An inability to stay focused can place quite the burden on your life. From not being able to enjoy the present moment, to working longer hours due to inefficient productivity. The reality is that today there are more reasons than ever to lose focus and concentration and distractions are the main culprit.
Distractions are anything that diverts your attention away from whatever you are working on, doing, or planning to do. Distractions come in all different forms and it can be quite difficult to remove every single distraction from your life. While full removal is next to impossible, there are things you can do to help mitigate the distractions that get through to you and place a damper on your productivity.
Below is a closer look at some tips to avoid distractions. While not an all-encompassing list, these tips and tricks can help you to maintain focus for longer periods of time and live your life more intentionally. Through these tips, you can take charge of your focus and have more time to enjoy moments with those you love.
Cut the cord
At any given moment you are most likely connected to the internet. Smartwatches, smartphones, fitness trackers, smart assistants, and even smart appliances represent all of the things in your environment that are constantly connected to the internet. While the internet is a powerful resource, it is also the source of near-limitless distractions. With access to the internet 24/7, it can be incredibly easy to fall into an Instagram scroll loop, a mindless browsing of your Facebook feed, or even a Netflix binge.
When it comes to focusing, technology is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can aid productivity, but on the other hand, it can become a large source of distraction. Below are a few tips on how you can establish a healthy balance of technology usage without it becoming distracting.
Out of reach out of mind
The first tip for avoiding distractions is to keep your cell phone out of your line of sight. Today smartphone compulsive behavior is quite common. With these compulsive behaviors, it can be difficult to leave your phone alone and when it is within your line of sight this task becomes even more difficult. Actions like mindlessly scrolling social media apps, checking emails, or even just looking at your notifications add up to make a smartphone an immense distractor that can derail your focus and productivity.
The solution is to place your phone on airplane mode or silence it and place it into a drawer or even another room. Breaking a bad smartphone habit can be difficult but over time you can break free if you stay consistent and keep your phone out of reach. Without your phone wasting your precious time you can spend more time focusing on the things you desire.
Technology distractions also extend to other devices such as your computer. Unlike a smartphone, a computer is an integral part of many people’s work. While integral to work, computers also have all of the same capabilities as smartphones such as access to entertainment, social media, and online shopping. Luckily there are productivity apps available that can lock you out of specific applications while you need to focus.
By setting a list of allowable applications, you effectively create a digital environment that is free of distractions. A great way to think of it is lock-out applications are like an ad blocker for distractions. When you attempt to visit a web page such as your social media feed, the application blocks the connection and this acts as a barrier to keep you on track with your work.
Get smart with notifications
One of the largest problems with technology is that it constantly beckons your attention through notifications, chimes, and other means. You could be minding your own business doing your work and a notification could show up that causes you to completely derail your progress. Other notifications may be important such as email, but others like social media notifications can wait and do not need your immediate attention.
Luckily many devices such as smartphones and computers allow you to customize your notifications. With a little bit of effort setting up your preferences, you can ensure you are only getting notifications that matter and that are relevant when you need to focus. Setting up your notifications acts as a filter to what grabs your attention. When set up correctly Candy Crush notifications will become a distraction of the past and you can rest assured that more pressing notifications make their way through.
Place your environment on mute
The more traditional distractions come in the forms of outside distractions such as noise. People talking around you or loud sounds can be incredibly distracting as your body will naturally want to pay attention to them. An effective way to place your environment on mute is to get a good pair of noise-canceling headphones and play ambient music or white noise. Drowning out the sounds of talkative colleagues or outside noises like construction can allow you to focus more easily on your tasks.
Take care of your health
It is important to note that distractions not only come from your physical environment, but they can also come from within. Feeling uncomfortable, hungry, tired, and lousy can all act as distractions that cause you to lose focus.
Taking care of your health is a great way to help support your body and avoid internal distractions. Below is a closer look at some specific tips to help support your health and reduce internal distractions.
The practice of meditation is an excellent way to support mental clarity, reestablish focus, and a great general way to support your mental wellbeing. Meditation generally works by drawing your attention to things in the present moment such as the breath, sensations around you, or even just taking in your environment.
There are a few meditations that can help with distractions. One of those is known as noting. Noting is essentially when you take notice of distracting thoughts and let them go. Simply ignoring intrusive or disrupting thoughts can sometimes be unproductive as they constantly come back and distract you. With noting you allow your mind to acknowledge the distraction which can allow you to let go of the thought more readily and refocus.
Another technique that can be helpful with distracting thoughts is to simply take time to meditate to get back into the present moment. Oftentimes people become preoccupied with the future which can make it more difficult to stay focused and on task. Recentering yourself through meditative breathing or other forms of meditation can allow you to come back to the present moment and focus on the things you are actively doing.
One of the worst distractions to have is to feel hungry. Within the hierarchy of needs, food is one of the most important. Because of this, when you become hungry your body simply cannot focus on other items. This is the main reason why people become angry.
The solution is to have a well-balanced diet that ensures you get all of the nutrition your body needs. Having a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats can keep you satiated and ensure your body has the fuel it needs to stay focused for prolonged periods of time.
Focus is a complex neurological process and one of the most important aspects of being able to focus is brain health. The brain is the center of our consciousness and being and it is also where decisions are made, such as what should capture your attention at a given moment. The brain is constantly selecting what stimuli should be ignored and what stimuli should capture your attention.
A prime example of this phenomenon is the cocktail party effect. The cocktail party effect is illustrated when you are in a public space where a crowd of people are talking and you are able to isolate the voice of an individual person. Even though sounds are entering your ears from multiple people’s voices, your brain is able to selectively focus on that one person’s voice. This is a testament to the processing ability of the brain.
MitoQ Brain is an excellent supplement you can take to help keep your brain in tip-top shape. The supplement contains a blend of MitoQ, ginkgo extract, Zembrin® Kanna extract, Huperzine A, and Sharp PS® Phosphatidylserine. Together these ingredients help support normal cognitive functioning, mental clarity, and overall brain health. With your brain doing a million things at one time, ensuring it is well supported is crucial.
Staying focused is a hard task to undertake. With the availability of the internet and constantly being connected, this task has become increasingly difficult. While staying focused for extended periods of time is getting harder to do, there are things you can do to help mitigate distractions.
Managing your technology, eliminating outside noise distractions, and prioritizing your health are great ways to avoid distractions and allow you to stay focused for longer.