Unfortunately, in this fast-moving world with its myriad distractions, getting focused - and staying there - can present a major challenge.
However, my friend Karl Moore and his colleagues at Inspire3 - creators of cutting-edge products such as the Brain Evolution System and Brain Salon - may have a solution for you - and right now it won't cost you a single penny!
This month they are giving away, free and without obligation, a 30-minute MP3 titled "Focus" from their Brain Salon suite.
This is an audio MP3, but it's not self-hypnosis or anything like that.
Rather, it uses a technique called brainwave entrainment to help users achieve the brainwave profile associated with the desired mental state - in this case, a razor-sharp focus on whatever project you are currently working on. Here is a link to the free "Focus" download page.
I should probably say a few words about how "Focus" and the other sessions in Brain Salon work. Various methods are used by the Inspire3 team to promote entrainment, but perhaps the most important is binaural beats. To explain this, I need to start with a bit of theory...
If you've studied psychology (which I have - a long time ago!), you'll know that scientists can measure the electrical activity in our brains using a device called an electroencephalogram (EEG). It has been known for a long time that different mental states are associated with different patterns of electrical activity.
Someone who is fully awake and alert will exhibit relatively high frequency, low amplitude, electrical activity patterns (15-40Hz), known as beta waves. Someone resting or meditating will produce lower frequency alpha waves of 9 to 14Hz. This state is often associated with creativity, and is the frequency that the Self Development Network's Writers Block CD (which also uses binaural beats) aims to entrain. Below that are theta waves (5-8Hz), associated with daydreaming and free-flowing thoughts - this is also a highly 'creative' frequency. And finally, there are delta waves (1.5 to 4Hz), the lowest frequency waves that occur in sleep.
Unfortunately, you can't just entrain someone's mind by playing them sounds at these frequencies, as in general they are below most people's hearing thresholds. However, it has been discovered that if you play sounds of slightly different frequencies to each ear, they combine within the brain to create a low frequency resonance. If you play a tone of 320Hz in one ear and 330Hz in the other, for example, it will create a resonance at a frequency of 10Hz - the difference between them. 10Hz is an alpha wave frequency; so by using this method, your brain can be entrained into a high alpha state.
This does mean that to get the best results from "Focus" you should really listen to it via headphones so that the binaural beat effect can work optimally. It's not essential, however, as other entrainment techniques are used as well, and if you listen via stereo speakers you will still get some of the binaural effect.
I hope you will download and try out the Focus MP3 yourself while it's on free offer. I'd love to hear any thoughts about it you may have - please post them as comments below. I will aim to write a more in-depth review of the whole Brain Salon suite on my blog before too long.
Photo Credit: Wellspring of Focus by woodleywonderworks on Flickr. Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence.