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You don’t have to spend your days meditating in a monastery to take advantage of its attention-boosting power. Research has shown that just 10 to 20 minutes of meditation a day will do the trick. What’s more, you’ll even see improvements in your attention after just four days.
Not only can you compare exercising your mind to exercising your body, doing the latter actually directly benefits the former. Researchers have found that students who engaged in moderate physical exercise before taking a test that measured attention spans performed better than students who didn’t exercise.
Voluntary attention and willpower are intimately entwined. Our willpower allows us to deliberately ignore distractions while staying focused on the task at hand.
To stay on task, whenever something you want to check out pops into your head which is not related to your work, just write it down on a piece of paper next to you. Then once you have a break or have finished your work, you can look up the thought or topic that was distracting you earlier.