How to fix lack of focus

I have always struggled with focus. The reason it took me so long to figure this out was because I did not even know that I had lack of focus. How could I fix lack of focus if I didn’t even know I had a focus problem?

As I share in this video (watch this to know how to refocus your life), I had a lot of excuses. Over the years, I have come to realize the three most deadly distractions that are killing your focus.

Whenever I wanted to add more projects to my life, I would wonder “How do I increase my focus stamina?”

Which was, as you’ll see, a wrong question to ask. I thought I needed to improve my focus, I thought I needed to improve my attention span.

But the biggest thief of my focus was distractibility.

I want to share with you these three steps so you can remove distractions at work (or while studying)

3 Fundamental Strategies to Fix Lack of Focus

The three strategies help reduce distractions and increase your focus. InshAllah. They are:

  1. How to manage your phone addiction!
  2. Figure out your AAAC List (this was where I suffered with focus the most)
  3. Manage “Edutainment” in your life

Let us now see how these three strategies can help us avoid distractions, seize the workday and refocus our lives. InshAllah.

Manage Your Phone

The phone is the largest source of distraction in our life.

Re-read the above statement, and ask yourself, “do I believe in this statement?”

I have asked this question to so many people, and they all agree that social media is so easy to get lost in.

Of course the phone is a tremendous tool and has absolutely changed the way we work and study.

how to fix lack of focus

But we must control this source of distraction. We must not let the negatives of the phone outweigh the positives.

Tips to remove distractions from your phone:

  1. Fall in love with the airplane mode (goes well with the pomodoro technique)
  2. Remove all social media consumption apps from the phone. This is a radical step for many but this is how I’ve been using my phone for the longest time, Alhumdulillah. If someone who uses social media for work, if they can do it, you can do it too. Remember why you’re doing this: so you can find focus in your life and achieve your biggest goals inshAllah.
  3. Become a creator on your phone, and consume social media only via desktop/laptop etc. I share and show you my phone set up to minimize distraction in this video (the link is time marked, so click and watch only that section if you want)

Of course, these tips are not for everyone. Only for those who want to refocus in their lives.

Get more insights with this checklist to remove distraction from your life

Figure out your AAAC List

Here’s how you can find your focus (especially if you are looking to focus on one thing at a time!)

  1. List down all your projects that you are currently doing (include work projects, family, personal, everything)
  2. Normally when people make such lists, they come up with 15 to 25 projects they plan to work on, or are actively working on
  3. Now, circle the five most critical / useful / important projects from that list.
  4. The remainder of the list is your Avoid At All Costs List (AAAC List)

The deception that we fall for is such that:

You work on a single project. You eventually get bored or run into a challenge. Instead of sticking with it, you find some other important project to work on.

This sounds nice. But then you are hopping between supposedly important projects, and nothing ever gets completed.

So ban yourself from working on the AAAC list. Note: these are still important projects but you will only start working on them, once you have done the most important ones.

Focus is not just knowing what to pay attention to, it is also about knowing what not to pay attention to.

Managing Edutainment

You search for “how to study for my upcoming exam”. And an hour later you are looking at how giraffes get their spots. What!? This is the way of Edutainment.

In the first strategy, we considered the distractions provided by the phone, more specifically Social Media.

But this edutainment content is most commonly found on YouTube. And YouTube knows how to suck you in. A lot has been written about their skill at keeping you on the platform. And that’s fine. But what if that is at the expense of your focus?

How many times have you searched for something educational, and 30 minutes later you are looking at something else. This is entertaining content but disguised as education.

This type of content subtly lowers your guard: you are not watching any entertainment, you are educating yourself. But then it sucks you in because the YouTube suggested videos know what you want to watch next.

That’s why YouTube education is not as simple and easy as it looks. That’s why we have student portals designed to remove all distractions from your study and work projects.

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