Focus

Common ways you can use to increase concentration

Your ability to focus better is a crucial life skill that you must learn. Before COVID-19, many people found it difficult to focus due to the demands of juggling work, family, and social obligations. It can feel completely unattainable these days.

Technology has made it increasingly harder to focus, from interruptions at work to information overload on social media. Remember a period when your mind was genuinely calm. Maybe it was while taking a long stroll through the woods, or maybe it was while unwinding on the beach. You probably don’t remember anything else as you recall the incident. Your attention was entirely on one thing. How hard did you have to focus to acquire that feeling, is the real question at hand?

Well, in this article, I’ll guide you through the common reasons you find it difficult to concentrate and ways to increase concentration.

ways to increase concentration

Read more: 5 ways of staying focused while working from home with children

How to improve concentration?

The following are the ways to improve concentration:

  • Acknowledge the struggles
  • Always remember focus is the goal

Acknowledge the struggles

You must first be aware of the symptoms that many people experience when trying to focus to know how to enhance concentration. Individuals may exhibit different indications. But here are some things we can notice:

  • Possess a poor working memory. You are unaware of what happened recently.
  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Being incapable of thinking clearly
  • You frequently misplace items or forget where you put them.
  • Having trouble making judgments or finishing difficult jobs
  • Losing concentration
  • Lacking energy, either physical or mental
  • Committing errors repeatedly, even though you don’t mean to.

When it comes to having trouble concentrating, you might find that different people experience these symptoms at different times. Some circumstances must be present for these symptoms to occur. Others could experience it at a specific time of day.

Always remember focus is the goal

Focus is the process of purposefully directing your energy to further a goal that matters to you. Whatever it is that you need to focus on should be important to you and worth putting aside time to check social media, text messages, and other forms of communication since focus requires energy, time, and effort.

Things can become chaotic and difficult, with numerous incorrect turns, without a defined aim and road plan. Additionally, you wind up using far more mental energy than is necessary. But having a Focus Flow can be useful when learning to focus more effectively.

Read more: Best Daily Planner Apps to Increase your Productivity

Why do I find it difficult to concentrate?

Do you want to know how to focus better? Here are the 12 most common reasons you find it difficult to concentrate and the solutions for each.

  • Digital distraction
  • Daydreaming or memories
  • Headaches
  • Random thoughts
  • Arguments or unresolved issues
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of exercise
  • Loneliness
  • Excess stress
  • Hunger or lack of nutrients

 

Digital distraction

Try out a quick experiment right now. Check your browsing history to discover where you have visited throughout the day. Unsettling, yes? You entered and exited your email quickly. You switched back and forth between social media and a digital publication. Oh, and have a look at those six-store websites you browsed to find a new pair of shoes.

You also have your smartphone. You receive a fresh notice from CNN, Instagram, or Twitter every few seconds. Your gaze frequently shifts from the computer screen to the phone. You wouldn’t want to miss anything, right? This alone says a lot about your lack of focus.

Solution – Plan your day

Even while having some flexibility is crucial, you should schedule time for chores you know you’ll need to finish.

Set aside time to:

  • Read and reply to business emails.
  • Make progress on the top two or three work projects you have.
  • Take part in career development
  • Perform household tasks
  • Aid children with their schoolwork
  • Run that Zoom instruction once more with a buddy.

 

In case something takes longer than expected, leaving brief pauses between as a buffer. Everybody needs to occasionally relax with a fun diversion. The secret is in managing when you do it rather than allowing it to govern you.

In addition, you might try disabling your devices’ notifications. I am aware that most people find this one challenging. We consider our devices to be so essential to our daily lives that the idea of turning them off makes us uneasy. They are not that important, and the world will not end in the next 30 minutes.

Therefore, switch them off; your battery will appreciate it. More significantly, you will start to focus more intently on the tasks at hand once you are free of your addiction to mobile distractions.

Read more: 13 practical ways you can use to become more productive

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Daydreaming or memories

15 years ago, your spouse proposed to you in that little café. Wouldn’t the identical small tables and subway tile in your dining area be lovely?

Everybody gets lost in their memories and daydreams. Because those situations are more enjoyable than what you are dealing with at the moment, your mind wanders to them. This makes it difficult for you to focus and takes your attention away from what you should be concentrating on.

Solution – Stop dreaming

Not all daydreaming is detrimental. A spark of creative genius or the ability to visualize your goals in life might come from imagination. Simply do it when it makes sense, not when you should be concentrating on your work since this will encourage a lack of attention.

Keep a copy of your daily to-do list on your desk to help you stay in the moment. Refocus on what is in front of you when your thoughts begin to wander. Before returning your attention to the current job, ground yourself by concentrating on something tangible, such as your breath.

Having said that, schedule some time each day to allow your thoughts to wander. When it’s not keeping you from what you need to do, give yourself the luxury of dreaming.

Read more: Easy Ways to Refocus a Wandering Mind

Headaches

A splitting migraine will ruin any chance you have of focusing for a while, even though you might be able to endure minor ones.

Numerous factors, such as stress, lack of sleep, poor food, eyestrain, and drugs, can result in headaches and migraines. There’s a little wonder your brain is pounding when you add a worldwide pandemic to the mix. You should always take an honest look at yourself because lack of attention can lead to so many detrimental consequences.

Solution – Hydration or pain relief products

Keep your headache and migraine medications nearby at all times, just like that bottle of hand sanitizer. Today, migraine services like Nurx can diagnose you and send medication to your home if going to the pharmacy is difficult.

If your headache isn’t too bad, consider going without medicine. Focusing issues can be resolved in straightforward ways. Some folks only need to drink water, use a cold compress, or inhale essential oils to feel better.

 

Random thoughts

What time is that task due? I must purchase a gift for Jane’s baby shower. The shampoo is almost at an end. I require those audit results. What am I going to cook for dinner today? Does that situation ring a bell? You suddenly remember five more things you need to accomplish or think about when you’re busy. All of this may be so distracting that you find it difficult to stay up and focus. You need to slow down your rushing thoughts if you want to learn how to focus more.

Solution – be mindful and meditate

It takes practice to develop the ability to focus intently. If you’re like the majority of individuals, you have trouble focusing because your mind wanders 47% of the time. Clearing the mind, improving cognitive function, concentrating in the present, and regaining razor focus are all possible with meditation.

The good news is that it is simple to meditate. It is therefore one of the best concentration techniques you can learn. Set a timer for 10 minutes, find a comfortable place to relax, and remove your shoes. then simply pay attention to your breathing.

Simply pay attention to your breath, both in and out, and allow thoughts to come and go without trying to control them. The aforementioned mindfulness meditation is only one type. Additionally common are mantra and movement meditations. Discover what works for you, and control your racing thoughts. In addition, having a list of distractions can help you control your impulses.

 

Arguments or unresolved issues

Life is messy, and if you’re anything like me, unresolved conflicts and arguments are one of the biggest destroyers of concentration. Maybe you and your spouse fought last night. Perhaps you two argued before night, and it has been bugging you both all day. Or perhaps you’re tired of a coworker who consistently speaks louder than necessary to tell everyone about their most recent date.

Your frustration and fury may be justified, but dwelling on them is counterproductive. Your brainpower might be better spent on tasks like learning how to concentrate and focus better.

Solution – always resolve issues

Try to resolve a disagreement rather than leave it unresolved. Focus on the issue at hand, maintain composure, pay attention, and find a way to resolve the conflict.

Pull the coworker aside and let them know if something they do makes it difficult for them to concentrate. Try to understand what might be driving their behavior and remain calm, not angry. If not, nothing will alter, not even the fact that you’re having trouble focusing.

 

Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep affects more than just your health. It also makes it difficult for you to focus while awake. Poor sleep might also have medical causes. generalized anxiety disorder, diabetes, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, cardiovascular illness, and neurological conditions. You must obtain medical guidance and care for those.

However, for the majority of people, sleep issues are a direct outcome of anxiety and problems with their mental health. finances, children, parents, or perhaps that job switch you’ve been thinking about. One of the best methods for improving concentration is this.

Solution – Schedule your sleep

Even 16 minutes of lost sleep can affect how well you perform the following day. Changing your mattress or pillow may make it easier for you to fall asleep, but your routine is the main problem. Important actions to aid in regaining cognitive function include: Even on weekends, go to bed and rise at the same hour each day.

Limit your nighttime exposure to light, especially that from your computer and smartphone screens. Make a note of your worries or update your to-do list during that time to address the serious issues on your mind. Do not overeat. Large meals right before night can leave you feeling bloated and uneasy. Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol. Both chemicals prevent you from falling asleep naturally. When you do lie down, shut your eyes and turn out the lights. Inhale deeply and let yourself fall off to sleep.

 

Lack of exercise

Many people put exercising last on their list of priorities. They skip it if they are pressed for time. However, they later pay the price for their concentration. Your physical health, sleep, anxiety levels, and brain clarity all improve with even moderate, frequent physical activity. Your ability to focus suffers if you don’t schedule time for exercise during the day.

Solution – try some exercise

Not everyone prefers to exercise in front of their fellow gym patrons, nor are all people athletes. It’s okay that way. Sustainability is what matters in the end. Try engaging in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day if you find it difficult to concentrate on routine duties at work.

Start with concrete modest measures, such as walking the dog or taking the stairs, rather than diving into that soon-to-fail New Year’s resolution approach to fitness. One of the best ways to improve focus is by doing this. Use the remaining time of your lunch break to go for a walk if it only takes you five minutes to eat that protein bar at your desk. Even a short walk will leave you feeling rejuvenated.

 

Loneliness

It’s simple to become engrossed in even the smallest distraction when working on a task that bores you. When you’re not having fun with what you’re doing, the same thing can occur.

The beginning of an easily out-of-control spiral is boredom. It causes a lack of motivation, which causes exhaustion, which causes hours of mindless Facebook scrolling, which destroys your capacity to concentrate. Since depression and boredom are closely related, boredom may be a sign of something more serious.

Excess stress

Many things can cause stress, including the pandemic, politics, the economy, what’s occurring in the news, your job, and more. They can sometimes be controlled. However, there are some days when you are powerless in the face of worry and stress. I recognize that, but your choice to worry about those things is also a lifestyle choice.

Solution – taking charge of your emotions

Stressing about those issues not only impairs cognitive ability and focus but also sets the stage for the other issues mentioned in this article. The following are ways that can help you in taking charge of your emotions:

  • making it a habit to only worry about things you can control than to stress over things you cannot control.
  • Engage in yoga or mindfulness exercises
  • Take some time off.
  • Discuss your issues with others.
  • Rather than making use of drugs and alcohol, look for other ways to relax.

 

Hunger or lack of nutrients

The last possible explanation for your inability to focus is that you may not be eating enough or receiving the necessary nutrients. People frequently lack nourishment because they can become preoccupied with other activities and forget to eat. Or else they aren’t obtaining enough nutrition because they just eat little snacks.

Solution – eat more nutritious food

You must eat sensibly and provide your body with the proper nutrition. Supplemental vitamins like D3 and B12 are quite beneficial. Blueberries, green tea, avocadoes, salmon, water, dark chocolate, flax seeds, and nuts are all foods that have been shown to aid in concentration and focus. In addition, make sure you are eating sufficiently at each meal and that you maintain a regular eating schedule throughout the day.

 

Health Issues That Affect Concentration

Chronic diseases can also make it difficult for you to know how to increase concentration, though this is less often. Concentration problems are an adverse effect of:

 

What Situations Call for Help?

Finding help should be your top priority if you notice any of these symptoms. When you’ve tried numerous of the above-mentioned approaches to treat concentration problems but have not been diagnosed with any of the cognitive functioning disorders;

  • experienced unexpected and unexplained working memory loss, terrible headaches, severe chest pains, and loss of consciousness
  • unusually fatigued feeling
  • difficulty sleeping
  • noticing a drop in performance at work or in school.

 

In summary

It takes a lot of effort, determination, and dedication to learn how to improve concentration. Because of this, most people struggle to complete it. That mixture can be difficult to find when a variety of sounds, lights, and people are vying for your attention. That is all for this article, where the Common ways you can use to increase concentration are discussed.

I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!