If you clicked on this focus and concentration may be a challenge for you so we will get right to the point. Without the ability to sustain attention on a task or complete a train of thought success is unlikely, no matter what the field we specialize in or who we consider our “customer.”
Well not to shamelessly plug our last installment of Mental Health Monday….but meditation is an excellent way to train the mind to focus and build the habit of cultivating quiet inside the mind. In addition to that things like intentionally building in mental breaks throughout the day and regular exercise can be effective strategies.
While it’s tempting to multi-task and sometimes feels essential avoid doing multiple things at once. Set yourself up for success by silencing your phone or email alerts while you dedicate a set amount of time to a task. Identify specific goals or tasks you need or want to accomplish in a given day–be realistic, but challenge yourself. The addition of structure is key as well as setting a clear target. As you set these benchmarks and cross them off acknowledge your efforts with positive self talk and celebrations of these small successes (maybe with a mental break or some exercise?)
Lastly, if you can identify your vulnerability factors (lack of sleep, hunger, etc.) for inattention as well as the time of day when you feel sharpest these two pieces of data can work to your advantage. Prioritize difficult tasks that require critical thinking and keen focus to be done during that specific time of day you see as your “on” time. Then monitor yourself for occasions when lack of sleep, eating, and other outside forces may be taking a toll on your mental acuity and remedy those first prior to setting your mind to the task at hand.
If you’re interested in reading and learning more about this topic here are some helpful resources.