7 Proven Tips To Strengthen Your Mental Focus
In this fast-paced world we are in, mental focus is one of our priced possessions. Why so? we are constant increase in the demand for our attention and because of that it can make focusing on what you want to do difficult. Today it is more important than ever to strengthen your mental focus.
What is Mental focus?
Based on Psychology, Mental focus is the brain’s ability to concentrate its attention on a target stimulus for a period of time. We use focused attention, or mental focus, to attend to both internal stimuli (feeling thirsty) and external stimuli (sounds) and is an important skill that allows us to carefully and efficiently carry out tasks in our daily lives.
- Focus is a skill
The Art of Focus is a skill, and like any other skill it can be strengthened and improved. It requires time, effort and consistency to strengthen your focus skill.
You need to train your brain to focus on the activities you want to direct your attention to. Otherwise, you’ll be distracted with the constant “noise of life”.
So many people think that focus is directing your attention towards so many things. They think focusing is being productive and doing so many things, but in reality focusing is concentrating on one thing and ignoring the rest.
As a skill, your willpower has very little place in determining the level of your focus. Instead you can do some activities to strengthen and improve the level of your focus.
- Have a plan
One of the major reasons we struggle to maintain focus in a specific task is lack of clarity. Clarity is the base of mental focus. To have clarity, a plan of action must be made. You need to decide and plan out what you want your brain to focus on.
Many of us have goals we want to achieve this year. If you properly plan your goals to daily action plans, you will see what you need to do everyday to achieve your goals and you will be able to focus on those tasks, because you have clarity.
Focus is an intentional decision you must make to make progress. Remember that you are building up the skill of mental focus which attributes daily practice and consistent action. A plan will direct your brain on what to focus and if you focus on only the essential activities, it will compound to success in future
- Manage your energy, not your time
Time is a finite resource. The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the energy we have is not. We all know the term Time Management, but Energy management is a similar term with as much importance. You can achieve results that are far superior to the incremental gains you might get from time management techniques using energy management.
If the task requires a lot of energy, schedule a time where you will have the same or more amount of energy to deal with that task. It may be in the morning after you have gotten a good sleep or at night after your night coffee or any time in between
Your ability to focus is not dependent on the amount of time it takes to complete that task, but the amount of energy you have to complete the task. For example, I noticed that my energy is higher in the mornings, so I focus and engage on the task that requires my most of my energy.
Managing your energy is one of the proven tips to strengthen your mental focus.
- Remove all distraction
Distractions hinder optimal flow state. Which means that you would not full mental focus. From Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey. we have something called Attentional Space.
This is a term used to describe the amount of mental capacity we have available to focus and process things in the moment. And this Attentional Space is limited, so we cannot fit complex tasks and other distractions in it without losing our mental focus and fully giving our 100% understanding
That is why we should avoid distractions during our flow state. For example, if it means putting your phone in another room while you study or turn of notifications while answering emails.
Distractions can come is so many ways, for example smartphone usage, emails, multitasking, future decisions to be made, etc.
Identify those distractions that are particular to you and make sure you remove them, especially during mental focus sessions
- Take a break
Breaks are very essential for focus. Successful people know the importance of planning breaks into their daily schedule.
I know we like to push ourselves. Sometimes it looks as if you’re getting from A to B, instead you’re just spinning your wheels. All that pushing might seem productive, but we are just overwhelmed and exhausted. And it is Ok to relax and take a break. This will realign your focus.
Here are ways to give yourself a break
- Allow yourself a little extra sleep
- Rest between focus sessions
- Take sometime to meditate
- Go outside and immerse yourself in nature
- Write down the things you’re grateful for
- Take a complete Tech-free hour
- Exercise your Concentration
There are a number of ways you can adopt to exercise your concentration – I will share them in a moment. Your concentration is very important when dealing with mental focus. It determines how productive or efficient you focus on a particular task or activity.
You concentrat everyday without knowing. It is what happens when you are engrossed in a certain activity you like doing or enjoy. You can’t necessarily turn it on or off, but you can develop it so that it will work in your favor
Concentration means the action or power of focusing one’s attention or mental effort. It is the ability to direct one’s attention in accordance with one’s will. It is an essential ingredient in the food of mental focus. There are many ways in which you can exercise your concentration (focusing your attention). I’ll mention a few here;
- Physical exercise
- Improve sleep
- Try Brain games
- Listen to music
- Give meditation a try
- Allow yourself to mindlessly think and watch your thoughts
7. Track your Results
Mental focus is a skill, and like any skill – it needs to be tracked and measured to see optimal results. For example; You would not know how much knowledge you know reading a book a week for 3 months. In that case, you would have to use a different measuring technique to understand your progress in reading
Similarly, to optimize your mental focus, you have to develop a system to track your results. You can compare how much work you’ve done this week with lasts weeks work. You can track how productive you are removing distractions for a whole week. The difference will be clear. You can track how long it took you to perform a particular task when you’ve taken the steps to improve your mental focus.
The system depends on you and how well you can measure your results. For example; I discovered that when I practiced the tips I just showed you, my energy level was efficient throughout the day.
Where To Go From Here
P.S – Don’t forget to comment your favourite tip to strengthen your mental focus