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Master your ability to Focus

Shivanand Pandit 
on 18 June 2014

LinkedIn


Focus is our skill to pay attention to a focal point of interest. The ability to focus is considered as one of the most important aptitudes or attributes connected to success in life. It is necessary in school, in work and in everyday tasks and errands. Executives, blue-collar workers and pupils all need to be able to focus. Slender and challenging times are nothing new to the human race, but it is our ability to focus that allows us to flourish regardless of them to nurture relationships and transfigure our way to a healthier future. The quality and quantity of work we can produce is dependent, not only on the effort we put in, but on our ability to focus and concentrate. No matter how hard to we try, if our brain does not perform well, we won’t be as productive as we should be. Our proficiency to blossom and make an influence in this world is very closely knotted with our ability to focus.

Of all the means which have become in short supply over the past few years, the fading of our power to focus is perchance the most problematic. Every so often this capability is encumbered by outside environmental factors. When we are not focused, tasks take significantly longer, are prone to mistakes and in some cases progress is impossible. Nevertheless we can improve our aptitudes of focus by finding clever ways to eliminate distractions, hacking our workflows or working on our mindsets. There is no one way to discover focus. It sounds like a big task, but upgrading our powers of focus and concentration is a marvellously straightforward or forthright process, which can be accomplished by targeting a few very simple comportments or manners. Following are the extremely effectual and power packed strategies which help to harvest rapid and satisfying results:

Create an environment that allows you to focus

Our environment can be a really important factor in our ability to focus. We have to find a space where we can properly focus. There are some places that make it nearly impossible for us to think or focus on anything important. We have to stay away from those areas and find a place that is quiet, comfortable and allows us to concentrate. This may be an office at work, our workshop at home, the park or a local cafe. We have to evade distractions that disturb our attention from the task at hand. We have to turn off anything that blinks, dings, buzzes or vibrates. One should not be side tracked by interruptions or mind wandering. In short, taking control of our environment is the most vital aspect.

Set goals for yourself

Setting goals allows us to focus on something specific. When we sit down to work without a goal, it is easy to get bogged down in crutch activities. Without persistence, our mind will be pulled in several dissimilar or disparate directions. To avoid this, we have to make a clear plan of action beforehand. By setting a goal we can decide where our mental energy is allocated instead of allowing to be disbanded randomly. Goals or plans give us a baseline to work with and we can adapt our routine based on what works for us. Like French novelist Gustave Flaubert said, "Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work." We have to keep track of how we are getting goals achieved and what adjustments need to be made along the way. When we know what we want to do, it is easier to not do everything else.

Get serious about Shut-Eye

It might seem obvious, but the biggest factor affecting focus or concentration is rest. If we are not well rested our mind will be scattered and lethargic. We have to avoid this by making sure that we get right amount of sleep at the right time. Oversleeping disrupts our natural rhythm and leads to grogginess. If our body is tired and our mind is fuzzy, it is not going to be possible to focus no matter how hard we try.

Eat a balanced diet and Exercise

If our metabolism is out of balance, that can affect our health, which can affect the way we think and focus. We have to maximise our ability to focus by eating light and health meals. Nothing slows down the mind and body like a big greasy meal. Many of us do not think about drinking water while we are at work, yet dehydration can make us feel tired, irritable, slow, or even sick. Staying hydrated is an easy way to help improve our focus during the day.

Exercise

When our body is physically fit, our mind is more apt to be, too. Exercising regularly helps our body process toxins, be more alert and feel better overall. When this happens, our ability to focus is enhanced. Exercising also releases dopamine which is a neurotransmitter associated with focus and concentration.

Fortify Your Work-Life Balance

Sacrificing our personal life for our job makes us a far less effective. It increases mistakes prevents the synthesis of new ideas, and leads to inefficiency and poor decision-making. We need to identify one or two activities that instantly recharge us—whether it is dancing, singing, reading or meditation and allot time for those activities which will boost our energy.

Reduce negative stress

When we are under stress we can have difficulty thinking clearly. We may have trouble focusing our thoughts or maintaining attention. One has to work to diminish those character traits that work against him/her in high stress situations, to become better able to cope with negative stress in the workplace. Since our ability to handle stress is directly related to our internal view of the world, patience, both with ourselves and others, is necessary to our ultimate success. Likewise, given the same set of circumstances, an optimistic person will experience less negative stress than a pessimistic one. If negative stress has been addressed and efforts have been taken to minimize it’s effects, introducing positive stress can be highly beneficial to productivity and performance.

To conclude, focus refers to the ability to put most or all of one’s attention and abilities into one thing at a time. Attention and focus are very closely related, and in some contexts are identical. However, focus carries a more active connotation, and learning to harness this power can be the key to a better life. In photography, manual focus is often better than auto focus, especially at macro-range, in low light, with portraits, when shooting through glass or wire fences, or with action photography. When translating these situations into real life, it becomes obvious that conscious focus on someone's purpose in life is highly desirable and effective. Mind and body benefit from a balanced but strong positive focus. Outside of blind luck, our success is going to strongly correlate with our ability to improve our focus. To quote Hector Crawford: "Decide carefully, exactly what you want in life, then work like mad to make sure you get it." Many individuals automatically concentrate on problems and how to solve them. The non-fixable challenges, however, are a waste of time and energy. Focusing on our purpose is fulfilling and energizing.

SHIVANAND PANDIT,

Financial Analyst and Adviser,

MARGAO-GOA-INDIA

EMAIL: panditgoa@gmail.com


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