Undivided attention: 6 ways to focus that will make you happier

Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — By Sara Lindberg — Updated on October 20, 2022

If you have trouble staying on task or paying attention khổng lồ the details, eliminating distractions lượt thích your phone or trying techniques like Pomodoro timers or SMART goals may help.

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If there’s one thing we could all probably use a lot more of, it’s the ability lớn focus. But telling yourself lớn stay focused on a task, especially a mundane one, is often easier said than done.

The good news? Several techniques can help you zone in on the task in front of you. If you need help staying focused, try one — or all 10 — of these tips.

All people can experience poor attention khổng lồ detail or have trouble focusing sometimes. Some contributing factors may include:

being hungrybeing tired or having poor-quality sleepbeing stressedfeeling worried or anxiousbeing distracted by something in your environment

Sometimes, managing the cause of your inability to lớn focus can help resolve the issue. But if you often experience poor attention khổng lồ detail or have difficulty staying engaged in tasks that require your full attention, it may be a symptom of another condition.

These may include:

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)anxietydepressionautismlearning disorders like dyslexiaconditions that affect the chất lượng of your sleep, lượt thích insomnia or sleep apneaconditions that cause fatigue, lượt thích hypothyroidismpost-traumatic bít tất tay disorderconcentration deficit disorder

Doctors may also want lớn rule out conditions such as hearing loss & developmental disorders in children.

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If your difficulties staying focused result from a condition, a healthcare professional can help you find a treatment that may improve your focus.

You may also find that the following behavioral practices may help you approach your tasks with greater engagement & attention.

First things first: You need lớn eliminate distractions. While you can’t do away with everything, you can make an effort khổng lồ reduce or get rid of as many distractions as possible.

Start with the simple things like:

moving khổng lồ a quiet areaturning off notifications on your phone or turning your phone off altogetherclosing the door khổng lồ your officetelling those around you not to lớn distract you for a period of timeclosing out of programs or apps that aren’t essential on your computerplaying calming ambient music or white noisedeclutter the space where you will be working

Staying focused helps you get more done in less time. While that sounds simple enough, it’s not always easy lớn put into practice. So, the next time you’re wrestling with your attention span, try the Pomodoro technique.

This timing method helps you train your brain to stay on task for short periods. Here’s how it works:

Set your timer for 25 minutes & get to lớn work. When the buzzer sounds, take a 5-minute break. Then, set the timer again and get back to work. Once you’ve done four rounds of this, you can take a longer break, approximately đôi mươi to 30 minutes.