I am a person who is often distracted and easily daydreaming even when studying or working later. After many times of delay due to the distraction habit, I gradually try to improve, through some small changes, you can refer to the ways below.
In an age of information overload, being able to focus and pay attention to the task at hand can be quite challenging. Yoshare has compiled a number of techniques to increase focus and combat distraction to increase productivity.
If you’ve ever found it difficult to pass a work assignment or an important exam or spend time on a project, you may have wished you could increase your focus. Try these steps to increase your ability to focus.
How to increase concentration?
On average, a human will have to record about 34 Gigabytes of information and 100,500 words a day. Meanwhile, office workers are interrupted every 11 minutes, while on average it takes 25 minutes to get back to the work they did before the interruption. Therefore, it is not surprising that our ability to focus is impaired due to influences from the environment around us.
Staying focused allows us to build our inner world in such a way that our thoughts, motivations, and emotions take precedence.
The ability to stay focused begins at an early age and contributes to success throughout a person’s life. Certain factors in childhood and adolescence can enhance or impair the development of skills that enable you to focus for long periods of time.
Research has shown that preschoolers with farsightedness often have difficulty paying attention, which can increase their risk of falling behind in school.
And this is a collection of methods to increase concentration to help you improve your memory better.
1. Train your brain
Playing certain types of games can help you focus better. Try:
- Crossword Puzzles
- Jigsaw Puzzles
- Word search or shuffle
- Memory game
2. Take time to exercise
Regular exercise will help you increase your ability to concentrate. Exercise is beneficial for everyone. A 2018 study that tested 116 5th graders found evidence that daily physical activity can improve both concentration and attention after just 4 weeks.
If you’re having a hard time finding time to exercise or don’t want to join a gym, try thinking of fun ways to exercise throughout the day. If you raise your heart rate, you’re exercising. Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you take your child to school?
- Can you get up 20 minutes earlier every morning for a brisk jog around your neighborhood?
- Can you split your weekly grocery trip into two or three walks or bike rides?
- Can you walk to the coffee shop instead of driving?
3. Spend time in contact with nature
If you want to naturally increase your focus, try to get outside every day, even if it’s only for 15 to 20 minutes. You can take a short walk through the park. Sit in the garden or sidewalk where there are many trees. Any natural environment is beneficial to health.
Scientific evidence increasingly supports the positive effects of the natural environment. Research from 2014 shows evidence that planting plants in office spaces has increased focus and productivity, as well as workplace comfort and air quality.
4. Practice meditation
I just got into meditation recently and realized I should have meditated earlier. Meditation is really good for mental health. Meditation is also the best way to increase concentration that everyone should try
Meditation doesn’t just mean sitting silently and closing your eyes. Practicing yoga, deep breathing, and many other activities can help you meditate.
5. Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation can disrupt concentration, not to mention other cognitive functions, such as memory and attention.
The occasional lack of sleep may not cause you too much of a problem. But regularly not getting a good night’s sleep can affect your mood and work performance.
Being too tired can even slow down your reflexes and affect your ability to drive or do other everyday tasks.
Busy work schedules, health problems, and other factors sometimes make it difficult to get enough sleep. But it’s important to try to get as close to the recommended amount as possible most nights.
Many experts recommend that adults get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Improving the sleep you get can also be beneficial. Some quick tips:
- Turn off the TV and put your phone away an hour before bed.
- Keep your room at a comfortable but cool temperature.
- Relax before bed with soft music, take a warm bath, or read a book.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Exercise regularly, but try to avoid strenuous exercise right before bed.
6. Take a break
How do you get off work or do your homework? This idea seems counter-intuitive, but experts say it really works.
Consider this situation: You’ve spent several hours on the same project, and suddenly your attention starts to wander. Even though it’s hard to stay focused on the task, you sit still at your desk, forcing yourself to keep going. But trying to stay focused only makes you feel stressed and anxious about not getting things done in time.
You may have been there before. Next time this happens, when you first feel your focus drop, take a short break. Refresh yourself with a cool drink or nutritious snack, go for a brisk walk, or get outside in the sun.
When you return to work, don’t be surprised if you feel more focused, motivated, or even more creative. Taking breaks can help boost these functions and more.
7. Listen to music
Turning on music while working or studying can help increase concentration.
Even if you don’t like listening to music while you work, using nature sounds or white noise to mask background sounds can help improve focus and other brain function, according to research.
The type of music you listen to can make a difference. Experts generally agree that classical music, especially classical baroque music or nature sounds, are good choices to help you increase focus.
If you’re not interested in classical music, try ambient or electronic music with no lyrics. Keep the music soft or at ambient noise so it doesn’t distract you.
Also avoid choosing music you either love or hate, as both can be distracting.
8. Change your diet
The food you eat can affect cognitive functions such as concentration and memory. Avoid processed foods, too much sugar, and foods high in fat. To boost focus, try eating more of the following:
- Fatty fish (think salmon and trout)
- Eggs (both whites and yolks)
Drinking enough water can also have a positive effect on concentration. Even mild dehydration can make it difficult to concentrate or remember information.
Eating breakfast can help increase your ability to focus on the first thing in the morning. Aim for a meal low in sugar and high in protein and fiber. Oatmeal, plain yogurt with fruit, or whole-grain toast with eggs are all good breakfast options.
9. Drink Coffee
It is not necessary to include coffee in your diet if you want to avoid it, but it is shown that coffee can be beneficial for your attention and focus.
If you feel like your focus is starting to drop, consider a cup of coffee or green tea. One serving of dark chocolate — 70% cocoa or higher — can have similar benefits, if you don’t enjoy caffeinated beverages.
The natural phytochemicals found in matcha, a type of green tea, not only improve cognitive function but can also help promote relaxation. So matcha can be a good choice if coffee tends to make you feel jittery or nauseous.
10. Exercises to increase concentration
Concentration exercises often help children who have difficulty concentrating. This mental training involves giving full attention to an activity for a certain period of time.
Try the following activities:
- Draw or doodle in 15 minutes.
- Take a few minutes to throw a balloon or small ball with someone else.
- Set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes. Try to blink as little as possible.
- Suck on a lollipop or hard candy until it’s gone – curb the urge to bite into it. Pay attention to the taste, how it feels on your tongue, and how long it takes to eat it completely.
After completing one of the activities, ask your child to write a short summary or outline how they felt during the experience. Young children can simply use words to describe their feelings.
Some notes when you are in need of intense concentration
Turn off distractions: While working and accidentally surfing Facebook or TikTok are things that often happen to me. Lately I’ve been trying to wake myself up and turn off these sites right away. I have a whole collection of Extensions to increase productivity, you can refer to.
Don’t do too many things: In the afternoon, when your mind is hazy, focus on one thing at a time.
Posture control: I usually regain focus by sitting with my back straight, eyes forward. If you just let your body loose, you will feel very lazy.
Light exercise: In the past, I was sluggish, so when I went to work, I lacked energy. So now, in the morning, when I wake up early, I go for a walk near the house, if not, I come back to practice gently at night.
Goal-oriented: When you’re doing something, you also need to focus on what you want and need to accomplish to both motivate and pressure yourself.
Reading: Building the habit of reading is also great for your train of thought and concentration. I usually read books about 30 minutes to 1 hour before going to bed.