How to Use Psychology to Train Your Mind to Focus

Sitting or lying in your bed day in and day out for weeks and months can really drive you insane. That’s why it’s important to keep your mind and body busy with something or the other, whether you’re working from home, attending online classes or just picking up new and old hobbies.

But one common thing that I hear people say is that they simply can’t focus. I hear you all cause focus is one thing I’m unable to force. Despite my motivation to work on my WIP or read a book I often find my brain getting distracted again and again.

distracted

 

But recently I’ve started applying a simple trick which has infinitely increased my focus and today I’m going to share it with you all. This can be applied to absolutely any field but I’ve been applying it to writing blog posts and working on my WIP for the past few weeks.

So here’s the thing, some of you may be aware of classical conditioning. You don’t have to be in the field of psychology to have heard of the famous experiment  where Pavlov used to ring a bell before feeding a dog repeatedly over a long period of time and discovered that the dog would start salivating even before the food was presented. The mere sound of the bell would trigger its salivary glands in expectation of food. 

Now what if I say that this can be applied to humans as well?

This is in no manner a new concept but I’m simply using it to establish focus. In general there are many applications of classical conditioning in humans. We start feeling hungry the moment we step into the kitchen. If we’re watching a terrifying movie while eating a certain food we might develop a certain aversion to that food later on. Christmas music can often trigger a happy mood and sweet memories. The examples are endless and are seen in every field.

Many of you know that some famous writers have their own quirks in their writing processes. For example, T.S. Eliot would wear green face powder and lipstick every time he would sit down to write and Fredrich Schiller insisted on having a drawer full of rotting apples and claimed that their smell inspired him to write. Now these are all bizarre practices but what you might notice here is that these are all triggering habits. For Schiller, every time he would start to write, the smell of the rotten apples would trigger his creative thoughts which is very similar to the conditioning of the dog that I explained above.

I’ll take a more recent and less strange example. Author Sandhya Menon lights up a different candle for every book she writes. She claims that she picks up a candle scent and lights it every time she’s working on a project. Sounds a simple enough habit, right? What might be happening is that the act of lighting the candle and it’s scent triggers the author’s brain to work on her book. 

original

 

I’ve personally been trying out this theory by lighting a candle before I sit down to write and putting on some binaural beats to listen to. As a result I’ve been much more productive and focused in my writing and often hours will pass by before I look up to see the time. Now part of this result might stem from the fact that binaural beats are meant to help you focus. I usually listen only to binaural beats but sometimes I shift to scene-specific music playlists on Spotify and they’ve been equally helpful for my focus.

So if you want to make a habit of focusing on your reading, writing or work just start doing a simple trigger action beforehand. This could be burning a candle, putting on a specific playlist, or even letting some apples rot…. if you’re into that

 

1566178106808.What do you think of this method of conditioning your mind to focus?

Do you have any quirky reading or writing rituals?

How do you get yourself to focus on important tasks?

 

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17 thoughts on “How to Use Psychology to Train Your Mind to Focus

  1. I remember this from when I took psych in college!! Yes, conditioning is a great idea. I recently started working at my desk in my room whenever I sit down to work on my WIP instead of wherever I just happen to be in the house. I’ve been doing this for a month and NOW when I sit down at that desk I get straight to work 😀 Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah I remember reading about this briefly for my first assignment haha. I struggle with focus, in general I’m usually listening to music if I’m doing something on the laptop. I can’t work in silence. I need background noise to distract my brain from getting distracted if that makes sense haha. So I usually listen to just normal music, instrumental music doesn’t really work because I need lyrics apparently (it’s weird because I know so many people who can’t focus if a song is playing with lyrics xD). Recently though I’m flicking between listening to country music and K-Pop depending on my mood.

    Another thing which triggers my focus is having a cuppa (is anyone surprised though haha) the act of making a cuppa or even just getting a drink and placing it on my coaster seems to help me refocus again. It doesn’t always work but a lot of the time if my focus keeps wandering, I’ll grab a drink and then come back and 8/10 times it works. Love this post Charvi! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehe that does make sense, although I’m one person you usually likes to work in silence. Omg really? Cause yesss lyrical music is so distracting for me but whatever works for you!

      Lmao nobody is surprised, you love your cuppas XD Ooh 8/10 is still great odds! Thank you for this lovely comment, I’m so glad you like this post ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like this idea, thank you! No habits yet but I do sometimes tell myself just 30 minutes to sit and focus on whatever I’m putting off, when I find myself procrastinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome!
      Oh that’s nice. I usually go for 5-10 minutes because 30 minutes feels to long and more often than not I get invested in whatever task I had been procrastinating on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been struggling with my attention span and focus lately so I will definitely try this technique. Thank you for sharing this! 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

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