Distractions! They are all around us. The ones that can be the worse are in your own mind. You want to listen to some interesting information or audio program and you think this should be a breeze. It seems just fine for about 5 minutes and then your mind drifts off to something you need to do later in the day. The author says something that triggers a memory and you drift into that and lose all sense of what is being said or what is happening around you. Don’t worry folks, it happens to us all. The mind will seem to do things all on it’s own even when you have the best intentions of staying focused. Here are a few tips to help.
1. Practice staying in the moment.
Take time to meditate. Clear your thoughts and focus on only one thing. When you feel your mind beginning to drift – bring it back to center. Practice this for 10 – 20 minutes a day. The more you are aware the easier it will be.
2. Do a guided visualization of eating an orange.
Now I pick orange but it should work with anything. Guide yourself from start to finish on what it is like to eat an orange or another favorite food. You should involve all your senses and make it as real as possible. The act of doing this will bring your mind into play on the creative side and this should make it possible for you to concentrate only on this one act. You can being to apply that pattern to other areas that you want to stay focused on.
3. Don’t try to multitask
Multitasking brings to many areas of the brain into play at one time. You can never focus on just one thing since you are having to keep so many things in the front of your mind in order to do them. Work on only one task at a time and stay present with it. It should be all you are thinking or doing at that time.
4. Monitor your thoughts.
When doing something that you need to stay focused on then monitoring your thoughts while doing it will help you keep the focus. Be aware of what you are thinking. When you feel a stray thought come in bring your self back to the task at hand. It may take you a little while to be aware that this is happening. Just gently bring yourself back to the moment.
5. Be in the now.
Humans have the ability to thing of past, present and future and do it often. Think of animals. A cat is only thinking of the can of food they want. They do not think of the great dinner a couple of days ago or the future dinner they will get tomorrow. They only think of what is happening now. The cat is focused because they have a goal and live in the now. Right now is the only thing that is real to them. When working on something that you need to stay focused on, passion will help keep you there. Work at being like the cat. All that matters is what you are doing at that very moment. That way you can be the best at what you are doing.
Noise, emails, stray thoughts, phone calls, tv and tons of other things will distract you. Put yourself in the position not to be distracted. Set aside a time and area that you shouldn’t be interrupted. Close off unwanted thoughts and focus on what you want to accomplish. Let enthusiasm for what you are doing drive your passion to stay focused on what you want to accomplish. When a top performer wants to accomplish something they stay totally focused on what they are doing and don’t let stray thoughts in. Research shows when they begin to think of ways to change what they are doing. like hit the ball with the left side of the foot instead of the right, their performance goes down. When they focus and do it the way they have imprinted in their minds – they are able to do the best possible and have fewer errors.
These are just a few tips to help bring you back to what you want to be focused on. Let enthusiasm and passion be your guide and make things happen they way you want them!