You’re about to access 11 highly-effective strategies to gain absolute focus.
In my role as a life coach, I’m often sharing these strategies to help clients get more from their day-to-day lives.
I’m also using these absolute focus strategies to grow my coaching business as efficiently as possible.
So, let’s take a look and see what strategies I recommend…
1. Find Your Flow
‘Flow state’ is the term used to describe the state of mind where you reach absolute focus, to the point where the sense of self and everything else in the world ceases to exist.
According to author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the keys to consistently reaching this state of mind are:
- a clear goal for the task;
- a feeling of control over the task;
- an appropriate level of difficulty, not too easy or too hard;
- finding a way to enjoy the task;
- an inspiring reward for completing the task.
It’s possible to reach ‘flow state’ even during less inspiring pursuits, perhaps via the creation of your own gamification and reward systems.
These ideas are all explained in depth within the pages of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s popular book ‘Flow: The Psychology Of Optimal Experience’. This book is highly recommended for anyone who may want the ability to access flow state and gain absolute focus more often.
2. Set Deadlines
If you went to college or university, you’ve probably experienced the miracles that a tight deadline can perform on your ability to focus.
This is largely based on ‘fear of loss’. Bad things typically happen when we miss a deadline.
So, it’s in your best interests to have a strong reason to hit a deadline, even if you create one yourself.
3. Find Your ‘Why’
It’s easier to focus on a task if it feels meaningful and will make a difference to your life.
Your ‘why’ could be that you’ll have more time for your social life if you finish quickly. It might be that you’re working on products to win the Nobel prize. Regardless, having a reason to do what you’re doing really helps you focus.
4. Eliminate All Distractions
This sounds easy in theory. Yet, most of us could be doing more to eliminate distractions. Here are some ideas.
- Have your phone turned off, or put on silent in a different room.
- Turn off your internet at the router (if you don’t need it).
- Use a plug-in to block social media or other websites at certain times per day.
- Clean the room you’re working in.
- Clear your desk of things you don’t need.
- Complete your task somewhere you’re unlikely to be interrupted.
- Close all computer programs other than what you need for your task.
- Use writing programs that block all distractions, such as OmmWriter or WriteRoom.
- Wake up earlier, so you can get important tasks done before people are awake to bother you.
These might be the last things you want to do, especially during monotonous tasks. But, research suggests it can take up to 23 minutes to refocus after a distraction, so it’s totally worth putting as many of these ideas into action as possible.
5. Don’t Multi-Task
Consider switching from one task to another as a distraction too.
When you combine two tasks, it supposedly reduces your performance by 20% on each of the products. If you’re juggling more than two different tasks, your performance drops by much more.
It’s best to complete one task in full first, before moving on to the next.
6. Use The Pomorodo Technique
The Pomorodo Technique is one of the most popular productivity hacks.
Here it is:
- Choose ONE task to focus on.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Work on that task until the timer buzzes.
- Take a five minute break.
- Repeat, taking a longer break after four cycles.
This technique works so well because you’re scheduling plenty of time for distractions, so it’s easier to resist them when the urge initially pops up.
7. Sleep Well
Your brain is a muscle. Just like any other muscle, when it’s well rested, it’s easier to use it for a longer time. So, give your brain the seven hours of sleep it needs to fully recover.
Meditation is essentially the practice of focusing, without being distracted by other thoughts. You can choose to focus on your breathing, or on a particular emotion.
Either way, a daily meditation practice will help you learn to concentrate on one task without internal distraction.
You can follow the guided meditations on apps like Headspace or Mind, in order to get started
9. Prepare Your Body For Focus
This could mean dressing formally. It could also mean sitting at a desk, rather than laying in bed with a laptop. There are several studies that priming your body and mind like this helps to increase focus.
On top of that, scientists have discovered a link between physical fitness and levels of concentration.
10. Listen To ‘Focus Music’
Music can keep you from hearing external distractions, but certain genres could be a distraction themselves.
Classical music is widely regarded as the best genre to aid concentration. This is supposedly due to its various ‘transitional’ periods, which keep the mind from wandering.
Basic slow-tempo music without lyrics can be just as useful. Indeed, there is a new trend among students of listening to ‘Lo-Fi’ playlists while studying.
Hectic music with lots of lyrics often proves less beneficial.
11. Improve Your Attention Muscle
Let’s go back to our analogy of the brain being a muscle, because it’s also true that your ability to concentrate improves with practice. It gets stronger the more you train it, just like your biceps do.
If you’re constantly studying lengthy texts without falling victim to distractions, you’ll get better at it.
The crazy thing is: most teenagers and young adults are training themselves to lose their focus within seconds. These days, many would do well to focus on the first few pages of a book, let alone a full novel.
That’s what constantly scrolling through social media apps will do to you. These apps are training your mind to expect a new photo or video every few seconds, instead of focusing on the same material for hours. Push notifications demanding your attention throughout the day certainly don’t help either.
Human attention spans are falling lower than goldfish – and social media is playing a key role in this trend.
If you’re looking to develop absolute focus more often, be mindful of how social media and your smartphone steals your attention so easily. Analyze when your attention is stolen, then change your behavior to prevent that happening again.
Any Questions About How To Gain Absolute Focus?
Thanks so much for reading this guide! I hope it will help you improve your concentration to new levels.
I’d recommend adopting several of these habits to see which ones work best for you. Make a note of your performance before and after adapting these habits, so you can see the impact they have on your ability to focus.
If you want to ask a question or add an additional strategy for gaining absolute focus, you can do so in the comments.
I’d love to know what you think about this topic.