It is not a boast to say that staying focused and determined contributes a great deal to our success, not just in our career but also in our life. It is the gateway to every desired cognitive ability, such as reasoning skill, perception, critical thinking, decision making, and many more. Yet, it is easier said than done to stay on track of your target in the world full of temptations.
Learning how to focus is not hard, yet it does require patience and willpower. In this article, I would love to share some simple things that guarantee to boost your concentration skills, which has proven useful for me until now.
12 Things To Help You Focus
The most obvious way to enhance your concentration is undoubtedly to keep yourself away from everything that can steal your attention.
Believe it or not, there are a variety of things that interfere with your ability to focus, such as phone notifications, noise, news, social media, and trivial programs on your computer. Also, your co-worker, friend, or family members may interrupt you without acknowledging it.
One recommended solution for this problem is to carry out your work somewhere unpretentious and quiet in nature , such as the library or a private room.
If not possible, at least try to tell the people around you not to disturb you for a while. Last but not least, avoid using phones as much as possible if it is not necessary for your work. It seems hard at first, but a small change leads to big progress, isn’t it?
Not all distractions originate from external factors. Internal disturbances like exhaustion, fatigue, worry are unavoidable too. But don’t worry! There are many ways to overcome these nemeses from the inside, and mindfulness meditation is a highly advisable method that has been well supported by many researchers.
Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation does wonders for your mental health and your ability to focus. In theory, it means that you would become more mindful of your actions, which suggests that you pay extra attention to everything you do.
It will take some time, but eventually, the practice of mindfulness will train your brain to direct your attention back to the main subjects whenever your mind wanders off from it.
Have A Small Cup of Coffee
Several researches have proved the effects of caffeine on mental focus. It is a natural way to reduce fatigue, enhance alertness, and ultimately boost concentration. Therefore, having a small cup of coffee is one of the easiest ways to improve your mental focus.
However, you should keep in mind not to consume this liquid too much, as caffeine overdose may negatively lead to anxiety and insomnia. Healthy adults are advised to take 300 – 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Meanwhile, that for adolescents should not exceed 100 mg.
Apply Pomodoro Technique
Pomodoro technique is a popular time management method that was developed in the late 1980s. The goal is to minimize the influences of internal and external disruptions on your attention span and focus ability.
Basically, this technique uses a timer to break down your working time into short breaks. Here are the six steps of the process:
Although multitaskers can perform several things at the same time, it does not mean that they can work as effectively as other people.
Scientists have proved that handling more than one job at a time increases anxiety and distraction, which eventually impairs work quality. Furthermore, the time spent on switching between tasks is longer than you may think since there are many distractions that can take your mind off your work.
Moreover, new studies have suggested that multitasking pose detrimental risks on brain health. Do you know that your brain can only focus on one thing at the same time? Forcing your mind to take on two tasks (or even more) all at once not only impairs your working memory, but it also reduces your IQ points.
Trying to overcome multitasking undoubtedly marks a significant step in improving your attention span. One recommended way is to prioritize your tasks, which means that should work on the hardest task first. It also allows you to be in a much better frame of mind for the following tasks.
Make A To-Do List
Though preparing a to-do list may seem a bit time-consuming, it offers more benefits than you think. This habit can save you a huge amount of time on figuring out what needs to be done now and then. Besides, it allows you to keep track of your work in an orderly way.
Yet, a to-do list is not just about listing all the tasks. For better efficiency, you should also categorize your tasks in terms of priority.
For examples, The “Musts” are the most important things that need to be finished as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the “Maybes” (or any names that you like) list other tasks that you can work on later if you have time.
Take Care of Your Diets
We all know that diets can have an immense impact on brain health. Therefore, consuming the right food can help to boost your concentration and enhance cognitive functions. However, not all types of food have that kind of effect.
In order to stay fueled, try to balance the healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein in your daily meals. Also, remember to stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugar overdose. Last but not least, don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated.
Here are some food that we highly recommend for your ability to focus and better mental health, such as:
- Dairy food (not with high sugar intake)
- Green vegetables
- Nuts and chocolate
- Fruits: avocado, blueberries
- Tea and coffee
Obviously, sleep deprivation prevents your mind from working at its best. With the hectic pace of modern life, getting enough sleep seems like a faraway wish. Yet you need to keep in mind that the long-term lack of sleep negatively impairs your concentration and memory.
For the sake of your health and your productivity, hit the dreamland at least seven hours a day. But what if you find it hard to fall into sleep despite lying in your bed for hours? Here are some recommended options:
- Avoid drinking coffee after lunchtime
- Avoid using electronic devices (phones, laptops) one hour prior to sleeping time
- Make sure your bedroom is cool and quiet to sleep
- Do some light exercises in the afternoon
The power of doodle to human’s concentration ability can take you by surprise Specifically, doodle helps people to stay focused better by gathering their thoughts together in a well-structured manner.
This method encourages our creativity and requires us to pay attention to the main points and come up with our own summary of the topic/ Furthermore, it is a key to big-picture thinking.
Brain games are a fun and simple way to reinforce your attentiveness and concentration. Many studies have suggested that engaging in brain games for approximately 15 minutes a day can have outstanding effects on human’s concentration.
Here are some recommended games to train your brain, which have been proved to work by studies and researches:
- Word searches
- Jigsaw puzzle
One practical and quick tips to regain concentration is controlling your breaths. Not so many people know that breathing has a direct influence on human brain chemistry, which in turn builds up concentration and strengthens brain health.
If you feel that your mind starts to wander off, try taking some deep breaths to guide your focus back on track. On top of that, there are some simple deep breathing exercises that help with your mental focus:
- Box breathing
- Alternate Nostril Breathing
- Anapana method
Another way to help you enhance focus is by reading books. Reading helps you to pay attention to details and improve your brain’s memory and cognitive functions.
Therefore, once you know how to focus on reading a book in an appropriate amount of time, practicing concentration at work will be a much easier task.
First, start with some easy-to-read books or books from your favorite genres to know how to recall information and link details. Then, try to level up your reading techniques with other book categories. Books on self-improvement are an ideal suggestion to try since they are highly practical and are usually written appealingly.
There are a variety of different things to help you focus, not just only the 12 tips mentioned above. In order to know which one works best for you, consider trying a few of them and checking on your results.
However, remember to be patient! The changes will not come overnight; they are the outcomes of your long-term efforts.
If you have further questions on this article, feel free to reach out to Self Help Skills. Thanks for reading!