To those that suffer from chronic procrastination, the ability to maintain your concentration on a single task can seem like a superpower. To an EA, this is a skill they should try and develop as much as possible. Here are three tips to help you build on your ability to focus and become a master of concentration?
1. Work with your natural schedule
We all have different times of day where our brains seem unable to focus. Sometimes holding your concentration involves a bit of give and take - trying to focus late in the afternoon when you're a morning person can seem an impossible task. You don't want to discourage yourself from the task, so try and choose a time of day that will suit you best to tackle it.
2. Use a time scheduling technique
If you struggle to keep focused for hours at a time, using a time periodisation technique can help keep you on track. The Pomodoro technique, for example, has you working for 25 minutes, at which point you're able to have a five minute break. You keep working in cycles like this until you come to a scheduled longer break.
The reason techniques like this can be so effective is that you only need to convince yourself to work for a short period of time. Much of procrastination is the feeling of an overwhelming task ahead; this way, you only have 25 minutes of work ahead of you each time, which is a much easier pill to swallow.
3. Be mindful of when you begin to slip
Often the distractions we deal with every day are not even things that we consciously do. Many of us instinctively pull out our phones, only to mindlessly browse through social media or news apps.
The key to stopping habits like this in their tracks is to be aware of the distractions when they happen. As odd as it sounds, noticing that you've become distracted can be a difficult thing to do. Whenever you notice that you've moved off your task, pull your attention back to the goal at hand - but don't beat yourself up about losing focus. Losing concentration is inevitable; the key is in always trying to pull it back.
Building your ability to focus isn't an impossibility. All it takes is a little forethought and planning.