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F.O.C.U.S.

focusFocusing or maintaining your focus can be difficult with all that life throws at us today. These five focus tips from verywell.com can help you concentrate better whether you're working in a busy office, studying at school, sitting in a meeting, or trying to finish a project.

 

F = Five More Rule

There are two kinds of people—those who have learned how to work through frustration and those who wish they had. From now on, if you're in the middle of a task and tempted to give up, just do FIVE MORE.

 

Read five more pages. Finish five more math problems. Work five more minutes.

 

Just as athletes build physical stamina by pushing past the point of exhaustion, you can build mental stamina by pushing past the point of frustration.

Continuing to concentrate when your brain is tired is the key to S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G your attention span and building mental endurance.

 

O = One Think At a Time

Feeling scatter-brained? Overcome perpetual preoccupation with the Godfather Plan—make your mind a deal it can't refuse.

 

Yes, the mind takes bribes. Instead of telling it NOT to worry about another, lesser priority (which will cause your mind to think about the very thing it's not supposed to think about!), assign it a single task with start-stop time parameters.

 

For example, "I will think about how to pay off that credit card debt when I get home tonight and have a chance to add up my bills.

 

 

C = Conquer Procrastination

Don't feel like concentrating? Are you putting off a task or project you're supposed to be working on? That's a form of procrastination.

Next time you're about to postpone a responsibility ask yourself, "Do I have to do this? Do I want it done so it's not on my mind? Will it be any easier later?" Those three questions can give you the incentive to mentally apply yourself because they bring you face to face with the fact this task isn't going away, and delaying will only add to your guilt and make this onerous task occupy more of your mind and time.

 

U = Use Your Hands as Blinkers

Picture your mind as a camera and your eyes as its aperture. Most of the time, our eyes are "taking it all in" and our brain is in "wide-angle focus." We can actually think about many things at once and operate quite efficiently this way (e.g., imagine driving down a crowded highway while talking to a friend, fiddling with the radio, keeping an eye on the cars beside you, and watching for your exit sign.)

 

What if you want to switch to telephoto focus? What if you have to prepare for a test and you need 100% concentration? Cup your hands around your eyes so you have "tunnel vision" and are looking solely at your text book. Placing your hands on the side of your face blocks out surroundings so they are literally "out of sight, out of mind." Think about the importance of those words.

 

S = See As If For the First or Last Time

Want to know how to be "here and now" and fully present instead of mindlessly rushing here, there, and everywhere?

 

Next time your mind is a million miles away, simply look around you and really SEE your surroundings. Study that exquisite flower in the vase. Get up close to the picture on the wall and marvel at the artist's craftsmanship.

 

Lean in and really look at a loved one you tend to take for granted.