How To Stay Focused
Hands up who checks their phone the second they have a moment free, or procrastinates by opening up a million tabs and starts scrolling through Tumblr when trying to do a task? (The second I wrote Tumblr, I ended up opening it in a new tab 😭🙋🏼 whoops!)
We are all living lives that are highly pressured. We are always on, overloaded with information, and easily distracted.
So how do you stay focused?
The answer is mindfulness.
I know a lot of you are like what the hell is this mindfulness crap, but once you get your head around it you will learn just how effective it is.
Mindfulness is a moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment.
It brings us into the here and now so that we are conscious of what we are doing when we are doing it. It may seem both simple and obvious but when we focus our awareness on our thoughts we will find that we spend most of our day thinking about past and future events. Or if we are lucky enough, sitting around day dreaming rather than focusing on what matters.
In today's 24/7 stream of distractions, our focus is blown to pieces, and half of the time, we are not truly paying attention to the tasks or people in front of us. I know at times, I am guilty of not being in the present moment, and being glued to my phone when I should be socialising with the people in front of me. But I'm working on eliminating this habit, and a great app that I used to use when I first got into all this mindfulness stuff was an app called Headspace. I used the free trial they had, and it really helped me to take 10 minutes out of my day (I did it first thing in the morning) to stay focused and put me in a positive mindset.
Most of us have a natural time perspective and our thoughts are dominated by either past, present or future events. What we don’t want is that past or future events dominating our present experiences or that we live too much in the present that we don’t learn from past experiences nor plan for the future. So like most things in life we need to find a balance.
The practice of mindfulness teaches us to become aware of our thoughts and the present moment. It is a habit we need to nurture because our natural tendency is to stray from the here and how to tomorrow, next week or next month. When we practice mindfulness we keep calling back our wandering mind to rest on the current moment.
One of our biggest challenges to getting shit done is the distraction of the mind. While we try to get one job done, our mind reminds us of ten others that still need doing. Like even right now as I write this, I feel rather distracted with 5 magazines placed next to me that I want to read, emails popping up every 10 minutes, and Snapchat going off like there is no tomorrow. It all becomes too overwhelming and results in wasting time.
So the first thing to do is to become aware of what's going on and eliminate distractions. For me that means putting my phone in another room so I can smash through all the tasks on my to-do list, and moving the magazines to a place out of site. With the lack of distractions now at play, it will boost my productivity, focus and sense of satisfaction immensely + I end up saving time, so I can go enjoy my day.
So take this moment to remember that the future hasn’t happened, the past is gone and the present, is all we have and all that is guaranteed. Make sure you are part of each moment that you live and experience the gift that is NOW, and simply stay focused.