If only there were more time in a day, you could get more done – or could you? What if you could maintain a focused concentration for hours at a time, and get all your important work done each day. Read on if you can’t concentrate at work or home.
We live in a world that is continually interrupting us to get and keep our attention. Facebook is such an excellent example of this. If only we could learn how to improve concentration and focus.
There is no end to what notifications we receive:
- Suggested friends
- Suggested groups
- Suggested games
- Scores our friends got
An Endless Newsfeed
What appears in your news feed is endless. You think you have reached the end, and still more arrive in the newsfeed. Your mind is looking for the cue to stop, but it never comes.
Facebook is not alone in this approach.
Television keeps enticing you back with promotions about new shows or episodes, LinkedIn has a continuous newsfeed and suggested contacts, new jobs which may interest you.
At work, there is a constant stream of emails, and massive backlogs of work, it can be tricky first to find the best task to complete and then have the space to be able to complete it using your full focus.
Why Are We So Busy?
We are often so stressed about not having enough time that we allow ourselves to be distracted, and then waste time while kidding ourselves that we are busy. Well, you probably are working, but if reading the news, reviewing emails and catching up on Facebook is how you start your day. You may have missed the best opportunity of the day to do the most important thing, and do enough to “move the needle” on your business, or project or next primary task.
The Best Way To Plan Ahead
To move the needle, you first need to know what you should be working on. Often the best way to plan the important tasks is to have some quiet time and plan out the project. If you have got into the zone and completed a batch of work, often you know at that time what needs to be done next. Write that down, and make that your next piece of focused work.
When you have your list of everything that needs to be done, for your next piece of focused work, be it 15 minutes or two hours, write down three things that need to be done, in order of importance. Then start on the first one. It is that simple. Don’t have the usual distractors nearby.
- Put your phone on do not disturb, or at least silent
- Have only the apps open on your desktop you need to complete the task
- Do not open your email at this time (unless that’s your task)
- In a busy office, you may need to put music on to dull the background noise
Do More In Less Time!
When you only have a limited amount of time, you can often achieve 90% of what you hoped to had you more time. But usually, 90% is good enough. Perhaps someone else can polish off the rest; perhaps you can refine it later. Most of us have a “not good enough” mindset which is often just your opinion and may well not be true at all.
My Experience At Tax Time
Recently it was tax time, and I had been putting off doing it because I felt it would take a long time, and I might miss claiming something. Instead, I gave myself one hour. I wrote of list of the documents I needed to pull together, put them all into a file, and shared that with my accountant. I know if I have missed anything important, my accountant will sort it out, or ask me about it. And if I have missed claiming for a small item, it’s probably not worth my time trying to find it. It ended up taking me 45 minutes.
Try This For Just One Hour
Try this out for yourself. Find a suitable space to work, maybe clear your desk. Identify one thing that you have to do, that you have been putting off. Spend a few minutes planning what needs to be actioned today. Now put a timer on for one hour (or a time that suits you), and start. You have one hour, now GO! Nothing else matters right now. If something does come up in your mind that you need to do, quickly note it down, then get back to work.
Wear A Bellabee While Working
Having a brain training device on while you are working can also help keep you focused. A tool like the Bellabee is working by running between 15Hz and 17Hz, with the setting changing every 10 or 20 minutes. These frequencies are what highly functioning people would be experiencing as they are concentrating. As your brain receives these signals, it responds in kind and mirrors the signals. So it is learning to focus.
Even as I write this article, I am wearing the Bellabee. I put it on for an hour at a time and also put the timer on my phone for the same time, then I get to work. It may be a combination of both the Bellabee and the timer, but I am so focused and productive working this way. It just seems easier to keep working and remain focused.
More Ideas When You’re In The Zone
The ideas keep coming to me while I am in this work zone, and I am able to take a logical approach to my work and keep at it for hours on end. Also, I find that using it to plan my work out also helps me determine what is important, then I get on with those tasks and avoid the distractions which might otherwise come.
Take Short Breaks
Having a quick break between focused periods of work is also really beneficial, so your brain knows that it will get a reward after the hard work. For me, that means stopping for 5 minutes to have a stretch and get some more water or coffee. Then it’s back to work with the Bellabee and the timer again. This type of routine is called the Pomodoro technique.
Try the Bellabee out for yourself
If you want to see if the Bellabee wearable device can help you with concentration, then order one and try it out for yourself. There is a 45-day guarantee and a one year warranty. Perhaps if you can’t concentrate or can’t focus on reading any more. If you are like most people, you may find some of the other settings help you out as well.