What do fatigue, distractions, and lack of motivation all have in common? They break our focus, making it more difficult to concentrate. In turn, productivity goes down, setting us up for failure. To get that focus back, it’s crucial to take care of our brains and our bodies. How? Try the tips below!
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Sleep deprivation can affect concentration, memory, and attention. Now, if you have one restless night, the side effects shouldn’t be detrimental. But irregular sleep patterns can have longer-term effects on your ability to focus. So aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If you struggle to improve your sleep, try some of these tricks:
- Turn all screens off one hour before bed.
- Keep the temperature in your bedroom cool.
- Have a nightly routine where you relax your mind and body.
- Develop a consistent sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Distractions are everywhere. That coworker that constantly keeps you posted on office gossip? Distraction. That annoying commercial on the radio? Distraction. Your phone notifications? Distraction.
To improve your focus, try your best to minimize (or totally get rid of) distractions. For example, tell your coworker you’re in the middle of something important and that you’ll chat later. Turn the radio off or change it to a station with subtle music. Put your phone away in a desk drawer until break time.
According to a study conducted at the University of Northern Carolina, students who meditated for 20 minutes for four days straight performed better on certain cognitive tests.
Meditation requires a great sense of concentration. So once you learn to manage your focus, your mind should be less likely to wander. We suggest starting slowly with guided meditation.
Train Your Brain – Just Like You Train Your Body
Actively participating in brain games can naturally increase your ability to concentrate. Fun options include sudoku, chess, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and word searches. A study found that 15 minutes a day, five days a week of brain training can improve focus. Training your brain can also improve short-term memory and problem-solving skills. A win-win all the way around!
Be in Nature
Need a boost in concentration levels? Clock in some “green time.” Getting outside in nature is great for focus. You can also try incorporating plants into your office, which have been shown to increase productivity. Researchers think it’s because it’s aesthetically pleasing to the eye and promotes improved air quality.
What tricks do you have for boosting focus and concentration? Share them with us in the comments below.