It’s Monday morning… you feel groggy… you struggle to get out of bed… But struggle you must, as you have an important meeting to attend at 9am…
We know what this type of situation can be like, as it’s happened to many of us in the past. Not only is it hard to concentrate on what’s been said in the meeting — but it’s also difficult to think of and verbalize what you want to say.
When our ability to focus is impaired, we also see a sharp drop in our creativity and productivity.
In today’s nonstop 24/7 world, we’re also bombarded with endless offline and online distractions. It’s not wonder then, that many of us find it had to concentrate on our work and hobbies.
This is the reason we put together this ultimate guide to living a purposeful life powered by laser focus.
Whatever you need to learn about improving focus and concentration — this is your go-to guide. It will sharpen your focus and show you how to get things done.
How To Know If You Lack Focus?
15 Signs You Are Too Busy: If you feel like you’re busy all the time, then you should look to see why and what you can do about it.
Perhaps you don’t know where your time goes; and perhaps you feel like you’re doing lots of work but don’t seem to be moving the needle.
It’s normal to occasionally feel overwhelmed, but if this is your constant state, then you definitely need to make some changes in your life.
When you’re overwhelmed and lack focus, you’ll inevitably start to fall behind on your deadlines. This can also be damaging to both your physical and mental health.
Why Is It Hard to Focus?
In today’s ‘always-on’ world, it’s no wonder that so many people find staying focused incredibly difficult.
I’m sure you know what I mean…
Distractions are everywhere, from breaking news to the latest Netflix movie to habitually scanning through our social media feeds — it’s all too easy to find our time and focus have whittled away with nothing meaningful to show for it.
One of the reasons that people allow their time to be lost like this is because they don’t have a clear purpose of what they want to achieve in life. I’ll talk about this more in a moment.
It might surprise you to learn that not all distractions are external. Some are internal, like, not being able to prioritize tasks and not understanding the difference between long and short-term benefits.
For example, do you start your working day by going through all your emails? If yes, you might want to try a different approach to kick-starting your work.
The Power of Prioritizing: I suggest you spend 5-10 minutes looking at what tasks and projects you need to complete. Decide which are the most important, and then start working on those first.
A recent study conducted by the University of London found that adults who multitasked experienced drops in their IQ to that of an average 8-year-old child.
Another study, this time by the University of California, found that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task after an interruption.
Say No to Multitasking: Clearly, multitasking is not the productivity booster that most of us have been led to believe. In reality, multitasking is a focus and productivity killer.
You could think of multitasking this way…
You wouldn’t try to enjoy a fresh coffee by also trying to drink a mug of tea and hot chocolate at the same time!
Distractions and multitasking can undermine your efforts, but if procrastination takes control of your life — you’ll be beaten before you even get started. You know what I mean, finding it a struggle to get out of bed, putting off working on your first tasks of the day, and finding every reason under the sun not to work on that big project.
The secret to overcoming the procrastination habit is to:
- Break your projects and goals into bite-sized chunks
- Give yourself specific deadlines for when you want to achieve your big and small tasks
- Take a deep breath and get started!
Stop Procrastinating Now: Whatever your goals and dreams, without action on your part they’ll just remain wishful thinking. So defeat procrastination now and start making exciting things happen in your life.
How to Improve Focus And Boost Productivity
There are four main ways to improve your focus and boost your productivity.
Let’s look at all four of these now:
1. Discover What You Want Most
Finding Your Life Purpose: If you don’t know what you want in life, then you’ll inevitably drift like a ship without an anchor.
When people lack goals and direction, they also lack a reason to live. They’re also likely to have little enthusiasm and drive. After all, without something to aim towards and look forward to achieving — life is nothing more than a game of chance.
It doesn’t have to be this way though. When you spend the necessary time to discover your life purpose, and then align your goals to this, you’ll put yourself on a happy, harmonious road to success and accomplishment.
Get the Full Life Planner to help you plan and take control of your life.
Don’t think in terms of working harder; think in terms of working smarter.
Work Smarter: If you try to tackle every new task the moment it falls on your plate, then you’ll not only stress and burn yourself out — but you’ll also fail to get everything done in an efficient and timely manner. That’s where the power of prioritization comes in.
Luckily, prioritizing your tasks is really quite simple. Just do the following:
- Spend 5-10 minutes in the morning assessing the tasks you need to complete that day
- Decide which are the priority tasks, and which tasks are not so important
- Order the tasks on your to-do list from high priority to low priority
- Start working through your list from top to bottom
I guarantee that when you start using this simple time management approach, you’ll see big results in what you’re able to achieve. No more missing deadlines; and no more stressing yourself out jumping between tasks.
3. Remove Distractions
It’s impossible to focus if you’re constantly interrupted. That’s why it’s so important that you do everything you can to minimize the amount of distractions in your life — particularly when you’re trying to work.
Remove External Distractions: If you need to focus on a task, then make sure you’re external environment is supportive to you. This might mean moving to a quiet meeting room for an hour instead of trying to work in an open-plan office with lots of colleagues chatting and asking you questions. If working from home, then you may want to create a ‘do not disturb’ policy to help prevent your family members entering your office space and interrupting you while you’re on Zoom calls or focusing on writing project documentation, etc. If you have an open-door policy, you’ll have countless distractions that are bound to impact the amount and quality of work you accomplish.
Remove Internal Distractions: While it’s fairly easy to sort out your external environment, fixing your thoughts is not so easy! What do I mean? Well, just think of all the times you find yourself daydreaming. If you’re like most people, you probably do this more than 10% of the time you’re awake. Now imagine if you could reduce this daydreaming time by half or more. This would significantly boost your focus and your productivity. You can achieve this by taking three simple steps:
- Keep Your Mind Busy — When you have plenty on your plate, you’ll be much less likely to start daydreaming.
- Reward Yourself When You Accomplish Small and Big Goals — Stay motivated and on track by rewarding yourself when you complete tasks. Small tasks get a small reward. Big tasks get a big reward!
- Take Regular Breaks — Taking regular breaks is essential. If you fail to do this, you’ll eventually suffer burnout.
To learn more about defeating distractions, join our Overcoming Distraction Fast Track Class.
Or grab our free guide End Distraction And Find Your Focus:
4. Train Your Brain To Increase Attention Span
Improve Your Attention Span: Focus is all about your ability to keep your attention on the task at hand. If you have a short attention span, you’ll have low productivity. Conversely, if you have a high attention span, you’ll have high productivity.
To train your brain to increase your attention span, make these things a habit:
- Take Physical Exercise — This could be as simple as a short daily walk in your local park.
- Increase Your Fluid Intake — Water and fresh juices will hydrate you and give you more physical and mental energy.
- Get Rid of Distractions (see section above) — Don’t be a victim of distractions. Instead, take control of your time and your mind.
- Break Big Tasks Into Small, Manageable Chunks — Big tasks can be very off putting. That’s why I recommend you break them down into bite-sized chunks.
- Turn Repetitive Tasks Into Habits — Learn how to create habits, so that you can turn repetitive tasks over to your subconscious mind.
Of course, none of the above will help you if you can’t get started. That’s why I recommend you join our No More Procrastination Fast Track Class.
More Resources to Help Improve Your Focus
I created this ultimate guide to focusing to help you achieve your goals and dreams.
Is focus really such a game changer?
Yes, because when you have the power of focus working on your behalf, you’ll be unstoppable. Things that you used to give up on, like writing a book, will now be both possible and enjoyable for you. And day-to-day tasks will no longer be a chore, as with your new-found laser focus you’ll be able to accomplish them quickly and easily.
Need more inspiration? Then check out the 30 Lifehack articles, classes and vlogs below. They’re sure to put you on the road to success!
- Laser Focus with Purpose [ Lifehack Master Class ]
- No More Procrastination [ Free Fast Track Class ]
- Overcoming Distraction [ Free Fast Track Class ]
- The Power of a Positive Environment on Your Everyday Life
- How to Stop Procrastinating Right Now
- Want to Stop Procrastinating? Think Like a Rhino
- Is Social Media Ruining Our Lives, Or Are We?
- How to Improve Focus: 7 Ways to Train Your Brain
- Does the Pomodoro Technique Work for Your Productivity?
- How to Not Get Distracted: 10 Practical Tips to Sharpen Your Focus
- How Mindfulness Can Improve Our Focus and Productivity
- How Meditation Can Help to Improve Your Productivity
- 7 Ways to Concentrate Better in a Toxic Work Environment
- The Ultimate List of Deep Focus Music for Productive Work
- The 5 Stages of Getting Over Cell Phone Distraction
- 8 Reasons Why You Have Trouble Concentrating
- Does the Pomodoro Technique Work for Your Productivity?
- How To Maintain a Laser Focus And Be Productive
- How to Stay on Task And Be Laser Focused
- 7 Ways to Improve Focus And Memory (Backed By Science)
- The Power of Intentional Attention
- How to Rebuild Your Attention Span in a World Full of Distractions
- Why You Can’t Focus? 20 Things You Can Do to Fix It