Regularly concentrating on a task can be difficult, but it can be more challenging when you are surrounded by constant distraction. The world today is always connected literally at your fingertips and diversions are nothing more than a click away. The ability to concentrate on something in your environment is critical for learning new things. Direct mental effort towards it is very hard in achieving new goals and performing well across a wide variety of situations. Concentration refers to the mental effort you put while you’re working or learning at the moment. There are some tips and tricks that will take some effort on your part, and will help you develop laser-like mental focus and concentration.
- Train Your Brain- Mind games like Sudoku, Crossword puzzles, Chess, Jigsaw puzzles, Word searches or scrambles can have a big impact on concentration. It also helps in developing your working skills and short term memory as well as your processing and problem-solving skills.
- Get Your Game On- Playing video games also helps in boosting concentration. It is proved that an hour of gaming could help improve Visual Selective Attention (VSA), which refers to the ability to concentrate on a particular task while ignoring other distractions around you. Future research is recommended to continue exploring how video games help in increasing brain activity and boost concentration.
- Take A Short Break Every 30 Minutes- Our mind focuses best on shorter spurts so, after every 30 minutes of intense concentration, try to take two-three minutes break. Do anything which will relax your body and won’t take up a lot of mind space, like- take a walk, listen to a quick song, or have a little chat with your favourite human. Scrolling on social media isn’t recommended because you’ll eventually end up losing track of time and getting too involved in it. A short three minutes break will help you to avoid digital eye strain and muscle stiffness and will also help you to come back to the job reinvigorated.
- Finish One Thing First- Surely, multitasking will help you to complete a couple of work simultaneously, but it will also hamper your productivity. The best way to deal with it is to make a rule to finish the task at hand first. This way you can train your brain to concentrate when it tries to switch to another task.
- Make Time For Exercise- Regular exercise helps in increasing blood flow to the brain and improves concentration, memory and efficiency. Do gentle stretches or yoga if you haven’t been regular with exercise so far, don’t start a strenuous regimen now. Practice abdominal breathing to de-stress several times a day and meditate, if possible.
- Remember To Eat Well- To go a long way to keep yourself healthy and active, consume grains such as oatmeal, quinoa; proteins such as eggs, salmon; vegetables such as avocados, bell peppers, broccoli and green leafy vegetables. Stay hydrated by drinking water and try to avoid too much coffee or tea. Always keep in mind that a big lunch will just make you feel sleepy and skipping meals could leave you in a bad mood or a headache.
- Improve Sleep- Sleep deprivation can easily disrupt concentration as well as memory and attention. Occasional sleep deprivation may not cause many problems but not getting a good night’s sleep regularly can affect your mood as well as your performance. Tiredness can slow down your reflexes and your ability to drive or do other daily tasks. It is important to get as close to the recommended amount of sleep as possible on most nights but sometimes it is difficult to get enough sleep due to a demanding schedule, health issues and some other factors. It is recommended to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night for adults.
- Back Yourself, Always- Keep in mind always that your brain loves positive reinforcement and let it come from you first. If you’ve lost time in the past, there’s no point in chiding yourself. Research shows that positivity has a lasting impact on your overall well-being, starting with the outcome of the job at hand.
- Eliminate Distractions- Distractions prevents concentrating on the task at hand and many people tend to underestimate that. Minimizing these sources of distractions isn’t as easy as it sounds. It might be simple to deal with intrusions such as a radio blaring in the background by turning it off. But it is more challenging to deal with an obnoxious co-worker who constantly drops by your cubicle to chat and there is one way to deal with it is to seek a calm location where you know you’ll be able to work undisturbed. Exhaustion, worry, anxiety and other internal distractions can be difficult to avoid but make sure that you are well-rested before the task and use positive thoughts.
- Stay Close To Nature- Going outside every day even for just 15-20 minutes is the best way to boost your concentration naturally. Taking a short walk through a park or sitting in your garden can also help a lot. Adding a plant or two to your workplace or home helps increasing concentration and productivity as well as workplace satisfaction and air quality.
Consider giving a range of approaches a try and see what helps you. Some ways help to reform your concentration, while others may not seem to do much. Try to be consistent in whatever your planning to do and stay positive.