How to Focus to Increase Your Productivity

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The average attention spam of adults today is five minutes. Ten years ago it was twelve minutes. What some believe has caused this decline is wrapped up in this quote. “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”  Today, we have a wealth of information at our fingertips every second of the day.


Since the development of the Smartphone, we have the ability to answer emails, surf the internet, text and call anytime. Smartphones are a huge distraction in our lives and this is just one example. Multitasking appears to be beneficial on the surface until you look at it deeper. Each time we mentally switch between tasks, we lose time and energy hence it actually drains mental energy. You will make more mistakes and lessen the quality of your work when multitasking. You might do three things at once but none are done exceptionally well. Experts agree that our brain cannot focus on two high level functions at once so today’s short article is about improving focus.


In the list of eight traits that successful people have number three is focus. Multibillionaire Warren Buffet moved to Nebraska from New York City because he couldn’t think amid all the distractions. Successful businesses don’t focus on providing five products or services at once but one done extremely well.


Focus is defined as the ability to stay concentrated on what you are doing and ignore distractions. Focus is like a muscle in our brain and the more you exercise it the stronger it becomes. So let’s look at what we can do help combat this decline. There are four basic steps and breathing is a good tool to use to start building focus.


  1. Focus on your breath

  2. Notice if your mind wanders and acknowledge

  3. Disengage from the thought

  4. Bring your focus back to your breath and hold it there


This will not be easy at first, but just start out trying to stay focused on your breath for thirty-seconds. Don’t get discouraged if your mind wanders after five-seconds. It’s all right because every time it wanders and you pull it back in, you are strengthening the focus muscle. Practice this every day and be patient.


In summary, improving your focus will spill across all aspects of your life. You will increase your productivity at work and home. Focusing better during training sessions at the gym will help you achieve better results. Being mindful or focusing while eating helps you make better choices and control impulses. Start out slow and work on it daily. Set your phone to silent when working, eating and at the gym but especially when doing your focus exercise. In a future article, we will discuss how focus helps us find Flow and its impact on our lives.

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Treves Janszen

Treves Janszen

Nutrition Coach at Thrive Fitness
Treves is a Level 1 Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition. She has been involved with fitness & nutrition for almost 10 years. Along with being a Nutrition Coach, Treves has 30+ years of healthcare experience as a Registered Nurse. In her spare time, Treves like to read, cook and lay by the pool (when it's sunny, of course!).
Treves Janszen