How to Improve Your Focus for Better Productivity: Part I
Increasing your focus means you should get up each day, looking forward to what you can achieve. Being focused means you are making progress towards what is most important to you. If you do this, you will feel a greater sense of productivity and fulfillment.
What I want you to walk away from this with is a better way to focus. Hopefully, you’ll learn tips and strategies on gaining and keeping your focus so you can be productive in everything you do. One of the first things I want you to walk away with is this: Multitasking is one of the most overrated skills people claim to have. In this series, you’ll find out why you shouldn’t be multitasking, and what to do instead.
Let’s get started.
Why Focus is Important
Why is being focused so important in today’s world? What results happen when you are focused? Does being focused make you less stressed? Happier? If it’s so important, why don’t people focus more? Well, according to Gary Keller, author of, The One Thing, focus is the one thing you need. The ability to focus will propel you to do all the other things you need to do to be successful. Even Gary Vee promotes the notion that focus and the consistency of that focus are essential to reaching your ultimate goals in life. It is our penchant to be distracted by the "fancy things" of life that cause us not to reach our full measure of success. I'd definitely suggest you pick up Gary Keller's book. It's in my Library for a reason!
Being focused on one thing for a set period of time allows you to create a better quality of work, get more work done quicker, and allows your creative ideas to flow easier. Being focused on one task at a time is less stressful on your mind. And being less stressed allows you to be happier.
It’s difficult for people to remain focused on one task for a variety of reasons. For one, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with TV, radio, cell phones, social media, as well as a much larger population that lives closer together than ever before. It’s difficult to get completely away from all these distractions. One way is to go to a room where you can shut your door and turn off your phone and email notifications.
When you focus on a single task, avoiding distractions, your brain becomes focused on that task alone. This lets you complete that task much more quickly than if you are trying to complete two or more tasks at once. For instance, let’s say you need to write a brief, do your clients books for the week, or research information on a new medical procedure. The best thing to do is to set aside all but that one task. So, for this example, you want to give all your attention to writing that brief. That means turning off the TV, cell phones, social media pings, closing your door and putting all your attention on writing. What many people do find helpful is music, however, this music needs to be instrumental. There are a few genres that are best for focused work. My suggestion for finding music suitable for focus is Focus@Will. You can read more about it in my recent post on productivity tools and apps.
By giving all your attention to the task without distraction, you can get it done much more quickly and with fewer mistakes. Your work will be higher quality. Another benefit to being focused is that your creativity will kick in, too. You’ll come up with new ideas associated with the task at hand. This is great if you are someone who must be creative for a living. This includes traditional creative types like architects, graphic designers, advertisers, interior designers and other innovators, as well as people who create products or services, teachers, researchers, engineers, executives, bloggers, and anyone who needs ideas. Just about everyone can benefit.
Being constantly connected to others and having many distractions that take away your focus can affect your stress levels as well as your productivity. When you aren’t focused, you don’t get as much done as you could if you were truly focused on the task you’re doing. And who needs extra stress...right, I didn't think so.
Focusing on one thing for a certain period of time helps you think better. Having your mind scattered over several tasks at once keeps you from thinking about what you are actually doing. You only have time to complete a task quickly before you must move on to the next one. All the while you are trying to remember everything that has to be done. When you focus, you are able to think about only one thing for that period of time.
Focusing allows your subconscious to do the work. Think about when you learned to ride a bike or drive a car. It was difficult in the beginning, but when you began focusing on what you were doing, your subconscious took over and helped you learn. The same is true for your everyday tasks. Once you begin focusing solely on one task, your subconscious helps you do them quicker and easier.
It’s important to focus on one task at a time to become more productive, do better quality work and be less stressed. Focusing can help you be more creative and have more happiness.
Stay tuned, for Part 2, where I will go discuss steps the effects of multi-tasking and what you can do to improve your focus. But, for now, comment below and let me know what helps you to focus and whether you struggle with concentration.