23 minutes. That’s how long it takes for you to regain your focus after a distraction. That distraction could be a text, call or an email notification from work. That is a lot of valuable time wasted. When faced with distractions, internal or external, it’s important to know ways to bring back your focus.
We live in a fast paced world, connected all the time to the news, internet and social media. As a result, we are always checking our phones, the latest update on the coronavirus situation and find ourselves distracted. Working from home has become the norm, and that can’t be easy either. So how do you focus when distractions surround you? Let’s take a look.
6 ways to focus when distracted
Balance your thoughts. The simplest and one of the most effective ways of improving your focus is to do this simple activity. It involves taking deep breaths, tuning your attention on a particular object and allowing all your thoughts to come and go. You tune out of all your thoughts, acknowledge them and let it pass so that you feel calmer, settled and free of distractions. Learn more about this exercise here!
Avoid multitasking. A major reason why you get distracted easily because you’re trying to do too many things at once. Avoid multitasking. Instead, focus on a particular task with a time limit in mind. If you give your undivided attention to one task and then move onto the next, it’ll help you stay focused and be more productive. Moreover, you can even group similar tasks together, complete them one by one and then move on to another set of tasks.
Take breaks. A break is more important than you’d think! Taking regular breaks between work, after a call or meeting helps you release tension and refresh your mind. As a result, you feel relaxed and capable of re-focusing. You’re not a machine, and breaks at regular intervals are necessary and good for you! You can go for a small walk, do light stretching, enjoy a cup of mindful chai or even a simple box breathing cycle. Taking a break doesn’t mean opening up Instagram!
Change your environment. Often, your working environment may consist of a lot of distractions. A cluttered desk, too many unnecessary tabs or uncomfortable temperature. In a time when working from home is prevalent, these issues are maximised. Ensure your workspace is clean, everything is optimal and designed to help you feel comfortable and be more focused and productive.
Decide boundaries. When you’re distracted by your cell phone, the news or certain events, set boundaries about when to engage with these distractions. For example, when you start working for the day, put your phone aside and ensure you won’t check the news until your lunch break. By setting boundaries for when you can engage with things unrelated to work, you’re able to maintain your focus and shy away from distractions! In case you’re reading this article instead of working, promise yourself to resume work, finish your task and then read a new blog afterwards!
Pay attention to breathing. Breathing exercises are a simple hack at finding your focus, easing your thoughts and overcoming distractions. Get comfortable, tune out everything else and breathe normally. Slowly start to pay attention to your breathing and keep your focus on it. In case your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breathing and continue this for a minute or so. As a result, you will be able to sharpen your focus, respond to distractions and find a breathing rate that is relaxing. You will feel settled, calm your mind by getting rid of any overwhelming thoughts or stress and attain balance!
It’s important to know your distractions, how to overcome them and improve your focus. Meditation for focus helps improve your focus when distracted and clears your mind. Whenever you feel distracted, remember the above points and try them out. In case that doesn’t work for you, it’s okay. Everyone has different focus levels and ways of staying attentive. In case you are facing stress and anxiety, your focus levels might dip too. Know how to overcome stress and anxiety, be it via breathing and lifestyle habits, stress management techniques or guided meditation.