When you think about what your most precious resource is, you might say money or even time. Yet an author recently proposed a different resource that you may be overlooking: your attention. With so many distractions in modern life, attention has become important. How often have you intended to focus on a TV show, but found your phone in your hand? Or put off your to-do list in favour of something that seems far more exciting?
Losing your attention can be annoying on a day-to-day basis. It may mean you don’t do everything you want or affect your enjoyment of activities if your mind is elsewhere. These distractions can add up and affect your longer-term plans and goals too.
Distractions have always had an impact, but today it’s far easier to distract yourself than ever before. All you need to do is pull out your phone to catch up on the news, scroll through social media, or even stream a film. And, of course, your phone isn’t the only distraction in your home. As well as material items, it’s just as easy for your mind to wander when you should be giving something your full attention.
There are many reasons for creating distractions. You may be putting off doing something or fear missing out. On top of this, we’ve become used to multi-tasking. While that can be useful in some scenarios, it can be a challenge to give something the attention it deserves.
5 ways to improve your attention
1. Pinpoint why you lose attention
Your first step should be to figure out why your attention slips. Is it because you’re worried about something or trying to put off a task? Knowing why you’re not giving something your full attention can mean you’re able to make a meaningful change.
2. Set out a to-do list
If you find distractions mean you don’t achieve everything you want, a to-do list can be incredibly helpful. It can help keep you on track and leave you feeling more accomplished at the end of the day. A to-do list may include things like completing work tasks or household chores, but, if you struggle to carve out dedicated time for the things you enjoy, make these part of the to-do list too. That could include spending time with your family without technology distractions or dedicating an hour to reading a good book.
3. Stop multi-tasking
When something is important to you, give it your full attention. Multi-tasking can seem efficient, but it can mean your tasks take longer or that mistakes are more likely to happen. If it’s something you’re looking forward to, multi-tasking can mean you don’t get as much out of it as you’d hoped.
4. Spend time exercising
If you struggle to concentrate, exercising can help you regain your focus. It doesn’t have to involve hitting the gym for a workout – even a walk around your local area can boost your attention span and mean you’re able to focus on the task at hand.
5. Practice meditation
Meditation is the practice of focused concentration where you focus on the now. Taking just five minutes a day to practice meditation can help you focus and improve your concentration by taking this mindset into other parts of your day. When you meditate, you don’t need to try and clear your mind, but rather pay close attention to the present moment, particularly your own thoughts and emotions.
How financial planning can help you focus on what’s important
While financial planning helps you understand your finances, it also involves spending time deciding what’s important to you. That may be spending time with your family, progressing your career, or travelling more. It’s a step that can provide some clarity about where your time is best spent and what to focus on.
Financial planning can also help your attention in another way, by giving you confidence in the future. If you’re worried about something or are uncertain about your future, it can affect your focus and even enjoyment. One of the biggest things families worry about is money. From whether you have enough in an emergency fund to cover the unexpected to planning for retirement, finances can be a cause for concern.
Financial planning can provide you with confidence that you’re taking the right steps to achieve your long-term goals, allowing you to focus on what’s important now. If you’d like to speak to us, please get in touch.
Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.