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8 Simple Ways You Can Try Now To Train Your Brain To Stay Focused

8 Simple Ways You Can Try Now To Train Your Brain To Stay Focused

Training your brain to stay focused and on task is key to optimal productivity. Here are 8 simple ways you can try now to train your brain to stay focused, on task, and to create more time on your day to be awesome.

1. Plan tasks in advance

List your 3 most important tasks to deal with in a day the night before, so you hit the ground running. Choose just 3 tasks to prioritise for a day, and be clear on how much you can achieve in any time frame.

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2. Get started without checking in

Get started on your first task without checking your email or social media channels. The sense of achievement felt by getting one task completed will make your day feel more successful and productive. Also, your brain will not feel overwhelmed by information before getting started, and the temptation to go off track is reduced.

3. Set a routine

Help your brain get used to being productive by creating a routine and working habits that you stick to.

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4. Work on one task at a time

Whilst the creative, entrepreneurial brain works in non-linear ways, training your brain to work one just one task at a time is a great way to plough through tasks and to tame the butterfly brain of a Type A personality.

5. Silence the extra noise

When working on a task, silence extra distractions from social media and email updates and alerts to stay on task and focussed.

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See also: 10 Critical Tips to Prevent Distraction and Sharpen Your Focus

6. Use the alpha waves

Using music specifically designed to emulate alpha waves of the brain is proven to enhance productivity and focus.

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7. Split tasks into chunks

The Pomodoro technique is a famous time management task technique that uses timers to set boundaries around tasks. Proven to enable efficient, focussed working there are many tools available to help time your work online.

See also: The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right For You?

8. Build in exercise time

Exercise releases endorphins, raises serotonin levels, and also allows space for creative ideas to form. Just half an hour a day will help your brain stay focused and productive.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dierkschaefer/2961565820/ via photopin.com

More by this author

Jo Gifford

Design Guru, Writer, and Founder The Dexterous Diva and the Killer Content Academy.

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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3. Still No Action

More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

4. Flicker of Hope Left

You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

5. Fading Quickly

Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

6. Vow to Yourself

Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

2. Plan

Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

3. Resistance

Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

4. Confront Those Feelings

Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

5. Put Results Before Comfort

You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

6. Repeat

Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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Final Thoughts

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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