How Focus Leads to Great Results (and How to Do It) 196

how to find focus

“The sun’s energy warms the world. But when you focus it through a magnifying glass it can start a fire. Focus is so powerful!” ~ Alan Pariser

What is focus?

Well, let me start by explaining what the lack of focus is.

Many times when I’ve opened a new document and have started writing – with the whole idea in my mind and everything I need to keep writing for a long time, or when I’m in the middle of a great book on an issue that’s important to me (self-improvement, lifestyle design, writing, simplicity), I start doing something else.
Usually it’s a completely pointless action like browsing the Web, checking social media, or even playing Solitaire. Now that I’m saying it, it sounds even more ridiculous. It’s pure procrastination caused by the lack of focus on my main activity.

During the whole thing I realize that what I was doing in the first place is really important, and is actually interesting. No one makes me do it and I’m the only one that knows the exact benefits it may have on me – me learning new things, collecting ideas for writing, getting inspired, or motivated to take an immediate action, or writing a post, or an eBook that will become a success some day, taking big decisions to make changes in my life or way of thinking, etc.

These are really important things to me. And they will happen as long as I keep doing what I know I should do – constantly reading, writing and working on my blog.

But the one problem that slows the process and sometimes takes me a step back is my inability to be fully engaged in my activities and concentrate for a long time on the essentials.

It’s a combination of procrastination and laziness as people tend to have a short attention span and are easily distracted only because staying focused requires brain engagement and thinking.

I’m sure many of you will recognize this behavior. You may have experienced losing focus on different occasions but the final result is always the same – poor performance.

Trying to do many things at once is another example as you end up not finishing them at all or having bad results because you can’t concentrate on two or more activities.

To change that we need to find focus in daily life. To start being in the present moment no matter what we’re doing right now. To let go of distractions and concentrate on the essential.

Only then will we be able to finish projects on time, to create (everyone creates in some way), to write/read/etc. with a purpose, to do daily tasks, to be more productive and get things done, to actually achieve results and be proud of ourselves.

So how do we find focus then?

Here are a few ways:

7 Ways to Find Focus in Daily Life and Achieve More

1. Eliminate distractions.

We’re surrounded by distractions at each moment.

You may want to do some paper work at home but that doesn’t mean friends won’t decide to call you for a chat or suggest to go out, also family members may enter the room all the time, there may be noises (the neighbor may be listening to music, moving furniture or else), you get notifications all the time and your phone makes sounds.

If you’re wondering what to do about it, start eliminating such distractions.

2. Avoid temptations.

It’s also a kind of distraction but it’s usually your choice to be distracted by it. It happens every time you open a browser, check social media or email, turn on the TV or radio, etc.

The solution is to unplug, turn off, ignore and eliminate.

3. Do one thing at a time.

Multitasking is an enemy of focus. Trying to do 2 or more things at once just doesn’t work.

If you want to find focus, do one thing at a time.

4. Slow down.

Being in a rush creates unwanted stress. It makes you think that you won’t be ready on time, you may do something wrong, etc.

So try to do things slowly. Breathe deeply and calm down before you start.

5. Do less.

Here is a quote from Tim Ferriss:

“Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.”

We do so many things most of which are completely pointless. We think we’re busy but in the end of the day what have we actually done?

Simplify! Do less! These are the ultimate habits that will save us from the complexity and tension of daily life and will free us.

6. Experience the moment.

Many people choose to spend their present thinking about the past or worrying about the future. That brings stress, regrets and anxiety and ruins their present moment. Not to mention the complete lack of focus on what they’re doing right now.

Now and here is where we belong. We possess only this moment and our job is to make the best of it. I think the easiest way to learn to do that is to stop every now and then and look around. Try to see the bigger picture and realize how important the thing you’re doing is.

7. Learn to let go.

To fully engage in your activity and finish your projects, you’ll need to let go of certain things that are distracting you, making you anxious and preventing you from getting things done.

These are things like your fears, regrets for the past, uncertainties and doubts, caring about what other people think, your need for control and security, and so on.

It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s quite simple and an inevitable step on your way to focus.

There may be many other ways to do that or things and people that will help you concentrate. Different things may work best for you. Experiment by giving these 7 a try first.

Everyone deserves to feel the magic of doing something while being 100% there. And after that to see the sweet fruits of his efforts.

Further reading:
Finding Focus
Three Little Habits to Find Focus
How to Have a More Focused Day

Image by Justin Jensen

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How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted 4

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted

All people have been interested in studying at one moment in their lives. There are different goals set for diverse learners and each of them requires serious learning at one point in time.

Successful learners are those with full concentration during their studies as this helps them in remembering what was learned and apply it in the undertaken tests. However, irrespective of the reasons as to why people study, most of the times one would have his mind invaded by different thoughts distracting his concentration.

It is also possible to have one diverted by noises and stories made by one’s roommates, children, and neighbors among others.

With these intrusions, an individual would lose focus and this is what is required to be successful in what one was reading. It is therefore important to identify possible issues that can lead to distraction in order to come up with the most appropriate ways of remaining focused. Here are some tips:

1. Pick the right time and place when reading.

This helps in getting rid of the clear distractions.

For instance, a person would not easily focus if he chooses to study in the presence of friends who are engaged in other activities. Similarly, one would not read well if with music, television, phone, or computer on.

Once the phone vibrates or rings, an individual would be tempted to answer and this would divert his attention.

In understanding how to stay focused, it is recommended that a reader has conducive environment bearing in mind that different learners would stay alert at different circumstances.

This is an indication that no single environment fits all types of students. The right time would also involve studying at the moment when a learner feels comfortable with the schedule such as in the evening or very early in the morning.

The place chosen should not be the classroom or bedroom. But rather a quiet and nice place with a relaxed sitting position such as the library or the office.

2. Take frequent breaks.

How to Increase Your Productivity No Matter Where You Are

In addition, tips for students indicate that instead of succumbing to distraction, a pupil has to take short breaks.

When engaged in 45-minutes of learning, the student should take breaks of between ten and twenty minutes. Taking longer of breaks of over 20 minutes are dangerous for they might lead to forgetting what one was initially studying.

By planning breaks with an alarm, you not miss them or accidentally take longer ones.

Breaks are considered very crucial because they help the brain to recharge after processing the earlier acquired information. Breaks involving walking around should also be taken as an opportunity to improve recalling memory and test scores.

Breaking in between reading is, therefore, a good way of ensuring that a reader does not overburden his brain/mind with information that would not be processed. Taking pauses in between the reading session refreshes the brain and makes it possible to read for long and wide volumes.

3. Staying focused while reading is also linked with staying motivated.

As stated on EssayZoo, there are different forms of distractions for varied learners and this can be addressed by understanding the reason behind one’s studying.

This is done by taking a test or exam as something meant to challenge the reader’s learning. Since a person’s learning would eventually be rated, the process should start by setting a goal.

Even though the set goal should not be unrealistic, it should be challenging so that the learner can perform better than he has been found in the past tests or maybe better than people expect.

Once an individual is able to surprise others based on their expectations, he would feel motivated to continue studying.

Additionally, learning should be motivated with a reward, which acts as a form of self-control by ensuring that a student is compensated for hard work, studying well, being prepared, and performing well in an exam.

Encouragement should also be done by understanding what learning is important, which is different for diverse readers but all meant to enhance attentiveness to achieve personal goals.

4. Getting enough sleep during studying is a vital way of improving concentration.

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Even though many of the times pupils learn under pressure especially when exams are near, this does not mean an individual should read without sleep.

Just like taking breaks during a day of reading, sufficient sleep refreshes the brain and makes it ready to be fed with and process acquired information.

Learning is successful if one can remember and apply the learned information during a test. This is possible if a person is able to actively concentrate during the planned hours of studying.

According to tips for students, studying for long hours without break or sleep is on strenuous and does not bear the expected results.

Dedicating at least 6-8 hours of sleep ensures that a person wakes up fresh, alert, ready, and relaxed for the day’s scheduled learning activities.

Once ready to learn, a student would be organized and in an ordered place with only the reading materials a person requires, aware of the number of hours to spend on a topic, and the number of breaks he will take including their times.

5. Stay calm to concentrate.

Lastly, remaining focused when learning can be done by practicing concentration.

Once a student has everything he needs on the table, he should not postpone the learning exercise. It is advisable that a pupil is aware of the most crucial information to study first before proceeding to the rest. This is to ensure that one is guided by key concepts that would make the learning enjoyable and encouraging.

Also, practice concentration by not panicking, minimize computer and phone use, don’t listen to music unless it aids in studying, and remaining on topic.

It is notable that by panicking, one would make mistakes.

So make sure you remain calm, take deep breaths, and convince yourself that you read, understand, and pass the exams.

Further, a student should turn the computer, Internet, and the cell phone off to ensure maximum concentration. This is to avoid responding to text messages or searching via the Internet things that are not related to the topic of study.

It is arguable that listening to music when learning acts as a distraction because the learner is provided with additional information to process thus interfering with the real intention of the learning process.

In order to stay on-topic, you shouldn’t explore different subjects at the same time more so when studying boring, complex, and unexciting topics.

Studying would thus be effective if a person remains focused in order to achieve the set goals. Nobody enrolls for a course or learning institution without a goal. This would be achieved if concentration is always at its maximum.

While there are major ways of enhancing attentiveness, the discussed ones in this essay are picking the right time and place, instead of succumbing to distraction, taking short breaks, staying motivated, getting enough sleep, and practicing concentration.

The aim is to ensure that a learner understands the importance of learning and is committed to achieving his intentions.