Losing focus happens to most of us every day. New research has found that even the most heavily distracted people can maintain focus in the short term by using this simple technique.
This technique also assists in developing your mental toughness with particular emphasis on your 4C’s sub trait of Commitment. This is your “stickability” trait, enabling you to avoid distractions and maintain focus to achieve your goals and targets.
The study by Thomas Gorman and Shawn Green from the Psychology Department of the University of Winconsin-Madison found that a short breathing exercise is enough to reset the mind and maintain focus.
The mindfulness technique to reset and maintain focus simply involved counting groups of nine breaths: nine inhales and nine exhales.
Ideal for media multitaskers
Gorman reported “in general, people perform better after this mindfulness task but we found a significant difference for heavy media multitaskers”. His colleague Dr C. Shawn Green explained “many people have had the experience where they’ve felt a phantom phone ring or vibration in their pocket. That means part of your attention is actively monitoring your leg, even while you’re trying to do other things. Most of us who study media multitasking think that monitoring lots of sources constantly, instead of devoting yourself to one thing, induces a more distributed attentional state”.
This breathing exercise works because it is “conceptually the opposite of media multitasking. It is deep focus on a single thing, and that single thing is not actually very demanding of your attention”. However, Gorman and Green also recognised that this technique has only short term effect to regain and maintain focus.
I tried this breathing exercise over the past week to regain focus and whilst I admit it works I still prefer to get up and walk around to reset and maintain focus.