Focusing is the art of being fully present and staying concentrated on a task. The ability to focus is something you can be naturally strong or weak at, however, is much the same as almost all skills/muscles, the more it is intentionally worked, the stronger it gets.
Stage 1 - Be in the here and now.
As Kevin Horsely, memory expert and world record holder states, We fill our minds with all kinds of conflict, which takes away from the moment. Have you ever had a fight with someone at home, then spent the whole work day trying to concentrate? Conflict pulls your mind in many directions; it is the opposite of concentration. When your mind is at peace, you can enjoy the moment and your mind becomes like a laser beam. Peace and concentration are the same thing.
Stage 2 - Stop multitasking.
Often construed as a strength or an asset, multitasking has actually been shown, time and time again to be inferior to focusing on a single task at hand. Neuroscientist Marilee springer states that it can typically lead to 50% more mistakes.
Make it an intentional habit to do one thing at a time, do not entertain the temptation to flick between tasks, note down anything that has the ability to distract you or that you want to get back to, freeing you to think about it later.
Stage 3 - Have a clear purpose.
Your mind does not aimlessly wander, it moves to something it is interested in, so, combat this by knowing exactly what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. Without a clear ‘why’ you can not measure success or progress. Seeing progress is key to staying motivation/engaged.
Stage 4 - Proper sleep & nutrition.
All of the stages above if executed perfectly will not fix brain fog or lethargy, for this you will need to look at your sleep & nutrition. We have covered sleep and cognitive boosting nutrition in this blog, if you have not read them take a look.