By Vidagdha Madhav Das

Lord Krishna said: O mighty-armed Arjuna, it is undoubtedly difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment. (Bhagavad Gita 6.35)

Do you find it difficult to stay focused on your goals? Well, you are not alone when it comes to facing distractions and temptations. The default nature of the mind is to wander. Some people, however, are able to fight out and overcome the hurdles. The question is: why them and not you?

Here are tips to help you remain focused:

1. Take baby steps

When we overwhelm ourselves with some mammoth task, we become disheartened, because of which we may become distracted. We can reduce this internal chaos by beginning with smaller tasks.

If we want to become a skilled guitar player, we can practice the short music lessons every day. If we want to become a novelist, we can write at-least one article every week. If we want to crack a competitive exam, we can challenge ourselves with small mock tests every month. Such small-scale strides will gradually build our momentum and willingness to push through the tedious parts of accomplishing the ‘big’ goal.

2. Cultivate a healthy routine

We often become distracted due to untimely hunger, sleep, and fatigue. These bodily distractions are typically the repercussions of an irregular lifestyle.

The Bhagavad Gita compares our body to a machine and recommends a balanced lifestyle to maintain this machine in a good shape. One should be moderate in eating, sleep, recreation and work to mitigate misery (Bhagavad Gita 6.17).

For more tips on life balancing, read Balance Your Life – 4 Tier Formula

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3. Make technology work for you, and not against you

“Today is not the age of weapons of mass destruction but of mass distraction,” said Dr. Cornell West, a prominent professor at Princeton University. Life is fast and time flies while we are absorbed in unnecessary clutter – socializing on phone, audible email alerts, browsing on YouTube, making friends on Facebook and being up-to-date with the news. Radhanath Swami, a spiritual leader and practitioner of yoga, compares internet to a spider web. The fly is attracted to enter the web but later, finds it difficult to come out. Minutes of distraction turns into hours and hours into days. Beware if you want to be productive!

4. Stop being ‘people-pleaser’

Becoming a ‘yes man’ or ‘people-pleaser’ can hamper our focus. As the saying goes, “I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

5. Sharpen the saw

Practicing meditation and reciting sacred mantras helps us strengthen our inner well-being. Just as we exercise to keep our body fit, we need to spend quality time to feed our mind with positive energy. Sharpening a saw is not waste of time but investment for a better output.

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If we just go on with our usual disposition towards life, there is no end to the battle with distractions. Simultaneously, do not hope for an overnight miracle. You can strive for gradual progress by applying these simple tips. After all, becoming focused is not about doing extraordinary things, but doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.

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