Our world is full of distractions: kids home from school, vacation plans (or lack of them), coronavirus, summer heat, short tempers, email, social media, bright shiny objects, and now even protests and riots.
Distractions make us take our focus off the important work we must do.
The average human has an eight-second attention span, less than that of a goldfish according to a Microsoft study in 2015. This time has shrunk over the years due to our digital connectedness – our brains are always looking for what’s new and what’s next.
How can you focus on your priorities and not be tempted by what’s moving around you?
Change the way you think about focus. According to Elie Venezky, author of Hack Your Brain, “Focus is a muscle and you can build it. Too many people labor under the mistaken belief that they’re just not focused, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Prepare your brain
Before approaching a task, take a minute or two to sit in a comfortable position and let your body calm down.
Understand where your focus needs to be
What is worthy of your distraction? Take time to identify what deserves your focus for the year, the month, the week and the day. Look at your calendar and block time dedicated to focus.
Take short breaks
It’s easy to lose focus over time, taking a short break in the middle of a long task re-energizes the brain.
Create a culture of attention
Pause, connect and enter deeply into a relationship, task, or idea.
It’s tempting to slip into numb days of distraction, diffusion, and detachment. Remind yourself of what motivates you, and really matters in your life.