The inability to focus is has become a crisis (in my opinion) in the past decade. The amount of stimulus we receive on a minute by minute basis has increased with cell phones (Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, etc.). It’s mind numbing. Attention spans have decreased significantly.
How can we fix this? First, turn off the damn phone.
Second, create a technique to focus more on the task at hand. One technique is called force-focus. Here are the steps:
–Sit down with something you want to concentrate on (a book, work, etc.).
–Keep your attention on the subject as long as possible. The second you start to wander, bring your focus back.
–Focus is not about never getting distracted — it’s about being quick to bring your attention back.
This will train you to focus better in this loud crazy world. Try it.
The Fantastic Life Rule #11
Don’t Waste Time
Distractions happen. We often can’t control interruptions. But we can control how much time we waste on distractions. Stop wasting time, and starting cultivating focus.
How to Focus When You Can’t Concentrate
Using the force-focus technique.
By: Max Wesener | Published on February 19, 2022
Image created by the author.
The ability to focus DEEPLY is a bottleneck in many people’s ability to improve their lives.
This is a skill that most people have unlearned as a result of constant distraction and stimuli.
Now, it’s no secret that our attention spans have decreased greatly.
This might explain why the short video formats like TikTok, IG reels, and YT shorts blew up.
Now, entertainment and social media platforms capitalize on it by keeping us hooked with an endless stream of novelty.
But the consequences are for the individuals are severe: people are unlearning how to focus on ONE thing for an extended period of time.
This is a big deal. Meaningful work that is paid well requires one thing more than anything else: deep concentration.
In the past, I used to struggle with concentration too, so I know how frustrating it is.
So for this reason, I developed the following technique that you can use to TRAIN your ability to focus.
But keep in mind that just like with any other skill, it will take weeks and months to make progress.
First of all, you have to understand this: focus is something you do, not something you have.
It requires INTENTIONAL effort.
Now, the force-focus technique is very simple, but through repetition, it becomes a great tool. It goes like this:
Sit down with whatever you want to concentrate on (a book, your work, a lecture, etc.).
Your objective is NOT to get a specific result, but ONLY the following:
Keep your attention on the subject as long as possible, and as soon as you “catch” your thoughts wandering off, bring it back to the subject.
This is crucial. Focus is NOT about not getting distracted, it’s about becoming quick at bringing your attention back.
And by doing this exercise, you train that skill like a muscle.
But not only that. You also tell your brain by bringing back your attention that it should concentrate on the task at hand.
It might take you 5–15 minutes of bringing your attention back whenever you get distracted for your brain to realize: this is what we are focusing on now.
Once that happens, you enter flow and concentration becomes effortless.
Try it for a month and you will never look back.
See you tomorrow.
Your self-mastery coach Max