Personal Time-management System 7: Improving Focus and Concentration (3/3)
By Ryan Douglas
Another cornerstone of brain power and good health. The impact of exercise on focus and concentration may not be as apparent as food. However, the resulting increase in energy levels and stamina are palpable.
Exercise also releases dopamine- which has been proven to increase happiness and confidence. And when you’re confident in yourself, it shows in your efforts.
You’re more apt to produce quality work that you’re proud of. You take chances and become more spontaneous. People who exercise take risks that they might not have otherwise. Which leads to even more confidence, increased abilities, and a stronger belief in what you’re capable of.
Elisi can help here as well.
Utilizing the built-in habit tracking function, it’s easy to log your workouts and move towards your fitness goals. Once configured, the Elisi app automatically calculates your progress. As your active streak trends upward, it becomes a habit that you don’t want to break.
A severely underrated tactic for improving focus and concentration. Research shows that sleep improves almost every single process in the human body.
Which seems strange considering that modern society views sleep deprivation as a badge of honor. Many think hustling, grinding, or being relentless is the only way to get ahead. Yet, that’s simply not true.
Studies confirm sleep has a pronounced impact on memory and learning and helps us achieve peak performance. Some mistakenly believe caffeine or other stimulants can make up for bad sleep habits, but that’s not the case.
There is no substitute for getting good sleep each night.
So, go ahead. Turn off your electronics, read for a few minutes, and then power down for the night. In the morning, you’ll find yourself more refreshed, alert, and focused on the tasks ahead.
Aside from the techniques and tactics previously mentioned, it helps to remember that better focus and concentration are skills that anyone can develop. But it does take desire, intention, and consistency to experience results.
In many ways, training your mind is like training your body. What seems difficult at first tends to get easier with time. Establishing your routine comes first but sticking with it each day is what facilitates progress.
Because as you continue training your mental strength improves. You’re able to focus and concentrate for longer periods of time. Your tasks get done faster. And you produce higher-quality work to show for it.
A good analogy is thinking about the propeller on an airplane. It takes tremendous force to complete the first few revolutions. Yet, once you start generating momentum, each successful revolution requires less effort.
Your focus might be weak right now. But with regular practice, it will get better.
We’re all human and human beings possess a finite amount of willpower. We can focus for only so long before we exhaust ourselves. And, as much as we try and fight it, humans give in to temptation.
The key is to recognize this process for what it is – part of life. Things come up, family members get sick, and well, sometimes, we just don’t want to do the work.
And that’s okay.
Rarely does anyone have a successful outcome on the first (or even the 10th) try of anything. It takes countless iterations to strike the right balance and achieve our goals.
But in the meantime, we have to be like Elsa and “let it go.”
The final step in improving mental clarity. If you do lose momentum and veer off course sometimes, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just gently right the ship and bring yourself back on track.
A slip-up doesn’t mean abandoning your goals, losing faith, or punishing yourself forever. Give yourself permission to fail and vow to try again. Learn from your mistakes, figure out what you can do differently next time, and take it from there.
In the end, improving focus and concentration is more of a marathon than a sprint. Each daily practice builds upon itself to create a larger, more meaningful end result.
Techniques like pomodoro sprints, scheduled time blocks, and distraction-free environments can help. However, sustainable improvement also requires a holistic approach.
For instance, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine. Meditating, relaxing, and getting a good night’s sleep. Along with being kind to yourself and practicing forgiveness when you hit those inevitable stumbles.
Tools like Elisi make the entire process easier. Offloading thoughts and organizing ideas in your digital bullet journal frees up mental space, reduces stress, and allows you to be more productive.
And isn’t that what we’re all trying to achieve?