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To Improve Your Focus, Notice How You Lose It

By Michael Lipson

We’ve all been there: You try to focus on a task, and soon you’re looking out the window, wondering about dinner, analyzing your golf game, fantasizing about your lover. How did your mind end up in Cancún when you were supposed to be thinking about first-quarter strategy?

The normal act of concentration or attention is a mess, but it’s a mess with a specific structure. To learn to sharpen your focus, you can start by understanding this “structure of distraction”—how, exactly, your concentration strays in the first place.

Over the past 20 years working as a clinical psychologist, I have led workshops and meditation groups that have taught people from all walks of life to see the ...

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