work chatting during lunch time. This could mean finding a quiet space for that short amount of time or notifying your colleagues to leave any possible distraction for after you’re done.
Leaving some amount of time in your day for a focus session is helpful, but you should not slack off when it comes to meetings, or simply taking instructions from a coworker. Be as consciously present as you can for as much of the interaction as you can. Allowing yourself to zone out will mean that you’re not getting the full reach of the time spent, which can result in you overlooking important notes. Participation incites greater personal awareness of the topic of concern, and shows positive engagement.
Figure out what’s holding you back
Sometimes nothing seems to work and no matter how much effort you put in. It might be a good idea to take some time to figure out why this is so. Have you lost interest in the work you do and wish to move on? Perhaps you love your work, but have far too many projects assigned to you, and you’re having trouble distributing the right amounts of concentration across all of them. The earlier you figure it out, the sooner you can address it with the right person and prevent burn-out. It could be your manager, a cognitive professional, or a career guidance counsellor. The effort you take will pay off when you see yourself producing quality work you’re proud of.
As technology advances, we find more and more ways to get distracted. What’s great about developing any skill is the longevity of a skill you pick up will persist if you put it into practise. Having good attention to detail is an incredible skill to have when working and socialising, and is a convenient skill to train because it is something you can practise every day: at work, with friends, and even while you’re on your commute. Improve your attention to detail and achieve greater successes at work!