Nadia Goodman writes in Entrepreneur Magazine about the importance of “training your brain” to be focused.
She shares: “Our brains are finely attuned to distraction, so today’s digital environment makes it especially hard to focus. ‘Distractions signal that something has changed.’ says David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute and author of Your Brain at Work (HarperCollins,2009). A distraction is an alert that says, orient your attention here now; this could be dangerous.‘ The brain’s reaction is automatic and virtually unstoppable.”
She goes on to share 3 trips that will help you become more focused and productive:
1. Do Creative Work First
Typically, we do mindless work first and build up to the toughest tasks. That drains your energy and lowers your focus. “An hour into doing your work, you’ve got a lot less capacity than (at the beginning),” Rock says. “Every decision we make tires the brain.”
In order to focus effectively, reverse the order. Check off the tasks that require creativity or concentration first thing in the morning, and then move on to easier work, like deleting emails or scheduling meetings, later in the day.
2. Allocate Your Time Deliberately
By studying thousands of people, Rock found that we are truly focused for an average of only six hours per week. “You want to be really diligent with what you put into those hours,” he says.
Most people focus best in the morning or late at night, and Rock’s studies show that 90 percent of people do their best thinking outside the office. Notice where and when you focus best, then allocate your toughest tasks for those moments.
3. Train Your Mind Like a Muscle
When multitasking is the norm, your brain quickly adapts. You lose the ability to focus as distraction becomes a habit. “We’ve trained our brains to be unfocused,” Rock says.
Practice concentration by turning off all distractions and committing your attention to a single task. Start small, maybe five minutes per day, and work up to larger chunks of time. If you find your mind wandering, just return to the task at hand. “It’s just like getting fit,” Rock says. “You have to build the muscle to be focused.”
Let’s do some training!
Submitted by Russ/2014
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