3 Min Read
How to Improve Your Focus for One Hour Per Day and Change Your Life
Hey, you! Yeah, I'm talking to you. What are you looking at? Can you stop and read this for the next three minutes? Probably not, but give it a try anyway.
Let's be honest with ourselves. We have the attention span of a golden retriever at a squirrel farm. We constantly look for the next fast-moving object to give chase, and it's becoming a problem.
The world is monetizing our focus. In fact, there's a term for it called the attention economy.
- Social media pings and dings try grabbing our attention with the latest update on that thing we clicked on earlier.
- Breaking news uses fear to drive awareness toward the news outlet of our choice.
- Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are like slot machines delivering dopamine hits to keep our attention.
We live in a daily battle of psychological warfare for our attention, and we're losing. But, we can fight back by intentionally directing and improving our focus.
"You can drastically change your life in three to six months with one hour a day of pure focus." - Dan Koe (@thedankoe)
According to Joey Justice (@heyjoeyjustice) in his Laser Focus; 5 Tips for Fixing Your Fractured Focus, here's what we need to do to gain focus in our lives. We've broken it down into three tips. Read the book to find out more.
Increase clarity by decreasing uncertainty
When faced with a fight or flight situation, which most of our distractions force us to do, we need clarity to fend them off. Without certainty, we have no reason to fight.
Use this four-step system to increase clarity:
1. Brain dump - use a physical pen and paper to clear your mind of all internal distractions. Empty your brain by writing down every thought that pops into your head.
2. Define - write out the exact tasks necessary to complete a project. List out all your projects, from doing laundry to finishing that spreadsheet at work.
3. Categorize and prioritize - create categories like home, work, health, etc. and use the Eisenhower Matrix (free PDF here) to prioritize each task. This should help you determine what tasks to work on first.
4. Schedule - you know what you need to do, so put it on your calendar and make it happen. Block all the time necessary and devote that time to a single task.
Get yourself out of the chasing squirrels mindset and remove anything that may distract you.
- Put your phone into Do-Not_Disturb mode and place it somewhere out of reach.
- Close all unnecessary browser tabs or turn off the wifi if you don't need it for the task.
- Get out of the house or office if there are people who may interrupt your work.
- Put on some headphones with instrumental music or white noise.
Take care of yourself
A tired body and mind cannot focus. Mental and physical performance work in tandem, so improving one improves the other.
- Get daily exercise.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Get quality sleep.
- Prioritize recovery.
One of the most valuable aspects of focus is a genuine interest or curiosity. When we focus on things we enjoy, getting lost in the activity is much easier. Think about the last video game you started. Once you get into it and start leveling up, it takes a four-alarm fire to break your attention.
Unfortunately, very few things in life have the ability to hold our attention for long. Sometimes focus takes hard work and effort to avoid distractions. A single hour can pay off nicely by finishing the less enjoyable tasks allowing you to get to the fun ones.
Focusing for one hour per day may not seem like much, but the compounding effect of your efforts will pay off exponentially. It's also much harder than you think!
Give it a try for an hour and go longer if you can. You've made it three minutes so far!
Anther. Male wellness where it counts.