Focus seems to be in ever-shrinking supply these days. The sheer number of distractions the human brain must contend with on a daily basis is staggering, and there's simply no way for the mind to process it all effectively. As a result, it's easy to find ourselves ping-ponging between tasks, never giving our full attention to the task at hand or person in front of us.
Fortunately, the human brain is malleable, and with some effort you can train it to refocus and channel your attention to achieve maximum productivity. Here are a few things you can start doing right now to laser in your focus and pull yourself back into the moment.
Get present with your surroundings
If you notice you're having too many "out-of-body" (and mind) experiences, where you're physically present but mentally on another plane, it might be time to consciously work on appreciating the moment at hand. There are plenty of distractions in the everyday -- technology chief among them --but you have the power to overcome the pull of distractions by priming your brain to stay focused on the moment. This can be done in a matter of seconds.
What do you see, hear or smell? What does the air feel like? How does your body feel --really take assessment of it.
Additionally, scientific research has concluded that the morning hours are the best times to establish and consistently practice a daily mental fitness routine. Deep breathing exercises are a simple way to channel all of your focus and energy into something that's right in front of you.
These routines vary in their complexity and strenuousness, but you can start manageably by being acutely aware of your breath as it enters and leaves the lungs. Imagine it entering your body and circulating throughout your body --perhaps even traveling to areas that feel tight.
This fundamental tenet of meditation helps you live more mindfully, as your brain will be trained to recognize what's happening in the moment without judgment. This can lead to better decision making (referred to as the "ABC Method"), more creative thinking and better overall health, as positive mental signals actually help your immune system relax and inhibit harmful outside elements.
Writing goals and visions down has a profound psychological effect. Some believe in the power of turning over control to the universe, but even if you don't subscribe to the manifestation abilities of the ether, there is no doubt that setting daily intentions can help your brain zero in on tasks and minimize distractions.
Just like meditation, there are several ways to go about intention setting. Some home in on one intention and repeat it daily. They may even post visual reminders of that intention throughout their home, office, car or as a daily reminder on their phone.
There's no right or wrong way, intentions are daily check-ins for what matters most today, tomorrow or even five years down the road. By zeroing in on the ideal outcome you're striving for, you're better able to see what needs to be done to get there and what can be eliminated.
By focusing on your intentions daily, you're less likely to dwell on mistakes and more prone to holding course to finding solutions.
Don't give in to the notifications
For a chemical that gives people so much pleasure, dopamine can be a real pain. That's because we're hardwired to seek out not only physical items like food that are necessary for our survival, but ideas as well.
We're constantly on the move searching for ways to satisfy our curiosity, and in today's world that means the latest tweets, text responses, game scores and the answer to who played that one guy in that one movie. It just so happens that the act of doing the searching is more pleasurable than the actual discovery of the answer, so we're always in finder mode.
This is not good news when you're trying to build a business, as this can quickly escalate into a rabbit hole of distractions. It will take diligence, but turning off your notifications and designating specific times throughout the day to check in on what you may of have missed and respond where necessary, will allow you to laser focus on the actions that will actually move the needle.
Keep in mind, the email inbox can easily become a never-ending to-do list, and the notifications can lead you down a black hole of wasted time --if you allow them. And it's hard to make your visions a reality and fulfill upon your intentions when you're mired down with distractions. Give your mind the space it needs to make big things happen.