How To Improve Focus: 15 Expert Tips To Follow
We’ve all been there: at our desks with a deadline looming and our minds wandering. Things are not progressing despite your best efforts.
It’s important to stay focused on what you’re supposed to be doing. Your motivation is strong. However, you are unable to concentrate.
Our digital world is full of distractions. Information is everywhere, and we feel the need to handle multiple forms of information. Our time and attention are dragged out by it.
Everyone wants to know how to focus better and how to concentrate since the inability to concentrate is one of the biggest problems of our time. Because of this, improving concentration and focus is an issue worth addressing.
Start improving your focus today and learn from these 15 expert tips.
1. Distracting factors should be eliminated.
With so much information being bombarded at us, how can we focus better? Block off time in your schedule for specific tasks or activities.
During this time, request that you be left alone or go to a place where others cannot disturb you: a library, a coffee shop, or a private room. Keep your phone hidden from sight in a bag or backpack, close social media apps, and silence notifications.
Studies have shown that cognitive capacity improves when the phone is out of sight, not just turned off. Keep your primary focus on completing what you need to do.
It is possible to concentrate better if both internal and external disturbances are shut off.
2. Don’t multitask.
When we perform multiple tasks simultaneously, we feel productive. As a result, you’ll be less focused, less concentrated, and less productive.
Burnout can result from low productivity. Listening to a podcast while responding to an email or speaking to someone over the phone while writing a report are examples of multitasking.
When you multitask, you not only lose focus but compromise the quality of your work as well.
3. Become mindful and meditate.
By practicing mindfulness or meditation, you can improve your well-being, mental fitness, and focus. As we meditate, our brain becomes calmer, and our whole body becomes more relaxed.
In order to avoid being distracted by our minds, we focus on our breath throughout the process. When we practice using our breath to bring our attention back to a task, even if we get interrupted, we can be able to complete it well.
4. Sleep more.
Sleep is affected by many factors. The most common is reading on an electronic device like a computer, phone, or tablet just before bedtime, or watching a movie or TV show on an LED TV.
It has been found that such devices emit light towards the blue end of the spectrum. The light will stimulate your eye retina and prevent the brain from secreting melatonin, which promotes sleep anticipation.
To minimize such blue light before bed, wear blue-light glasses or avoid all electronic devices. Sleep can also be improved by avoiding exercise late in the day, staying hydrated throughout the day, journaling or breathing exercises, and creating a predictable bedtime routine.
5. Focus on the present moment.
You can choose where you focus when you feel unable to concentrate, even when it seems counterintuitive. Your mind is always in the past and worrying about the future, which makes it difficult to concentrate.
Allowing past events to go isn’t easy, but try your best. Let it go after acknowledging the impact, what you felt, and what you learned.
The same applies to your concerns about the future; acknowledge them, consider how they are manifesting in your body, then decide to let them go.
6. Give yourself a break.
Similarly, when you focus on something for a long time, your focus may begin to wane. It may become increasingly difficult for you to devote your full attention to the task at hand.
Our brains tend to ignore sources of constant stimulation, according to researchers. Refocusing your attention on something else can dramatically improve your mental concentration after taking very small breaks.
When you feel stuck while working on a project, take a break. Consider moving around, talking to someone, or switching tasks. Keeping your performance high will be easier with a more focused mind.
7. Get in touch with nature.
Plants in office spaces have been found to enhance concentration, productivity, workplace satisfaction, and air quality. You can boost your concentration and feel refreshed by going for a walk in the park or appreciating the plants and flowers in your garden.
8. Develop your brain.
The scientific community is beginning to accumulate evidence that brain training activities can enhance cognitive abilities, including concentration, in adults. The games can also improve your working memory and short-term memory, as well as your problem-solving abilities.
Jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, chess, and video games that stimulate the brain are examples of such games.
9. Get active.
Get your body moving by doing a simple exercise in the morning. Harvard Men’s Health Watch reports that regular exercise releases chemicals that enhance memory, concentration, and mental sharpness.
Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the brain are all boosted by exercise, which will affect focus and attention. People who exercise or play sports perform better on cognitive tasks than those with poor physical health.
In addition to relaxing the muscles, physical activity relieves tension in the body. The body and mind are closely linked, so when your body feels better, so will your mind.
10. Enjoy listening to music.
We have been shown that music has therapeutic effects on our brains. You may be able to concentrate better when listening to light music, but some music may distract you.
According to experts, classical music and nature sounds, such as water flowing, are good choices for concentration, while songs with lyrics and human voices can be distracting. For different types of focus and work needs, there are multiple apps and services that offer background music and soundscapes.
11. Maintain a healthy diet.
Foods that moderate blood sugar, maintain energy, and fuel the brain are the best choices. The consumption of fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods can help you maintain an even blood sugar level.
Avoid sugary foods and drinks that spike and dip your sugar levels and make you feel dizzy or sleepy. To function properly, your brain needs a lot of good fat.
Nuts, berries, avocados, and coconut oil are all great sources of healthy fats to fuel your brain. As a result of an enzyme that stimulates the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain, foods like blueberries have been found to boost concentration and memory for up to five hours after consumption, which helps with memory, concentration, and learning.
Spinach, for example, contains potassium, which facilitates the connection between neurons and makes the brain more responsive.
12. Prioritize your daily tasks.
Every day, write down what you want to accomplish, ideally the night before, and identify one priority. Taking care of the big stuff first and leaving the small stuff for last will help you focus your brain on what matters.
Don’t be overwhelmed by large tasks by breaking them down into smaller pieces. By identifying your true priorities, you can relieve distracting anxiety, and achieving small daily goals can help your brain to become successful.
13. Organize your workspace.
Make sure you have a quiet, dedicated space for work, if possible. It may not be possible for everyone to have a well-appointed office, but desk organizers, noise-canceling headphones, an adjustable monitor, and adjustable lighting can help.
Don’t let clutter take over your workspace, make it as ergonomic and comfortable as possible, and keep it neat and ventilated. Want to know more about how to organize your desk? Read here.
14. Set a timer.
Use a timer or phone alarm to train your brain to hyperfocus on a task. Identify the task you wish to accomplish first.
Concentrate on the task for 20 minutes (no more than 30 minutes). When the alarm goes off, take a five-minute break.
Then reset the timer and start again after taking a walk and doing some stretching exercises. You can improve your concentration by using this technique.
15. Changing tasks is essential.
We may want to concentrate on a particular task, but our brain sometimes needs a break and something to focus on. Try switching to another task or something you enjoy.
Staying alert and productive for longer periods of time can be achieved by switching tasks.
It is essential to learn how to concentrate at work in order to succeed in your career and in life. Concentration will enable you to accomplish more of what you value and feel better doing it. You can achieve a meaningful and satisfying life by making time for joy and happiness, not just accomplishing tasks.
If you want to improve other aspects of your life, we’ve got you covered. With Blinkist you can learn how to deal with stress, cope with workplace conflicts and even create a career map.