Focus is a bit like a wild horse – It’s unmatched in beauty, but incredibly hard to tame. I believe the hit classic Horses was actually just a metaphor for Daryl Braithwaite’s incredible ability to stay focused for outrageous periods of time.
Luckily for the rest of us, science has come to the rescue again, offering some sweet tips on how you can tame your own wild focus horse.
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking can actually be a negative influence on your attention span, memory capacity and your ability to switch between different tasks.
According to Susan Weinschenk, it’s going to take you longer to complete two tasks if you’re constantly switching between them, rather then completing one at a time.
So go easy on yourself, would ya?
Take up meditation
The benefits of mediation have been lauded by tie-die clad individuals for some times, but it turns out there’s actually some science behind the art of meditation.
A study published in 2010 showed that intensive meditation can help you maintain focus through the most mundane of tasks.
You can take it for a test run by meditating before pairing all of the odd socks at the back of your drawers. Hooray for improved cognitive function!
Exercising promotes brain health, memory and the capacity to concentrate.
It also releases something called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which refreshes memory while sounding absolutely terrifying.
Take a break
Be sure to take some time out every day to kick back and do what makes you happy. This will ensure that you perform better over time, rather than burning out over the short term.
Effectively, science can be used as an excuse to play video games. Speaking of which…
Keep your brain fit
Keeping your brain fit helps to promote focus and a growing body of research suggests that video games are a great way to do this.
In english, gaming can improve the connections in your brain that improve the way it performs. Looks like all of those years playing Nintendo have finally payed off.
Re-Focus your eyes
Looking away from your computer screen regularly is a great way to keep your concentration sharp.
Try using the 20-20-20 Rule – every 20 minutes, stare at an object 20 feet (about 6 meters) away for 20 seconds.
Try not to stare at anything that’s directly in front of or behind someone to avoid that awkward situation where you try to explain how you weren’t creeping on them, you were just doing your 20-20-20 with the black mark on the wall.
Make time for distractions
Distractions are a normal part of the daily grind and unless you’re wired like a machine, are pretty much unavoidable.
The problem with distractions is that they create something called Attention Residue – The bits of your attention that are still hanging out with your Facebook feed.
Limiting these distractions to scheduled times will help you to maintain focus while you’re actually working.