If you’re having a little bit of trouble focusing, that’s okay it’s a common problem. normal aging minds, you could find it harder to focus and retain information.
it happens to the best of us but the good news is you can improve your focus with these few helpful tips.
1. find out what distracts you.
the first thing you should do when working on your focus is figuring out what distracts you, the biggest source of distractions are other people competing priorities general distractions and workload. it may sound obvious but there are many things that can distract you in your everyday life; a big one is your smart phone and the internet.
if you know you’re going to be tempted to check Instagram try putting your phone somewhere where you can’t access it easily if you find yourself surfing the web try disconnecting while you’re trying to get a particular task done.
finding out what distracts you the most and then eliminating it or drastically reducing the opportunity should make a big difference in your productivity.
2. have a dedicated workspace.
if your workspace is noisy cluttered and unorganized it’s going to be hard for you to focus on anything, ambient noise can cause your body to release more stress hormone called cortisol and too much cortisol can impair your focus.
make sure your workspace is quiet and clean if it’s other people that distract you asked not to be disturbed while you’re trying to focus or listen to music, that’ll keep you focused and drown out the ambient noise.
having a clean workspace is key to staying focused, research shows that cluttered spaces have a negative effect on our anxiety and stress levels and can cause you to not only lose focus but also lose sleep, if you work from home try to have a dedicated space just for your work and keep it separate from your home life as much as possible.
if you can’t focus until your desk is clean, that takes time away from you completing your goal instead clean your desk and get everything ready before you dig into the task at hand.
3. create a to-do list.
the most successful people plan out what needs to be done, we’re talking about the famous to-do list. studies show that creating a plan for the day can increase your productivity not only that but it frees your mind from worrying about the things you’ve yet to do.
making a to-do list can help you deter mine what needs to be done first and can assist in organizing your day and make it more manageable place. the more urgent or time-sensitive tasks at the top and less important tasks at the bottom, you can also break these tasks down into smaller chunks to make them more manageable.
for example if you have to write a big book report don’t just put right report on your list, instead list the steps like write introduction this will help you make your list much more effective and less intimidating.
4. get your beauty rest.
admit it, you probably saw this one coming; getting a good night’s sleep can help you focus but it can also be beneficial to your health in so many ways.
the average recommended amount of sleep for an adult is about 7 hours a night, loss of sleep is one of the most common treatable health problems that impacts your daily function. if you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis it can impact your health in a number of ways including your focus.
try to make sleep a priority and give your body what it needs so it can focus.
yes we all know exercise is good for your body and the mind moving your body on a regular basis has numerous health benefits, this includes brain health. as regular exercise can help improve your memory capacity and concentration.
it’s likely you often sit while working and while it’s necessary to be still sometimes, you should try incorporating some exercise into your daily routine.
doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 15 minutes of intense exercise a day, remember it can be anything from a simple walk at the end of the day or a yoga class. the important thing is that it’s something you enjoy and makes you feel good, that way you’ll get the most out of your workout both physically and mentally.
6. eat something.
when you’re trying to get something done especially when there’s a deadline, it’s easy to skip lunch but hunger is pretty unavoidable and it’ll soon become an unwanted distraction. letting yourself go hungry can cause your blood sugar to dip, which can make you feel sluggish and tired it’s really hard to focus on anything besides food what you’re feeling hungry so listen to your body and get something to eat.
not only that but you should aim for something healthy that’s good for your body and your mind, food with little to no nutrition like processed and fast food can spike your blood sugar and destroy your focus, too protein, fatty acids D and B vitamins and iron are all essential things that help you focus and keep your ability to concentrate strong.
try eating some brain food like salmon, blueberries, walnuts and leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and even broccoli.
7. have a little bit of coffee.
are you a coffee lover, well the good news is that you don’t have to give it up to stay focused, in fact a cup of coffee maybe even two can actually improve your workflow, if you’re feeling a little groggy the caffeine in your cup of joe is a mild stimulant.
so when you’re feeling a little fuzzy in the morning you’ve had a good night’s sleep in a nice healthy breakfast coffee can work its magic and help perk you up. it can even reduce your anxiety in small doses, that being said if you overdo it; caffeine has negative effects like increased anxiety nervousness and it can even give you the jitters.
some studies suggest that you should limit your intake to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day for healthy adults, but it really does depend on the person. you just have to figure out what works for you.
8. take a break.
I don’t mean take a break before you even get started. we mean when your attention starts to naturally drift. we’ve all been there, you’ve put in a solid hour or two working on a project or maybe you’ve completed a few things on your to-do-list.
we were talking about earlier, well if that’s the case then you’ve earned a short break, a few studies suggest that taking a small break when you’re finding it hard to concentrate, can help you bring your focus back.
the idea is that your brain simply stops registering whatever you’re looking at smelling or listening to if that sensations been going on for a long time. for example you probably don’t feel the glasses on your face most of the time that’s because your body’s gotten used to the feeling and no longer focuses on that sensation.
researchers believe your attention span works in a similar way, the length of the break is up to you but make sure it’s not too long, you don’t want to lose focus entirely.
9. establish a routine.
keeping your focus is one thing but creating good habits that will help keep your focus along the way is a great tool to have. this means creating a routine that involves dedicated focus hours, why not designate some of your precious time to getting important things done.
if you carve out some time for a specific task like getting really difficult stuff done each day it’ll become easier and more habitual, giving yourself a smaller window of time to get things done could help cut down on wasted brainpower, it could also help ease anxiety that comes with any deadline.
if you develop these pet habits tackling those big jobs won’t seem like such a daunting task in the first place.
do you find it difficult to stay focused? will you try any of these tips?