Everyone knows that factors such as focus and concentration are key determiners of how quickly you get something done and how satisfactory the end result is. It also determines how many errors you’ll make in the process, which, eventually, also determines whether or not you’ll have to fix the issue or have to go for a redo. Due to the fact that time is a finite resource, this is something that can be incredibly important. Other than this, it determines how exhausted you’ll be by the end of the project, which is an issue that you may transfer to the rest of your life, as well.
To a lot of people, whether they’re able to focus on the task at hand may seem quite random, yet, this is mostly due to the fact that they’ve never taken some time to in-depth analyze this issue. If they did, they would quickly realize that there are several factors that are tightly related to the issues of focus, concentration and productivity. This is something that can help you manipulate these positive phenomena in your favour and help you get the most out of your every day, regardless if you’re working, studying or doing something else entirely. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top five healthy tips to improve your focus and concentration.
5 Health Tips to Improve Your Focus and Concentration
1. Sleep better
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that humans are diurnal creatures. This means that not matter for how long you’ve been staying up; you’ll never be as productive at night as you are during the day. Our psyche is wired to respond positively to light and the best way for you to exploit this phenomenon is to change your sleeping routine. If you’re leading an active lifestyle (even if it’s just one exercise every couple of days) you need to sleep between 7 and 9 hours per night. The most important thing, however, is that you go to bed and get up at the same time every single day.
One problem that a lot of people have with getting a good night’s sleep is the fact that they just aren’t feeling sleepy when they go to bed. Fortunately, there are three simple tricks to help you work around this issue. First, you should try to get more tired during the day (through an exercise). Second, you should turn off and not use your electronics at least half an hour before going to bed. Finally, you should try to avoid caffeinated beverages (tea, coffee, energy drinks, etc.) after 4 or 5 PM. This way, you stand a much better chance of getting your good night’s sleep.
The quality of the setting matters, as well and the first thing you should do is check out the situation in the room where you’re usually sleeping. First of all, you should try to make it as dark as possible, which is why investing in some quality blinds and heavy curtains might sound like a good idea. Second, you should never save money on the mattress. In fact, if you could invest in a good mattress, you could make a massive difference in regards to your average sleep quality.
As of lately, there’s been a massive surge in popularity of the trend known as powernap. What this implies is that, if done correctly, even a 20-minute nap can help you recharge your batteries and drastically improve your focus. To prove just how effective this is, there’s the fact that a lot of innovative entrepreneurs around the globe are encouraging this positive phenomenon. Some of them are even setting up nap areas on their premises in order to allow this concept to give them the highest possible value. Needless to say, this concept is best suited for those working from home, seeing as how it allows them to take a nap in their own bed.
2. Better diet
The next thing that boosts your productivity is your diet. First thing first, you need to start avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugars. Everyone loves a pizza but staying productive and focused after you’ve just had one is nearly impossible. It takes your body so much time to process this food that it has to send some extra blood to your stomach, which leaves your brain in a non-enviable scenario. Sure, the food is delicious and it helps you with your serotonin levels, which is why it should probably remain a guilty pleasure that you should use as a cheat meal. Nonetheless, you should definitely not eat it while working.
Another thing you need to know about your diet is the fact that you can help boost your brain power by eating a lot of healthy fats. We’re mostly talking about foods like avocado, dark chocolate, fatty fish, pumpkin seed and nuts. This is mostly why the Paleo diet is great for brainpower, as well as for regulating your body weight. The problem with these tips is the fact that it doesn’t naturally fit the daily meal plan of the majority of people. Needless to say, this is one of the things that you should change as soon as possible.
Aside from all this, drinking coffee is also known to enhance your focus and concentration. In fact, there are a lot of people who refer to coffee as the fuel on which the modern business world is running. Other than keeping you awake and alert, coffee is enhancing your learning ability, which also benefits your ability to work on the peak of your productivity. In order to streamline this process and facilitate the regular coffee intake during your work hours, you might even decide to consider Coffee Machines for your home office or your regular office. When timed properly, coffee can even help you regulate your sleeping schedule.
3. Work smarter
There is one study suggesting that we’re the most productive during the first two hours after we wake up. This is why the idea of doing menial tasks until you’re fully woken up may sound particularly counter-productive. This is one of the first things you have to change. Fortunately, we’ve already covered the issue of sleeping schedule, which is why you can make this process better fit your daily plans. This way, you can turn it into something reliable and predictable and both of these attributes are something you need to enhance your productivity.
The next thing you need to understand is the significance of taking regular breaks. Skipping a break doesn’t give you 30 minutes more to work. It makes you exhausted and unable to focus, which means that you’ll not only be prone to making more mistakes but, paradoxically enough, get less done. By working in intervals, regardless if it’s the Pomodoro technique that we’re talking about or not, you’ll lower the chance of losing focus or productivity. This will also limit your distractions, due to the
Understand the reasoning behind it is the best way to stay focused and concentrated on the task at hand. There’s always a reason why this is important but if you don’t understand the project that you’re working on, you’ll have a hard time motivating yourself to give it your very best. If you’re not the big-picture-team-player kind of person, then try to give yourself some personal motivation instead. How does participating in this project benefit you personally? Does it give you the necessary experience, looks good on your resume or helps you create some valuable contacts? There’s always an angle out there that makes you a winner.
4. Limiting your distractions
The most important thing that you need to do in order to be able to focus is – eliminate as many distractions as possible. The way in which you start doing so is by telling people that you’re working and that you’re not to be disturbed. If you’re working from home, you need to have “the talk” with your roommates or family members. If you’re in an office space, you should do with the same with some of your coworkers. Either way, it’s up to you to set some limits and ground rules.
Another thing you need to do is limit the amount of noise that’s coming in from all sides. The way in which this works is fairly simple. If you’re in a position to do so, what you need to do is work on the acoustics of the room in question. If not, you can take personal measures for making the place somewhat quieter. For instance, you could get yourself a silent keyboard and mouse, in order to reduce the clicking noise radiating from your workstation. If none of these helps, you could at least get yourself some noise-cancelling headphones.
The last thing you should do is limit the number of visual distractions. First, this can be done by positioning your screen so that there’s nothing particularly distracting behind it. Second, you need to consider your immediate field of vision, which is why you need to declutter your desk as soon as possible. This should take only several minutes of your time but the boost in focus and concentration will be incredible. You also need to avoid multitasking, if possible, due to the fact that the myth of its productivity has long since been debunked.
5. Use tools
You need to understand that an alarmingly large portion of the time you waste is due to the numerous smartphone applications you use on a regular basis. This is why some people prefer to delete Instagram when they get up in the morning and install it in the evening when they get back home. It’s even more effective to have two phones, one of which is not a smartphone. This phone should be the one you take to work.
Of course, not all apps are bad and there are some that can even help you be more productive. We’re, of course, talking about time management apps and there are numerous free tools that you should consider. Seeing as how much they can benefit you, even paying for a premium app (or a premium version of an app) would give you a positive ROI.
As you can see, boosting your focus and concentration may seem simple buy abiding by these rules is definitely not easy. Why? Well, mostly because it requires you to change your lifestyle, ranging from your sleeping habits and diet, all the way to your behaviour at work. Nonetheless, when you take a look at the big picture, all of this ends up being more than worth it. These Health Tips to Improve Your Focus and Concentration will definitely help you achieve a better life.