In this information overload age, concentrating and keeping your attention on a specific task can be a struggle. Distraction is practically at your fingers as you can’t help but check your phone for social media notifications or recent news, even at the busiest hours.
The ability to focus on tasks is essential for learning new things and attaining goals. Improving your attention span is possible, but it is not an easy thing to do. It will need significant work on your part, and you may need to alter some of your everyday routines.
Here are some effective ideas and
tricks to help you improve your concentration and focus:
1. Get Regular ‘Green Time’
When it comes to improving your attention span and concentration capacity, a dose of nature may just be what your body needs. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, human brain development may benefit from exposure to nature, especially green areas. One way to do this during stay-at-home times is to put some plants in your home.
2. Create a Clean Space for Work
If possible, dedicate a specific area in the house as an office or study area. If assigning rooms is impossible, keeping the working space clean and organized by having desk organizers, noise-cancelling headphones, and windows for natural light will help. Clear away clutter and make it as ergonomic and pleasant as possible.
3. Take Short Breaks
When you are working on a lengthy task, such as work deliverables or home works, make sure to take short breaks now and then. Even if it is only for a few moments, diverting your attention away from the activity and letting your mind rest is a good way to take breathers. These brief rest periods reduce the possibility of feeling overworked or burned out, leading to lesser productivity.
4. Consider your Environment
The immediate surroundings have a tremendous impact on the ability to concentrate. This is one of the reasons why decluttering and tidying up workspaces and the whole house had become even more popular during the stay-at-home period. Having an organized space makes your mind feel free from cluttered and heavy thoughts.
5. Keep Practicing
Improving your concentration and focus will not happen overnight. One of the first tasks is to recognize the impact of distraction on your life. If you have trouble meeting your daily or weekly goals due to being distracted by minor details, you can start making an effort to manage time daily. You will find that by practicing the habit of ignoring possible distractions, you will be able to do accomplish more tasks and check off items from daily to-dos.
6. Improve Your Sleep
Sleep deprivation can immediately damage focus, as well as memory retention. Occasional sleep deprivation may not cause you too many issues. However, consistently failing to obtain a decent night's sleep, with the 7-8 hours recommended length for adults, might have an impact on your daily mood and performance at work. Lack of sleep leads to exhaustion and it can affect motivation and performance on daily duties.
7. Improve Your Well-Being
Physical activity, food habits, and weight are all factors that can influence how well you operate and concentrate. For example, by skipping meals, you tend to get distracted especially when hunger sets in. Taking care of your health and staying active can all help you improve your concentration and focus.
8. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Meditating or engaging in mind-focused activities can improve overall well-being, mental fitness, and attention. During the meditation process, the brain calms down, and the entire body relaxes. Throughout these mind-focused activities, one encouraged habit is to focus on breathing to avoid being distracted by random or fleeting thoughts. Resorting to breathing exercises to re-focus enables a person to do tasks better and uninterrupted.
9. Train Your Brain
Currently, researches on brain training activities to improve concentration and focus is increasing. Brain training activities and games can also aid in developing short-term memory, as well as problem-solving abilities. Jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, chess, and brain-stimulating video and mobile games are examples of these brain training activities and games.
10. Listen to Calming Music
Music has been found to have brain calming properties. Some types of music can help you concentrate, but some can also distract you. Experts usually agree that classical music and natural noises, such as running water, are good choices for focusing. In contrast, music with lyrics and human voices tends to be distracting. Yet, these can also vary for different people, as the opposite might be true for some. Several focus apps and services provide background music and soundscapes tailored to different types of focus and work requirements.
11. Switch Tasks
Despite wanting to focus on specific tasks, there would be times when we hit a wall, similar to a writer’s block often experienced even by well-trained writers. One way to resolve this is by diverting attention on a new one, as a way to recuperate and re-organize thoughts. Try switching to another task or something you enjoy doing. Changing tasks might help you stay attentive and productive for extended periods.
Some methods for improving concentration and focus may be effective, while others may not seem to do much for you. Consider trying a variety of ways to determine what works best. By improving your focus, you will find that you can achieve more of what you value while feeling better about yourself.
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