If one has better focus and concentration, it would make their life easier and more productive.
Who wouldn’t want that?
However, in our increasingly busy lives, we tend to lack focus and concentration since our heads are in different places at once. Ever heard of multi-tasking? Multi-tasking is one of the killers of focus and concentration. How can one focus on multiple tasks at once? Impossible, unless you are the master of segregating the different tasks, and placing direct focus and concentration on each. Let us be honest, most of us aren’t born with this inhuman ability, so we have created a guide on how to improve your focus and concentration.
Before we get into the nitty gritty details…
What’s the difference between focus and concentration?
Many people get confused and think focus and concentration mean the same thing but in fact, they mean different things.
Being focused means to be in touch with reality. An individual will be “focused” on the specific task at hand and not letting their mind wander to other thoughts. If I ask an individual if he is focused, he can only answer “yes” or “no”. There is no in between.
Concentration is the act of isolating one’s attention on a specific task. Unlike focus, there are various degrees of concentration that if I ask an individual if he is concentrating, he can be in deep concentration or minorly concentrating. Concentration is a more global condition in comparison to focus which is similar to laser dot on a very small piece of surface.
Now that you have a clear understanding of the difference between focus and concentration, read on to learn these amazing tips on how to improve your focus and concentration.
6 Tips to improve your focus
1. Mentally prepare your brain
Before tackling a task, take a minute or two to sit in a comfortable position and breathe deeply. Let your body calm down and then work on the task. You will find that you are more focused. Read our beginner’s guide to meditation for tips on how to relax and empty your mind.
2. Understand where your focus needs to be
Identify what deserves your focus for the day, the week, the month, or the year. Then look at your schedule and allocate blocks where you dedicate your focus to those tasks.
3. Unplug for 30 minutes
The rise of social media has become a drainer to our ability to focus. Our need to stay connected influences are ability to focus. Log out of your social media, or turn your phone on silent to prevent notifications, in order to maintain your focus.
4. Grab a coffee
If you need a pick me up, grabbing a coffee will do the trick. That morning coffee will do wonders when the afternoon comes since caffeine is said to increase physiological arousal, making you less prone to being distracted and better able to pay attention to the task at hand. Better still than coffee, check out these alternatives instead.
5. Drink more fluids
In 2012, studies in the Journal of Nutrition found that mild dehydration can negatively impact one’s ability to pay attention.
The recommended fluid intake for men and women is 12.5 cups and 9 cups respectively. Drink up for the sake of your productivity!
6. Get rid of distractions
Stay away from distractions such as social media, emails, and possibly that loud colleague of yours. Choose an environment that is quiet so you can focus on a task. Ever considered doing a digital detox?
6 Tips to improve your concentration
1. Prioritise tasks
You can improve your concentration by working on the larger tasks first, and then move on to the smaller tasks.
Make a list of tasks to do in the level of importance so you complete the most important tasks first. If you fail to prioritise tasks, it may lead to disorganisation, distraction, and agitation.
2. Break into small sections
Breaking large tasks into smaller, manageable pieces is helpful when you are feeling too overwhelmed. This will help you improve your concentration since you are tackling small pieces one at a time.
3. Set a timer
Setting a timer to go off at regular intervals helps you not stray away from the task. Whenever the timer goes off, ask yourself “Am I being productive?” “Am I concentrating on what is important?”.
If you are off task, the timer is a reminder to get back on track.
4. Declutter your work space
A clean work space equals a clean mind as it greatly improves concentration. Read more about this subject here: Improve Your Productivity – The Working Environment.
5. Maintain a routine
Keeping a regular routine makes it easier for you to know what to do for the day. This allows your mind to concentrate on what is important rather than trivial things such as finding your house keys or what outfit you are going to wear today.
6. Surround yourself with organised people
They say that having the right support group is essential. In this case, surround yourself with organised people. Their habits and even their presence will rub off on you, and you will find yourself more concentrated on your tasks.
We have given you lots of ways to improve your focus and concentration.
Do you have any tips that should be added to this list? Comment below!