Let me ask you a quick question: Do you focus on a job and get it done or does your mind wander?
Okay, most of us give in to everyday distractions keeping us from reaching our optimum productivity (sorry for the $3 word.).
But, there are some simple ways to improve your focus and get more done. So, here are 6 exercises to increase your attention skills. And, the steps are easy to do!
Let’s get started…
Discover 6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Attention Skills — And Get More Done!
Just like positive thinking, strengthening your attention skills comes down to repetition.
Really, it is no different than going to the gym, running daily, or going to yoga. It is only through repetition that we are able to improve upon what we already know.
First, develop a baseline for your attention improvement so you can adjust the exercises accordingly.
How to Develop Your Baseline
This is very important so you shouldn’t skip this step.
Set out on a task you want to do. This could include:
- doing a chore
- or working in the yard.
Now, get your task started.
For results, set a timer and work for as long as you can before you lose your attention.
This includes those distractions such as checking your phone, stopping to talk, or even daydreaming.
When the time is up, you may be surprised at how much time is wasted just in those instances.
This is your baseline and all of the exercises are designed with a 5-minute baseline in mind. If your baseline is higher, adjust accordingly. And, if it’s lower, keep the same timeline.
How to Train to Keep Your Focus
● Set a timer for 7 minutes
● Focus Completely on working, reading, or the task
● Take a 3-minute break
● Set for another 7 minutes
● Each day add another 2 minutes to your focused work time. With an additional 1 minute for your break time.
Do this step consistently, and in 12 days, you should have increased your focus by 41 minutes of productivity followed by 14 minutes of break time.
As soon as you’re comfortable with this system, make adjustments to lengthen your sessions and decrease your break times.
The end goal is 50 minutes of productivity per hour with a 10-minute break session.
How Meditation and Mindfulness Helps You Gain Attention Skills
Meditation helps with numerous attention skills.
When the hustle and bustle of everyday life has you flustered, take 10 minutes to close your eyes and re-center your thoughts.
Research has shown that meditation can boost your attention span.
Where meditation seeks to clear your mind, mindfulness helps to incorporate your mind and body with the surrounding environment.
And, you can do this at different times throughout the day just by stopping and observing your surroundings.
The end goal is to bring your mind into the here and now.
The entire idea of mindfulness can be summed up in one simple phrase…
“Be where your hands are.“
If you are at work, and your mind is at home it’s time to practice mindfulness.
My favorite motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar once said:
“If your mind is somewhere else, it’s no wonder you don’t have time to get things done — You’re always traveling!”
In a nutshell, mindfulness helps with your attention span because it forces you to focus on the things you are doing at the time.
Get Started with Daily Memory Training
Increasing your attention span through memory training is an exercise you can do daily.
A simple way of doing memory training is to read a story on your favorite news site, wait 5 minutes, then write a quick summary of that story,
After you finish writing, go back and re-read the story to see if you missed any key information.
As you progress, read more involved pieces of work. Read them thoroughly and slowly. Low and slow is the name of the game.
Do You Listen Attentively?
Focus is important not only for the work environment, but also for the home environment.
Fact is, effectively listening and communicating with our loved ones builds rapport and intimacy.
Most psychologists use what’s called “active listening” in their sessions.
This is why they look attentive and use responses such as “go on..” and “yes, I understand.”
Logic shows that couples who have a high degree of intimacy tend to live better lives and stay together longer.
So, listening attentively involves focusing all of your energy on the person who is talking. The easiest way to do this is to ditch the cellphone for a while.
You May Not Be a Writer — But, Do You Keep a Journal?
This last exercise isn’t one most people would think of. But, keeping a journal sure can help you to increase your attention span.
Just like working, journaling can be your personal outlet for self-expression. If you find your mind wandering to 1,000 different places, putting pen to paper will help clear out the clutter.
Use Word Goals
Set a word goal for the day. A good milestone is 700 words.
So, write 700 words about whatever is on your mind. And remember, it doesn’t have to be good.
Just dump all the excess thoughts and move on from there.
What’s Next? When Should I Start Improving My Attention Skills?
I believe the answer is in the title above. When is the best time to start improving your life? Why, right now of course!
Truth is, there’s no time like the present to begin a new project. And, the sooner you begin, the more likely you are to finish it.
So, put your thoughts together and make up your mind to improve your attention skills starting today!
You’ll get more done. And, you’ll start creating good habits to last you the rest of your life!
I hope you enjoyed this section for how to focus and increase your attention skills. If this helps you, please let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts. – Bob
And Finally, Change Your Thinking to Change Your Life!
Before you leave, I want to share with you my 10 step program to help change your self-talk. It’s a series and you can go here to check it out..
Filed under: Mind Development