Improving your focus - what can you do?Certain tasks in life require a few hours of uninterrupted focus or concentration to get the job done. Many of us may be able to relate to this as it relates to tasks at work or studying for exams during which staying focused may greatly help the time it takes to complete the task, or the level at which the task is done. The ability to concentrate is greatly affected by the environment that surrounds us. Those that have trouble with focus may need to relook at the constant distractions that abound. So, is there a way to improve focus? And exactly how can we maintain concentration and focus in order to complete tasks satisfactorily? Paying attention and increasing the attention span may be easier than we think.
What is concentration?To begin, while both words refer to the act of paying attention, let's define the difference between concentration and focus. Concentration is the ability to hone in on a single thing that is in your line of sight and that you are busy with without being easily distracted by things around you. If distraction occurs, it may affect our ability to properly retain information, as well as potentially having an effect on productivity.
How to improve concentrationThere are many ways in which we might help to boost concentration such as exercise, clearing the head, rest, and recovery. Look out for more tips further on in this article.
What is focus? Pay attention...Focus is the ability to concentrate on one single thing - have a primary focus. If you are able to eliminate distractions completely and focus on one thing, you are giving it pure focus, narrowing down on that one activity. In these instances, you may be improving your ability to process and store information. The human brain is a fascinating and incredibly capable organ. There are ways in which we may be able to improve our focus through simple daily activities. Here are 12 ways in which you may be able to improve your focus and ability to concentrate:
Get enough sleep for focusSleep may be essential to overall wellbeing, not to mention healthy brain function. Insufficient sleep may have a detrimental impact on the ability to maintain focus and function in daily life. When our body and brain are tired, it may pose more difficulty for concentration. One way in which you may be able to assist with a good night's sleep is to remove digital devices from your bedroom and avoid screen time for a few hours before bedtime to reduce exposure to blue light. This may help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
Be sure to exerciseIt's no secret how exercise may have both short-term and long-term positive implications on your overall well-being. Today, we as humans have increasingly become accustomed to living a sedentary lifestyle. Changing this may have an impact on our ability to focus. Ensuring you get enough aerobic exercise every week may have positive implications on staying focused in other activities, and may help improve concentration during these activities. Aerobic exercises are those that increase your heart rate, and you may notice that your breathing becomes more rapid as well. Aerobic activities may include swimming, cycling and other forms of cardio.
The effect of diet on focusWhat you put in your body, is what you get out. A popular saying that may have real life consequences! Many foods or food groups have been identified over the years as 'brain food', a phrase for those foods which may assist in maintaining not only a healthy body, but also a healthy brain. By consuming a diet that consists of healthy fats, you may improve overall brain health. These types of food may include things like nuts, avocados, and fish. Some people refer to a Mediterranean diet as one which may help with maintaining a healthy brain due to it being mostly plant-based and with a low sugar and red meat ratio. As a general rule of thumb it may be a good idea to avoid sugars and processed foods as these may not sustain the body for a long enough period.
Meditation for focusPart of concentration is to free the mind of other tasks and distractions in order to focus solely on the task at hand. Calming the mind and body is one way that may allow you to reset and free the mind of background noise. Our body and brain, while highly capable, may only have the ability to focus for a certain period of time. Once we have depleted all our mental resources, it's very difficult to be efficient and gain satisfaction from what we are doing. Meditation may help to relax and unwind, and calm the mind. You may want to try practicing deep breathing techniques between tasks to reset your mind and allow the brain a period of rest.
Mindfulness in the present momentAs with rest and meditation, mindfulness may also play a role when it comes to the ability to stay focused for a longer period of time. To improve focus, practicing mindfulness may be a solution. The art of mindfulness is to pay attention to the present moment only, and free your mind of other constant distractions.
Being outdoors helps with focusNever underestimate the power of nature. Being outdoors for a short portion of your day, especially if you are having trouble concentrating, may help you to not only get some exercise, but also help you relax and unwind, freeing yourself of worries and thoughts and may help to improve focus. Some say that nature sounds may have a positive influence on concentration. Why not give it a try? If you don't have access to a park, you could download an app which plays the sounds of nature right in your home or office.
Take a breakWe mentioned earlier that the brain may only have capacity for so much stimulation. Short breaks may be vital to boost concentration. While working or studying, breaking your day up into chunks of work and rest, and inserting a short break here and there, may improve your attention span. Like any well-oiled machine, constant stimulation may be bad for your brain and body and a short break may help improve the final output of your efforts.
Exercise your brainWhile rest and relaxation and exercise for our body may be important, exercise for our mind may also be important. Ensuring optimal brain health may help with improving levels of concentration and our ability to not get easily distracted. Brain training games such as crosswords, sudokus, memory games and the like, all may help improve our cognitive abilities, including focus. Why not give some brain exercises a try and see how it affects your cognitive performance!
Prepare your workspace for optimal focusIf you have a desk, you have a workspace. Recently, many coffee shops and homes have become workspaces - kitchen tables, bedrooms, and television lounges. While this may be unavoidable, the space in which you work may have a direct impact on your output. Eliminating distractions may be key to higher performance. Removing distractions, such as background noise and text messages, may help you remain focused for longer, as well as setting task goals for the day ahead of you where you can focus on one task at a time. Think also of the air quality in the space in which you are working as this may also reduce your ability to focus. Open some windows and let natural air flow through, you may feel refreshed and may even be able to better focus on the task at hand.
Make a listIn order to set the brain on the right trajectory, a list may help! Jotting down the important tasks that need to be completed for the week or day ahead, may release your brain from constantly trying to remember what needs to be done. This may allow you to purely focus on a single task at a time and may help you to organize internally what needs to be done, by when, ensuring you tick all off of your list!
Using music for good focusMusic may have the power to distract or may improve concentration. Classical music or the sounds of nature are often mentioned when it comes to helping focus. The best way to find what works for you is to try various genres of music, potentially moving away from those with lyrics, as it may distract you more.
Try a supplementWhile all the above may be great methods to start implementing in your daily life to increase concentration, they do require self-discipline and at times there may be the need for a little extra help. That's where supplements come in. Supplements may aid your diet and may help to ensure that you get the vitamins and nutrients that you may not be getting from your food intake. They may also help to improve your focus and may increase concentration. Our Focus Bundle is a power pack that may help assist with restful sleep and may help assist with increased energy levels. Sleep A.S.A.P. may help with falling asleep faster and staying asleep, while the energY Nutri-Strips may help to increase the ability to stay awake and alert.
Stay focusedAll these things may help to improve your ability to stay focused and be more efficient and successful in your daily tasks.
It's best to review your lifestyle, and see how and what may work for you - not everyone may find benefit from all of these tips. You may want to start implementing one at a time and you may notice the difference!