We’ve all had times when we need to stay focused, but we find it difficult to maintain our concentration. This is especially true when we have big deadlines or other major responsibilities that require absolutely no distractions. So how do we maintain our focus?
People have various levels of concentration. Some people can do many things at once without sacrificing accuracy, while others need to give 100% of their attention just to finish a single task. This doesn’t mean that people who can multitask are better at maintaining their focus.
Have you ever tried ignoring distractions when you’re doing something important? Most of the time, the more you try to focus, the more you can’t.
Here are the three things you must do to maintain your focus.
1. Pinpoint your distractions.
Maintain your concentration by identifying the things that distract you the most. When you’re halfway through a task and you realize you’re not concentrating as much as when you started, take a deep breath and observe your surroundings. What is distracting you the most? Identify these things and think of ways to block them out.
2. Accept that the distractions make life interesting.
Most people get annoyed when their focus is broken. After all, you don’t want to mess up the report you’re writing just because your colleague is talking too loudly on the phone, right? While this is a normal reaction, try to take the high road by accepting the distractions and their awesomeness. Accepting distractions in a lighthearted way will settle your thoughts and allow you to continue with your objective. This is more applicable with internal distractions, though — distractions that are evident only to you. If the distraction is something that is out of your control, like the loud construction going on across the street, or your neighbor’s blaring music, it’s better to go get some earplugs.
3. Break everything down to basics.
Another tip that can help you maintain your concentration is delving into the tiniest details of your task. If you’re writing an academic paper, focus on every single word. If you’re tinkering with some tools and machines, focus on every single screw. If you’re doing push-ups, focus on the pain in your arms and the feel of the floor. Find the smallest detail in your work, concentrate on it, and then imagine how you can get from there to your desired result. That way, you can continue working on track and ignoring distractions.
These tips are just a few ways to help you maintain your focus. Remember, focus is unique for every person. Some people are born more tolerant than others, and there's nothing you can do about it. What you can do, however, is know yourself better than anyone, so you can easily identify your limits and how you can manage all the distractions that may be hindering your progress in achieving a goal. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining your focus and creating a better you.