I’m a multi-tasker by nature, so learning how to focus on one thing at a time didn’t come easy. Here are some of the tips and tricks that helped me learn to reign in my productivity and get things done.
Many of us live an on-the-go busy lifestyle where we’re constantly focused on multiple things at once. With so many priorities and other responsibilities, it’s no wonder we tend to lack the ability to focus on one thing at a time. Today I’m going to share a few tips to help you master the skill of focusing on one thing at a time. I absolutely, 100% believe you can do it!
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How to Focus on One Thing at a Time
Break up Tasks
Plan your day out in such a way that you’re able to attempt to do one thing a time. In order to break up tasks appropriately, you’ll have to focus on your main priorities first. You may want to handle the more difficult tasks first when your focus will be at the highest level and go down from there.
For me, getting a few smaller things out of the way so I can mark them off in my planner before tackling the longer, more intense tasks is motivating. You do whatever works best for you, but don’t try to tackle everything at once.
If you’re used to multi-tasking over the years, then you’ll need to train your brain to focus on one thing at a time. That means it’s best to start with smaller chunks of time. Consider using five minutes of focus at first and slowly increase those minutes for each task until you’re finally able to focus longer.
I like to program the timer on my phone to a set increment of time – say 20-25 minutes – and then race the clock to complete the task I’m working on at the time. It keeps me focused because I hate losing to my timer!
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You can quickly start to focus on one thing at a time when you remove all outside distractions. This can be done by using headphones that cancel out noises or having music play in your ear as your work to focus on just one thing at a time.
For me, noise-canceling headphones have been a lifesaver. They help minimize outside sounds and keep me focused on the task at hand. These are the ones that I use that work great. However, I wouldn’t recommend them if you want to work out in them as they’re constantly slipping off my head after a couple of sets.
Remember, removing distractions will only encourage the process of increasing focus.
Since you’ll be new to trying to focus on one thing at a time, you’ll want to set reminders. Have little notes around the house where you can see them so that you have a list of tasks for the day. This will help your mind stay focused on one thing at a time, as you’ll have a list to look at each time you finish one task.
If reminder sticky notes aren’t your thing, learn how to use a planner to help get your life organized and focused.
Remove Emotional Distractions
Last, but not least, many of us have emotional distractions such as an ex who pops into our mind from time to time or something sad that simply consumes our thoughts. Do your best to remove any and all emotional distractions, you’ll know what those are, as you work to focus on one thing at a time.
For me, emotional distractions are more powerful than physical distractions and require a lot more effort to overcome. I’ve found that stopping, taking a long, slow deep breath (think yoga breathing!), and focusing just on the in and out of the breath helps me to refocus and get things done.
Learning How to Focus on Thing at a Time
These are just a few simple tips to start moving forward with your mission to focus on one thing at a time. Each of these tips, when combined, will help you stay on track and reduce stress as you work to simplify your life to focus on one thing at a time. Remember, even small improvements are proof that you’re making progress. You can do this!