Keeping up focus and concentration is common in today’s world full of distractions. It might happen to you also while sitting at your desk with a wandering mind trying to finish an urgent deadline. Despite your best efforts & motivation, things are not progressing because of a lack of focus and inability to concentrate on the task.
Our digital world is full of information, and its multiple forms easily distract us by dragging our time and attention. One of the disorders of time is your inability to focus on a specific task at hand. The benefits of improving focus and concentration can help you in various spheres of life.
If you are here to read this blog, we believe that, like others, you are also lacking the capacity to focus and concentrate. Don’t worry, and this article will help you know seven effective ways to improve your focus and concentration skills. But before that, you must learn the basics of concentration and the factors affecting concentration.
How do we define concentration?
There are various ways to define concentration, and all that concludes it as the action or power of focusing all attention at one place. One’s mind can focus on one subject, object, action, or thought, together with excluding from the mind every other unrelated idea, thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
Our daily routine consists of continuous switching in and out of our cell phones and computer. We are dominated by the constant influx of messages from email, Telegram, Facebook, and several other apps that are somehow important to our job. We have to search for information consistently to solve our recurring problems and get our work done.
No one can deny that frequent disturbances affect productivity and take longer to finish a task. It also obstructs our ability to listen and be attentive; the inability to comprehend things well, whether with our colleagues or partner, can result in misinterpretation, misunderstanding, and conflict. Distractions affect our memory; we forget something or can’t recall information right away, which affects our professional image and personal life.
Tips to improve focus and concentration skills
You can practice blocking time in your schedule for specific tasks or activities. Try social media detoxification if you can not keep yourself concentrated while staying active on various social media platforms. While working on a task, request people leave you alone or go to someplace where others are less likely to disturb you: a coffee shop, library, or private room or cabin.
Shutting down both internal and external differences may help you to concentrate. Try closing social media and other such platforms, put a silence on notifications, and keep your hidden from sight in a backpack or bag.
Stop being a multitasker
Your attempts to perform several tasks simultaneously may make you feel more productive, but if anything, it causes problems in the long run. Multitasking is the recipe for poor concentration, lower focus, and lack of productivity resulting in burnout. Examples of multitasking may include listening to podcasts or rock music while responding to an email or talking to someone while writing a report.
Sleep and give rest to your mind
Many factors affect sleep, such as reading from any electronic device such as phone, computer, or tablet or watching any TV show before bedtime. As we all know, such devices emit light towards the spectrum’s blue end. These lights stimulate your retina and prevent the secretion of the compound (melatonin) that promotes sleep anticipation in the brain.
Use a filter or glasses that help minimize such light or avoid using all electronic devices before bedtime. Other effective ways to improve sleep include staying hydrated, avoiding exercising late in the day, creating a strict bedtime routine and schedule, and using breathing exercises or journaling to quiet the mind.
Focus on the moment at hand
You are the one who chooses what to focus on and where to put your concentration. We know that it is tough to concentrate when the mind is always in the things that happened earlier or worrying about what will come next. While it is not very easy, try making an effort to let go of past events.
Accept the impact, what you felt and learned from it, at let it go eventually. Similarly, acknowledge and appreciate your concerns regarding the future, face the anxiety in your body while thinking about it, then decide to let it go. We should train our mental resources to focus on the details of the moment that matter the most.
Practice yoga or mindfulness
Meditation or mindfulness activities can strengthen your well-being and mental fitness like nothing else and improve your focus. The brain becomes calm during the meditation process, and our body becomes relaxed. Focusing on breath during the process can make your thoughts clear and help you avoid distractions. With practice, one can learn how to use the breath to bring back our attention to a specific task to work efficiently without getting interrupted.
Exercise and Diet
You may start your day with simple exercise and keep your body moving. Regular exercise releases specific chemicals for concentration, memory, and mental sharpness. Also, it can boost the brain’s norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin levels that affect focus and attention. Eat healthily and choose food that moderate blood sugar, fuel the brain, and maintain energy. Vegetables, nutrition, and high-fiber foods can help keep the blood sugar levels even.
Take a short break
Focusing on a single job for an extended period can make your concentration die down, so it might seem counterintuitive but take a short break. It can help you while facing difficulty devoting your attention to the task. According to research, our brain tends to ignore sources of constant stimulation, and taking small breaks can help by refocusing the attention elsewhere, which can improve mental concentration after that.
So next time, while working on a project, take a short break when you start to feel stuck. Talk to someone, move around, or switch to a different type of less engaging task. We are sure you will come back with a better focuses mind that will help you keep your performance high. But do not move from one screen to the other one.