It is possible to train your body to be able to run long distances or lift heavy weights. Just like that, it is possible to get better at focus. The ability to dive deep into your work or the task at hand, can make the difference between mediocre and fantastic work.

You won’t start running marathons out of nowhere: you start small, get your training in and get better over time. It’s the same with focus: if you want to get better, you need to set goals, train yourself and create an environment which help you succeed.

Some tips:

  • Remove distractions: it is hard to focus when there are other things screaming for your attention. Disable all notifications and listen to music that helps you focus.
  • Start small: if you find it really difficult to get focussed, try starting with just 5 or 10 minutes of time to get a specific thing done. As soon as this works, increase the amount of time in small steps.
  • Try techniques like the Pomodoro Technique: different people use different tactics, so figure out what works for you. Time matters too: some people are really good with cranking out work at night. Some like mornings. I believe the ability to focus is a universal skill that can be applied to any part of the day.
  • Schedule blocks of focus time: focussing is really hard if you know you have just 45 minutes before a next appointment. The feeling of an open stretch of time ahead can be a huge help in getting to a focussed state.
  • Don’t multitask: the absolute worst enemy for focus is multitasking. It goes hand in hand with removing distractions, knowing what and why you’re doing something, but make sure you’re really focussing on a single thing. Other stuff popping up? Write them down for later processing and get back to the task at hand.