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How To Focus Like A Monk

Monks are known for their laser-sharp focusing abilities.  If you would like to learn how to focus like a monk, then look no further. If you’re a regular on this site, this post may sound familiar, but it is in fact, different.  This excerpt, originally written by Leo Babauta has been take from zenhabits.net and provides straight forward guidelines of how to get your focus back on track.

How To Focus Like A Monk

Focus Best Practices

There is no one way to find focus, but what works for me is to clear everything away and create a little space of tranquil focus. Some tips for doing that:

  • Close the browser and your email program. If you need to work in the browser then make sure no tabs or windows are open other than the one you absolutely need.
  • Turn off all notifications. Trying to focus while something is notifying you of an incoming email or tweet or Facebook update is impossible.
  • Turn off the Internet. Shut off your connection, unplug your router, or best yet, go to a place where the is no Internet (yes, those still exist). This is the absolute best way to find focus.
  • Close all programs and windows other than what you need for this one task.
  • Have a very important task to do. Not just “check email” but “write chapter in my novel” or “write that kick-ass blog post I’ve been planning” or “write that new Android app”.
  • Clear your desk. No need to spend all day on this — shove everything in a drawer or put it in a box to be sorted later. Don’t fiddle with this now. In fact, don’t fiddle with anything — don’t worry about the perfect setup or perfect notebook for writing or the perfect anything.
  • Plug in the headphones. If you have people around who might distract you, wearing headphones and playing some good, peaceful music is perfect.
  • Use a simple program. For writing, I like plain text editors (TextEdit, TextWrangler) or writing programs that block everything out (OmmWriter, WriteRoom). No distractions.

Click here to read more and visit the original source of the article

So there you have it, your focusing challenges are over! You may have come across similar tips on how to focus like a monk but I thought these were so straight forward and made a lot of sense.  The full article explains how to learn how to focus for longer, by taking small steps and increasing your focusing time incrementally each day. What did you think of this article? Please share below.


Train Your Brain To Focus Like a Monk

If you would like to learn how to train you brain to focus like a monk, then this article is a must read.  Susan Perry, Ph.D, a social psychologist and writer for of Psychology Today talks about what happens with our brains when we focus and break focus, and provides some useful ways to focus.
  • Wear headphones or earplugs: If loud noises are the biggest cause of distraction then the most logical approach is to remove them from the equation. Noise cancelling headphones or earplugs can do this easily. The important thing to remember is that distraction doesn’t come from just loud noises that are directed at you (someone shouting your name) but loud noises in general. That includes the car bumping Cyndi Lauper, the fire truck screaming down the road, and even a loud furnace turning on. All of these are enough to break your focus. If you want to get really hardcore about blocking your outside sound cues, consider recording your entire day on a digital recorder to find where and when those sounds are coming so you can reschedule your day around them.
  • Strap on your digital blinders: Seeing as how you probably don’t want to literally wear blinders when you want to focus on a task, the next best thing you can do is remove the visual cues from your environment. For most of us, this means blocking audio and visual notifications. We’ve mentioned before that notifications are evil and since they typically come with both distraction triggers, audio and visual, they can wreck serious havoc on your concentration. You can set up timed internet blocks that block the likes of email or Facebook, use browser extensions to keep you on track, or if all else fails, simply close down your email, throw your phone in another room and get to work. Your solutions will vary, but the point is you want to block those notifications that call attention to anything other than the task you’re working on.  Click here to visit the original source of the article

Removing distractions is key to focus.  What I appreciated in this article was the point about ‘notifications being evil’, and by notifications, she refers to anything that can interrupt your focus. This can be emails, phone calls, texts, television sounds, loud noises, someone calling your name etc.  If you want to train your brain to focus like a monk, then you need to exclude yourself from the outside world, and remove notifications.  Each time you allow yourself to get distracted, it apparently takes 25 minutes to re-establish your focus.  Not only that but it tires your brain if this happens over and over again – a very interesting point!