Do you get distracted easily while doing work? Do you have trouble staying on task? Have you ever forgotten what you were doing in the first place? Our mind has a tendency to wander off like a child and it can be difficult to keep it focused or on track. Even at the most quiet moments, we start getting distracted by almost everything, be it the color of the walls or the number of tiles on the floor; everything in that moment becomes a whole lot more interesting than what we are supposed to be doing. Why does this happen? We still don’t know as to why this happens but there are various theories, however, this can have both pros and cons. Some benefits of our mind wandering off are planning ahead and creative problem-solving which can lead to that ‘aha’ moment but it also has its disadvantages such as missing out on what is happening and if taken to an extreme negative, it can also cause depression and overthinking.
Mental focus is essential in some tasks and requires practice to improve upon it and some ways to increase your mental focus are -
First and foremost, assess your mental focus to see where you stand, how long can you go on focusing on one specific thing? We need to keep in mind that no human can sit for hours in a row without breaks or distractions but if you need a break after every 2-3 minutes, it means you need to improve your mental focus. Every individual has a different capacity and move according to your pace and not anyone else’s. Secondly, eliminate your distractions, although this seems the most obvious, it is also most crucial.
After this, limit your attention to one thing at a time even though multitasking seems more efficient and quicker, it will only distract you and cause frustration. Think of your attention as a child, if it sees too many things, it will only get confused but one thing at a time can actually get things done quicker. Moreover, live in the moment, many people start thinking of the future or past during this, causing anxiety and worry over things that are not in your control or have not happened yet. This can cause overthinking and create stress.
Lastly, take short breaks, working for too long can cause your mind to get exhausted which will only cause confusion and you will not be able to work efficiently. You will not be able to focus and lose track of what you were doing. We should remember that we are only human and we can break down but not if we take care of our mind and body because the two are interconnected. Balance is key to maintaining proper focus and performing well as we cannot do everything at once but over time.