Focus is sometimes a brain-drain that makes you careless

Deploying your laser-like faculties to excess may stop you taking in what’s really going on

Too much focus  drains your brain of energy and makes you care less about people. File photograph: Getty Images

Too much focus drains your brain of energy and makes you care less about people. File photograph: Getty Images

 

Focus is an invaluable trait, but too much focus can sometimes be a problem: it drains your brain of energy, makes you care less about people and prevents you from seeing what is happening around you.

Below are some common signs that you might be focusing too much:

Not having as much energy as usual

If you find that you get too tired too often, consider that you may be overusing your brain’s capacity to focus. If you are experiencing overall fatigue, you might try building a period of time to unwind into your day.

Not operating at your peak

To manage your brain’s demands, you should time your work so your energy levels peak only when necessary. To accomplish this, spend time unfocusing by going for a walk, and do something exploratory to activate your openness to experiences.

Not reaching your goals

Imagining your goals helps you reach them, but when you focus too much you turn off your brain’s imagining circuits, which can affect your ability to reach your goal. Take time every week to imagine how you can get to your goals, and to simulate some ways of getting there.

Feeling easily overwhelmed

When you feel overwhelmed, it may be because you have been hunkering down in a focused mode for too long, which reduces the very mental flexibility that you need to complete multiple tasks at once. Mindfulness or simple physical stretching exercises in the middle of the day can help you feel more relaxed, and loosen your grip on conscious control. – Copyright Harvard Business Review 2017