Updated: Apr 13, 2021
See if you can relate to any of these:
You are out taking a walk or run out in nature or in your neighborhood and you cannot remember anything you just saw or heard. Your brain was completely elsewhere.
Someone is speaking directly to you and your mind is somewhere else -- like your to-do list, worrying about another problem, or the conversation with a co-worker from earlier in the day (or week).
You sit down to do some work at your desk and an hour goes by and you still have no work done.
You find yourself sitting to practice meditation and you find yourself physically there, but mentally in another time zone.
Being focused is a part of life. When we struggle with focus or concentration, oftentimes people feel frustrated either with themselves or the situation. The problem usually is that people don't understand why they're having focus difficulty, so they cannot figure out what to do.
Some possible reasons for having difficulty with concentration or focus could be:
A packed To Do List. We know that when your brain is trying to look at many things at once, concentration will weaken. This will also cause us higher levels of stress and your ability to concentrate severely decreases even more.
Worry. Worry is very prevalent and is a self-inflicted cause of stress.
Lack of Sleep. Most of us know what it feels like to not have had enough sleep and if you think about it, when we are tired, we cannot focus easily.
Perfectionism. Do I need to express how pervasive this one can be on stress levels?
Boredom. Focus and concentration is also challenging when we are bored.
Mental Health Concerns. One of the characteristics of depression and anxiety are concentration or memory issues. If you are suffering from either of these, you may experience issues of focus.
"Okay, so what do I do about it?"
Building focus and concentration is hard
And, although most people don’t like it, I must tell you that concentration is a learned skill -- even if you have ADHD. It comes down to training your brain and being open to trying again and again.
Here are some suggestions to build better focus:
Lifestyle is everything. Do you give yourself permission to be realistic in what you expect from yourself?
Intentionally do things one at a time
Journal out your thoughts at least once a day, so your brain does not have to keep scrolling through them
Get out and do things which make you feel stimulated
If you are a fast mover, intentionally slow yourself down. Walk slower, do the dishes slower, drive slower, or whatever it is that you do quickly.
Twice a day, spend time focusing on your breath. Start with 1 minute each time, then gradually increase.
Take care of your mind and body. If you suffer from depression or anxiety and have not addressed it, please consider seeing a professional. Feed and move your body the way it needs.
My clients will often give me a list of reasons why these suggestions don’t work for them. They tell me how their situation is special or they don’t have the time to slow down. I have no doubt that people believe these to be true and they have their own perceived evidence to back it up.
Concentration and focus are valuable commodities which allow us to fulfill the needs and desires of our hearts. So, don’t train your brain to think, "I can’t!", because you really can! There is tremendous value in practice and NOT GIVING UP.
I have had the privilege to help clients transform their focus issues and fulfill their dreams. Think it’s too good to be true? Give me a try! Schedule a 30 minute free session with me today!