In our previous post, we talked about four things you can do to get your focus back. In this post, we will go through the remaining three treatments and introduce a 7×7 method you can apply in your life.
Treatment 5: Read
Reading here means “books,” not articles or news on cellphones. Books won’t pop out new notifications to distract you. However, we still find it hard to stay focused on reading unless the stories are very attractive. Frequently pausing on reading to do other things can harm our ability to stay focused. Just like muscles, focus needs to be trained to get stronger. If you do suffer from distraction, I recommend the “20-page method.” 20 pages are short enough for you to stay focused and long enough for you to train your brain. Try to tell yourself, “before finishing these 20 pages, I will not put down my book.” next time before reading.
Treatment 6: Exercise
When you go to the gym and look around, you’ll find that many people are doing something else while exercising, like listening to music, watching television, or scrolling through social media. Although exercising might be tough, the process of doing it is actually the best time for you to totally focus on your own body. How do my muscles feel during this movement? Do I breathe smoothly during exertion? Do both of my feet step steadily during running? Paying attention to your movements can not only make your body stronger but also train your brain.
Treatment 7: Leave your cellphone alone for 1 hour after waking up.
Checking your phone right after waking up primes your brain for distraction. Seeing or reading something negative first thing in the morning can trigger your stress response and put you on edge for the rest of the day. Similarly, if you see unanswered work emails, you may feel compelled to respond even while you’re still lying in bed. That’s a problem because there are so many requests, interruptions, unexpected surprises, reminders, and problems that there’s very little that can’t wait a minimum of 59 minutes.
The 7×7 method
The seven treatments we’ve mentioned above take time to get used to. Maybe you want to try them out immediately after reading these articles, but wait. Our willpower is not limitless. Trying to accomplish everything in a short time will exhaust us and cause us to rebound soon, just like losing weight.
A better way to change our lives is by utilizing the 7×7 method. In the first week, pick one of the seven treatments to practice every day. After the first week, you’ll practice each of them once. Don’t push yourself too hard. On the second week, pick two of them to practice, and so on. You might not feel any change or difficulty at first, but don’t worry and don’t try to get ahead of schedule.
On the fourth or fifth week, things are going to get harder and harder when you try your best to implement 4-5 things in one day. You might now feel frustrated and tranquil at the same time. Try to record your feelings and findings in your diary. You will notice a huge change in both your mind and your body. By the seventh week, you’ve integrated these seven treatments into your life. You can enjoy the fruits of your patience.