Modern life is full of distractions. Our lives are constantly being interrupted by notifications, computer screens and social networks, and it is easy to whittle away the hours procrastinating. When faced with looming deadlines or busy work schedules, these mindless diversions have a big impact on our our ability to concentrate.
When combined with a lack of sleep or a decrease in motivation, it can be very difficult to stay focused on important tasks. Thankfully, there are a few simple techniques and lifestyle changes that can make concentration an easily attainable state of mind.
Keep The Goal In Sight
When faced with a large work project or any other time demanding task, it is easy to lose sight of the end goal. It is important to keep reminding yourself why the task is being completed and what you hope to achieve from the work. Spending countless hours on a project only to lose track of its purpose can be demotivating, and it can be difficult to push aside the short-term frustrations to see the long-term benefits.
Whether it’s a personal project or an important task for work, keep a picture in your head of the overall goal and how you will seek to benefit from it.
Get Into A Rhythm
The hardest part of sustaining concentration is getting into the right frame of mind. Think about some small changes that you can make which will help you to maintain a steady work flow. Whether you work best in the early mornings when you have less distractions around you or late at night when you have completed all of the day’s chores, find what works best for you and stick to it. This will help create a routine so that you can become more psychologically focused on the task ahead.
Break Down The Workload
Time management is critical to staying focused on tasks. A large workload can be a daunting prospect, and it can be difficult to maintain steady progress when working on a project which has a deadline weeks, or even months, in advance. It is easy to promise yourself that you’ll start next week and trick yourself into believing that you have plenty of time. Always try to break down large workloads into manageable chunks which you can complete and concentrate on one step at a time. Set yourself a series of deadlines so you can divide and conquer your work and maintain steady progress throughout.
Take Plenty Of Breaks
It might seem contradictory to take a break just so you can keep concentrating on work, but a 5 or 10 minute break every hour is necessary to stop boredom from creeping in and to keep the work juices flowing. It is hard to stay focused for hours at a time and the quality of your work will invariably suffer. Tell yourself in advance when you will be taking a break and stick to it.
Allowing yourself to idly browse the Internet for a few minutes every hour will not feel like a break and will just serve as a distraction. Setting a designated time to step away from work will feel much more rewarding and break up the work hours more effectively.
Avoid Burning Out
Although short breaks will help you keep focused throughout the day, it is also important to take a longer break to avoid burning out completely. Taking a 20 minute ‘power nap’ in the middle of the day will not only help regain your energy levels and feel more refreshed afterwards, but it can also help boost creativity and allow you to see tasks from a different perspective.
A longer period of time away from work can help you return to it with a renewed energy, and it can help get past problems that you were previously stuck on.
Even the most well-prepared and determined people can suffer from a lack of concentration. It can feel like a complete waste of time when you are sat ready to do work and you just can’t bring your mind into focus. A few simple changes can really make a big difference to your mindset, and a boost in concentration can improve the quality of work, spark ambition and leave you feeling a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Featured Image: Multitasking Woman In Kitchen on Shutterstock