How to Focus the Mind and Get Things Done.

If you’re anything like me, your mind is a roller coaster.

For me it’s because I want to do so many things and I spend most of the time thinking on how to do it, reading or watching videos about it. Am I too creative that I be satisfied with one thing only?

I don’t think that wanting to do a lot of things is necessarily a bad, but it is certainly not easy to manage. The problem is, we tend to split our time between tasks it will take much longer to see the results, and not feeling like we are making progress is what discourages us and could potentially make us give up. We don’t want that.

If you can’t really decide on what passions to pursue you might need a better strategy. I suggest you fist of all to make a schedule and stick to it. I made a blog post on Time Management that it’s a “must read”.

Click here: “How to Master Time”

Besides managing your time, it would be awesome if we could also stay focused throughout the time that we are doing our tasks.

But how can we do that? Well, let’s take a look at some things that we can do to focus our mind and get things done.

1 -Eliminate Some Distractions

Wow… “some” distractions? Why not all distractions?
Actually there are good and bad distractions. One of the most popular thing people do while working is to put on the headphones and listen to music, that is usually a “good distraction”. Attention is a limited resource, so if you occupy our mind with “good distractions” your brain won’t have “space” to accommodate “bad distractions”.

Depending on your environment, your bad distractions could be the TV or your smartphone, so turn it of and start working.

2 – Focus at one thing at a time

Have you ever done several tasks at the same time and after a few hours you made almost no progress? That’s because our attention resources are limited. Imagine you are at the theater and the spotlight is pointing at the main character. Everyone is looking at that person, everything else just fades away. That’s how you should focus on your tasks.

Now there are techniques to do multitasking, that consist on having one task spotlighted for short periods of time (10 / 15 min) and then switch to another task, but for those minutes you have to commit to only that task and nothing else.

3 – Take breaks and allow your mind a moment to daydream

You should not got on for hours and hours without a moment to rest for just a few minutes. There is something called the “Pomodoro Technique” that is basically a time management system that you can do to manage your time.

The core process is the following:
1 – Choose a task
2 – Set a timer for 25 minutes (you can vary this to what works best for you)
3 – Work on the task until the timer rings.
4 – Take a short break. (Breathe, meditate, drink coffee… do anything as long as it’s not work related or checking social media / TV)
5 – Repeat this 4 times and take a longer break. (20 / 30) minutes.

4 – Bring your mind back

Try taking notice of when your mind starts wandering. As soon as you notice it, just re-focus your attention and don’t be mad about it, it’s perfectly normal.
Training the mind is just like training a muscle at the gym, bring it down and then back up again. It also helps to identify where does your mind go when you get distracted. Identifying those things will help you catching sooner your distractions.

5 – Live in the present

It’s very hard to stay mentally focused and healthy if we keep thinking about the past or worrying about the future. We can’t change the past and our future depends on what we do TODAY. Give your best from now on to stay engaged with the present, it will keep you sharp.

That’s all for today,

If you have any tips that you want to share let me know. I’m trying to implement these tips myself and improve every day.

See you on the next one.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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