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Focus: An overview and influencing factors


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What is Focus?

Experts define focus as a concentratng energies and interests in particular thing, but it is worth noting that the focus depends on the ignoring ideas. elimination is a prerequisite for focus. [1]

The ability to control the option of saying “no” to certain ideas. [2]

What you don’t do determines what you can do.

-Tim Ferriss

Inability to Focus

Most people don’t have trouble with focusing. They have trouble with deciding.

Have you ever had a task that you absolutely had to get done? What happened? You got it done because the deadline made the decision for you. Once things became urgent and you were forced to make a decision, you took action.


Multitask is doing 2 things or more at the same time, but it doesn’t mean that you can focus on all tasks at the same time. However, you can focus only on one thing.

When you multitask your brain keep switching your attention constantly. For example if  you are writing an email, talking with someone on phone and eating Pasta, your brain will focus only at one of those tasks each time in a quick process.

In the previous example, when you choose the words to write the content of the email, the phone call and the Pasta dish will be in the background noise until you write them, and when you focus on what the person -who is talking on the phone- says, the email and Pasta dish will be in the background noise. When holding a fork to eat Pasta the e-mail and call will be in the background noise… and so on.

So, the more tasks a person performs, the less he can focus efficiently on them.

The myth of multitasking is that it will make you more effective. In reality, remarkable focus is what makes the difference. (Image inspired by Jessica Hagy.)
The myth of multitasking is that it will make you more effective. In reality, remarkable focus is what makes the difference. (Image inspired by Jessica Hagy.)

Helpful Strategies

It starts with our ability to set priorities, then make a decision and get it done right away. It may not seem easy at first time, so you can use the following strategies:

  1. Write down the tasks to be done this week. For example: 25 tasks.
  2. Determine the first 5 priority tasks over the rest.
  3. Do the five tasks and make two lists, a list of what has been accomplished, and a list of what needs to be done.

The goal of taking these steps is to reduce distraction and stimulate decision-making to do what needs to be done with high efficiency and high concentration.

Measure Results

The brain needs to know that you are making a progress in what you do, to keep the pace of attention as possible. So measuring the results is important to keep you focused.

The evaluation is by using the numbers or by tracking up what has been achieved, and if there is an improvement or a decrease in performance. Such as calculating the number of pages that you read per day from a book, or recording the values ​​you believe in. Or knowing the time you spend in front of the computer every day.

Measuring results plays a major role in understanding ourselfs and to identify our weaknesses, what we should focus on and what should be neglected. Which reflects on our thinking about the outcome and helps us to control the factors that affect individual’s performance. [3]

Factors that increase Focusing

  • Have a good night’s sleep.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Exercise to help sharpen focusing.
  • Hop to clarify thinking and relax.

Food that stimulates brain to stay focused

  1. Coffee.
  2. Fruit juice.
  3. Whole grains rich in fiber, dairy and fruits.
  4. Fish.
  5. Nuts and chocolate.
  6. Avocado.
  7. Berries.
  8. Nutritional supplements such as vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene and magnesium. [4]
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