Harvard tips for Extreme Focus

by  Eric Beaugh

Overabundance of comforts in modern life often leads them into turning to callous disadvantages. You can do so many things you can't concentrate on one thing and get deep into a loophole of possibilities ending up doing nothing for a considerable amount of time. This is wrong and there is something to be done about this.

There is new Harvard research that shows that there is an effective way of eliminating distractions and pumping up the productivity in a situation of limitless possibilities for unintended procrastination.

According to the study lack focus is caused by short attention span. Tension that comes from never-ending flow of digital bombardment in the forms of constant notifications and longing to check your inboxes combined with increasing work demands and wonky understanding of time management.

If there's one thing to pull out of this research it is - pulling your brain in different directions makes it stand still stunned by the amount of things to do. Such attitude extremely limits your working ability. Juggling several things at once causes lack of attention to the details, makes it harder to memorize what is where and when and how.

But there is one crucial "but" that puts everything upside down.

You can avoid all that by following these simple tips.

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  In case of dealing with distractions - you have two options. First option - you can distract yourself and fall into a loophole of flashy spiky something-something and waste a lot of precious time. The second option is to keep going no matter what. Think about it for a moment. Define your priorities - whether you want to waste your time or do something that will make difference? Take a deep breath - choose what you want to do and move forward.

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This little pause will give you clear understanding of a simple fact. No matter how tempting the distraction is - it is not worthy of your attention in the end. You always have better things to do.

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Upon starting your working day, you need check your motivations. Ask yourself several questions.

Such as:

  • What is most important to you today?
  • What is your mood?
  • What expectations do you have?
  • What your collegues expect from you?

Keeping your attention on these things will keep you away from severely distracting yourself. You will recognize your state of things. Then make a list with such things:

  • On what things you will focus most of your attention?
  • What information do you have the likelihood of missing?

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Beeps and flashes and vibrations are bane for our attention. Such alerts and notifications demand your attention and your turn to them on an instinct, because you think it is urgent. All the time. However, such things are rarely even relatively significant. There is a science to it. Seeing a notification releases a dopamine in your brain. And that causes an addiction to the digital signals. Automation of the process - for an e-mail, chats, social media and so on will help you to keep the distance from it. Also - site blocker is hell of an effective feature that should be already installed on your workplace.

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Negativity is another problem. Once you make something wrong, especially when it is a setback for a whole team - it leads you to the negative state of mind. In turn - it decreases your working abilities significantly. You just keep focused on the bad things and more and more of them come. 

While constructive criticism is always a good thing - it's not very useful when you think you're going to fail. Such kind of fear eats up whats left of your motivation.

Read more: How to: Time Management

Get it off! Take a short break. Draw a line between you and something that brings you the negative emotions. Do something to change into a positive one. Talk it out, laugh a bit and go on!



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