The key to living a productive life style lies within building a focus. Coming to master your mental focus is a bit of a trick; however, in the long run, it will create a more disciplined and accomplished journey.
The majority of us tend to become victim to the cognitive switching penalty, which is the side effect resulting from multi-tasking. When confronted with a situation, your brain will begin to load the context of what you’re doing into active memory.
If you’re constantly switching the focus of your attention, you’re forcing your brain to spend time and effort reloading the context.
The cognitive switching penalty can include mental and physical fatigue. By mastering your mental focus, you can avoid the waste of such energy.
These 8 tips below will lead to an improved mental focus.
8 Productivity hacks to improve your mental focus:
Tip 1: Focus on one thing
As mentioned before, multi-tasking causes the brain to load several bits of information at once. When the brain has to refocus on a task, it drains the brain of energy. This leads to fatigue, inability to focus, and poor work ethic as you may not get anything done.
You could have spent the whole day working, but multi-tasking leaves the brain fatigued. In reality, much work may not have been accomplished.
Tip 2: Use motivating self-talk
The act of self-talking can assist in the progress of building a focus. By reinforcing your goal with positive affirmations, you are motivating yourself to remain focused.
The act of vocalizing your words inhibits a subconscious commitment to whatever was said. By thinking of goals and then voicing them, it causes this type of reaction on the brain.
The brain will create a subconscious commitment to this goal and you will feel more inclined to continue.
Tip 3: Meditate to calm yourself
Meditation is one of the most powerful tool someone could use to build a focus. The reason for this is its ability to train an individual to control their thoughts. This begins with bringing your focus to your breath.
While meditating, you may notice thoughts popping into your mind. Instead of panicking, try disengaging from that train of thought. Then return your focus to your breath and hold it there. This act of meditating will hone your control and allow more mental focus.
Tip 4: Exercise – A healthy body is a healthy mind
The act of exercising releases chemicals in the brain that affect learning and memory. By becoming more physically active, you could increase your focus as well. Not only does it provide long term benefits, but it provides a short term boost to mental and cognitive performance up to 3 hours after working out.
The brain even has its own function called Neuroplasticity which includes the brain healing itself with blood flow and protein.
Tip 5: Manage Stimulation
Stimulation such as electronics, social media, and video games create a psychological dependence on the brain. You can actually go into a type of withdrawal when away from stimulation.
This withdrawal can interrupt your focus and make it difficult to focus on objectives at hand. Whenever you’re working or are trying to focus, try relocating your phone to another area, turning all electronics off, and concentrating on the goal. This will ultimately aid you in building a better focus.
Tip 6: Mindful Second Thoughts
Becoming mindful when encountering distractions is another way to consciously control what you’re focusing on. For example, next time you proceed to check an email or go onto social media, think to yourself, “this is a distraction.”
Your brain will immediately categorize this act with a less priority. Use mindful second thoughts to control your thought and behavior pattern so that more production occurs.
Tip 7: Fuel your body
Perhaps the most important step to mental focus is staying hydrated. When the body does not receive adequate hydration, brain cells begin to lose their efficiency. In fact, dehydration can impair short term memory function and the recall of long term memory. Staying hydrated throughout the day will deliver the balanced amount of water to your brain cells which will assist in your focus.
Also, foods such as dark chocolate, fish, nuts, whole grains, avocado, and carrots provide the brain with nutrients that increase mental sharpness.
Tip 8: Practice good discipline
Regarding the fact that everything in an individual’s life influences mental focus, it is smart to establish a disciplined strategy. For example, proper hydration and nutrients are needed for optimal brain function. You must keep on yourself to eat or drink when necessary.
Knowing to remove any temptations is another act of discipline; you must take it upon yourself to remove anything that could distract you. Evaluating and removing bad habits will form a discipline that can be extended to building mental focus.
Following any one of these tips will improve mental focus; however, the tricky part is disciplining yourself so that you follow through with the development process.
By increasing your mental focus, the quality and quantity of productivity in your life will increase. In reality, more focus leads to a more fulfilled life. Having mental clarity, and knowing what you have to do, will reveal additional opportunity.