I Want to Be Able to Focus Better
One of the most important mental skills is being able to focus on the task before you without letting your attention wander. Not being able to focus can hinder you in a lot of ways in your work life as well as your personal life.
At work, maybe you take a long time before you’re able to concentrate, or you get easily distracted, resulting in it being hard for you to get a lot done. Or maybe you have trouble breaking down tasks and information into manageable parts, and you feel overwhelmed, and then you avoid the issue.
In your personal life, maybe you have trouble following along with movies. Or maybe you get distracted while reading and start daydreaming mid-sentence, so you end up reading the same lines over and over. Or maybe you easily lose track of number sequences like phone numbers, or moving objects such as the cursor on your screen.
No matter what form it takes in your life, inability to focus is a serious problem that holds you back. The good news is that this isn’t some unchangeable part of who you are—you simply haven’t fully developed the skills that make you able to focus properly.
With proper mental training, you can overcome these challenges and learn to keep your attention on the task at hand.
Root Causes of Focus Issues
The ability to focus comes with developing a set of four key skills, which may be underdeveloped in different combinations and amounts. These are field discrimination, analysis and synthesis, motor integration, and tracking:
- Field Discrimination is the ability to stay focused on your target despite other stimuli possibly distracting you, while still being aware of those stimuli in case they’re important. This means staying engaged while negotiating with people, not letting your personal life distract you from work, and not getting tripped up by the politics of your organization.
- Analysis and Synthesis is being able to break up issues or concepts into smaller parts that are easier to handle, seeing how they relate to each other, and seeing if they fit together logically. This helps you effectively sort through and process ideas so you won’t get overwhelmed and shut down.
- Motor Integration is the habit of planning before beginning your task. Drawing on the other skills including the ones mentioned, it allows you to suspend your emotions, plan your path forward, and stick to it.
- Finally, Tracking is simply organizing how your eyes and brain interact to process inputs. This means learning to follow a line of text or a moving object without deviating. In that sense, it’s sort of like field discrimination for the eyes.
When these skills are neglected, this is when issues arise and you start having trouble maintaining focus.
Improving Your Focus
We at Critical Thinking for Success will train you in the skills required to build your ability to focus, by teaching you a range of mental habits and exercises.
Your brain is like any other muscle, and regular daily “workouts” in the skills you’re bad at go a long way. For example, we train your field discrimination through a variety of puzzles similar to the popular “Where’s Waldo” book series, and your tracking through mazes. By assigning you challenges that target your specific needs and then tracking your progress, we can observe how you build these skills in a measurable way.
Other ways we help train you include changing daily habits and the way you organize your life. We help you practice planning out your life events, your work projects, and other projects. Once you’ve developed these habits and integrated them into your life, you’ll find yourself much more capable of staying focused and getting things done when and how you want them done.
So, if these are changes you want to see in your life, contact us for a consultation. We’ll always stay focused on helping you develop yourself.