How much money do you spend on Adderall to help you focus on tasks? Maybe it’s helpful, but it’s not healthy for your wallet and possibly not for your body in the long run. If you’re out, between refills, or just want to give it up, let’s look at some ways to focus that are both cheaper and possibly healthier.
The Problem With Focusing
How often do you tell yourself you’re really going to focus on the assignment this time, and 30 minutes later, you’re watching videos about AI singularities and the robot apocalypse? Motivation is like a big, heavy rock. Getting the ball rolling is the hardest part, and if you don’t give it enough force, it’ll come back and crush you. There’s a better solution: hyperfocusing.
Don’t Just Focus, Hyperfocus
There are plenty of activities and people vying for your attention, but they (usually) don’t hold a candle to electronics. Technology is the most effective distraction there is. Keeping it easily accessible puts you at risk of getting lost in the darkest corners of the Internet.
When you need to laser-focus on your final project due two days from now, put everything else on full lockdown. Turn off your phone, don’t open any browser tabs, lock your door, close your windows, pre-cook 10 meals and leave them at your desk. Okay, maybe don’t close your windows and overload your desk with meals, but you get the point: Actively remove every distraction you can think of and focus on one task at a time.
It’s Called Compartmentalization
Compartmentalization is a defense mechanism that puts emotions and thoughts “in their place” so you can cope with difficult situations. Compartmentalizing isn’t only associated with psychological trauma; it’s an incredibly useful tool for focusing on what’s important right now.
Do you really need to speculate on what will happen on the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy when you have hours of work piled on your desk? No, so don’t think about it. Your mind may wander, but actively stop that train of thought and put it aside in your mind. Keep the task in front of you as the primary point of focus.
What you’re doing is isolating the important from the trivial — the signal from the noise. If you can prevent random thoughts from drifting through your head during work time, you’ll have nothing but focus and flow on your mind. Once you’ve finished your work, then you can go back to Netflix or hang out with friends.
It’s incredible what you can accomplish with an hour of nothing but laser-focus on a specific task. You’ll probably get more done than you think. Try compartmentalizing your headspace during your next crunch session and let the results speak for themselves.