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Boosting Mental Discipline

Posted by JCC Pittsburgh on June 18, 2015

There are differences in how easy it is for people to resist distraction but we all have the potential to improve our focus. Boosting our mental discipline can help us to excel at work and any other interests…… And we all want to excel, right?

  1. Unitask. Multitasking may seem like a valuable skill, but the brain actually works best on one issue at a time. Think of the brain as a big ship- it takes a while to build momentum. Switching back and forth between tasks doesn’t give it enough time to address any particular problem.
  2. Get motivated. How much we actually want to work on a task greatly affects focus. Boost your motivation by thinking about how important the task is, the rewards of finishing it and what might happen if you don’t.
  3. Prioritize. You probably already do this or you would never get through the day. The more systematically you do it, though, the easier it will be to focus on a particular chore. That’s partially because in deciding which task is most important, you’re motivated by thinking about the outcome.
  4. Eat. A well-timed snack can help bring your attention back in line. The effort it takes to concentrate literally uses energy. On super-intense days, consider several mini-meals instead of one big one for a steady source of energy.
  5. Meditate. As little as 15 minutes of meditation a day can dramatically improve focus. Meditation improves self-awareness, so you know if your attention has drifted off, you can bring it back.

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