Have you ever had times when nothing is getting done because, like a hummingbird, the mind is flying around from place to place?  Or have you never had anything else?  Don’t worry…. There is hope!  Try these five techniques to increase focus today.

1st Technique: Prioritize

One thing at a time – serial single tasking – no more multi-tasking!

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There was a time when businesses thought that multi-tasking was heaven sent and that the most productive workers were those who could do several tasks at one time.  Today we know that multi-tasking is actually detrimental.  In fact there are studies that show we are not wired to multi-task and there is a drop in work quality and efficiency.  Now the debate is whether those changes are permanent.

Just do one thing at a time as much as possible (for example when watching TV resist checking text or email message).  For me, my task here is to write this article with my attention fully in the task. Other tips in this list will help the mind to focus and produce the best product.

2nd Technique: Use a timer

Now that our cell phones have such beautiful single tones in their built in timers, it is a pleasure to use them.  Just set a timer for how much time you have or wish to use to accomplish a task.  Then do the task.  When the timer rings determine if it is time to move to another task or to reset the timer for an extension of more time for this task.  Either decision is fine. What happens next is very interesting.

The mind learns to work faster and more productively over just a few days.

Why?  When you analyze how much time is spent preparing to do a task and actually doing it, you might notice that much of the time is spent thinking about emotional reactions (self or others). Postpone dealing with the emotional responses until the task is done and you may find that they are gone.  Pomodoro is an app that allows you to time your activity and build in breaks.

3rd Technique: Take care of the body – breathe!

focus your mindWhen the body is hungry, in pain or tired, it is easy to be distracted and feel that everything is critically important and must be done at the same time.  A clear mind that comes from a body that feels rested, satisfied and comfortable, is the basis for being able to focus completely on one thing at a time and be ok with that.  Don’t forget to breathe!

There’s even an app to help with breathing! . 

GPS for the Soul uses Heart Math which is a well researched way to use breathing to sooth the nervous system as well as the heart rhythms (coherence).

Heart Math has just a few steps focusing on the breath.

  • Breathe in while focusing on your heart and breathe out while thinking about someone you love or admire.
  • Lock in this feeling and continue to breathe in and out through your heart area.
  • Do this several times a day.

4th Technique: Mind Mapping

The ability to focus your mind can be enhanced by using a visual method of documenting your thoughts.  Tony Buzan, one of the original people who popularized this focusing technique, has shown that recall and retention improves by over 90% by using a mindmap.  Because the spider web looking format clearly shows main topics, sub topics, and relationships between them in one glance, the mind is able to focus more and more easily through a bit of practice.  MindNode is an app for this.

5th Technique: Take control of your mind

Be determined to have your mind tuned up, clear, and ready to do what you wish to make your life more joyful and satisfying.  Focusing is a way that the mind is strengthened for problem solving and even relaxing.  Being creative can also do that as creating folks focus easily on the object of their passion.  What do you do?

Remember that the dunce cap originally was used to focus the mind and learn better. 

When the originator (Duns) was discredited it came to mean what it does today.  Pretend that a beam of light is coming from the sky right into your mind and clearing it out.  Enjoy!

Just imagine!  The ability to decide which tasks are most important to work on right now, having a set time to accomplish that task, having the body be more and more healthy and stress free by focusing on the breath, using a creative way to document thoughts called a mind map, and being determined to do all of this is a way to accelerate the mind working in a way that is natural and effective.

You mind is wired to focus and these tips will help you each day to build a permanent habit. Feel free to let me know how you are focusing your mind using these tips.

Connect with WatchFit Expert Dorothy Rodwell

 

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