We live in a fast-paced, attention grabbing culture. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant barrage of stimuli and information vying for your attention. From the incessant pings of notifications to the endless scroll of social media feeds. Focus is a key indicator of performance and living a balanced life. By executing the proper strategies, you can avoid overstimulation and manage burnout to live a better life.

Establish boundaries

Setting boundaries is essential for protecting your time, energy, and mental well-being. Boundaries allow you to save energy on decisions. The right set of boundaries will allow you to remain focused on your long-term goals.

Boundaries are very personal to you. Here are some questions to get you started:

Technology boundaries: When do you use it? For how long? What notifications will you allow to show up and grab your attention?

Personal boundaries: Who do you spend time with? How does this time make you feel? Do you like that feeling? What would you change?

Workplace boundaries: What is your maximum capacity? How do you communicate that with your team? When are you available? When are you unavailable? How much time needs to be uninterrupted?

Asking the right questions will help you understand where your limits are. This allows you to defend against overstimulation. Whether it’s requests at work or notifications from friends, things seek your attention. It is time to treat it like the valuable resource it is.

Single-tasking:

We have chosen to glorify multitasking to the point where you could impress by having it on a resume. I view it as an excuse to lose focus and is actually detrimental in the long term. The ability to focus on a single activity has become a lost art.

Our brains take about 15 minutes to focus on a difficult task. I am sure you are familiar with the “God I do not want to do this” stage. The focus activation period is very important and the 15 minute timer restarts when interrupted. This means if your phone buzzes, a slack message comes through, or you check your email you have to start all over. So this means that you likely spend none of your time in a focused state. Burnout results from your attention being pulled in every direction with no time to stay on a task.

So block off time in your calendar where no one is allowed to bother you. Your only focus is that horrible thing you need to get done. This allows you to remain focused and 90% of the time you will finish well before you expected.

Block out the Noise:

Life is an accumulation of the things that we choose to do and do not do. Many of us like to focus on the things we do that are good: got that assignment done, met that deadline, had a workout this morning. You pay less attention to the habits you sink time into that do not benefit you. Scrolling social media, binging netflix, or eating a whole pizza. Those minutes, hours, and calories also count.

Decide what is important to you and pursue it with every ounce of your being. The world has been built to distract you from your goals. Your news feed offers endless hits of dopamine to keep you engaged. Media screaming at you with words like “obliterated”, “destroyed”, and “embarrassing”. Then offering you every problem that plagues society. Focus is the key to dealing with a world competing for your attention.

What is getting in the way of your focus?

 

By Blake Farris

About the Author

Blake Farris is the Founder and Head Dopamine Coach of Mito Coaching. He is a professional executive coach with several years of experience in the personal wellness industry. He combines neurochemical expertise with the art of coaching. This allows him to produce customized plans for clients to achieve their dreams. Blake’s mission is to help clients navigate a world of abundance with the neural circuitry meant for a world of scarcity.

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