We live in a world full of distractions. So much is going on all day it’s easy to get distracted, and as discussed in an earlier post it can take an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on track and on task. I this post we’re going to look at 5 Tips On How To Improve Your Focus And Concentration.
With all these things to distract us daily, it’s easy to lose focus and concentration. In addition to these distractions, there are other elements in our life that can add to our loss of focus and concentration.
5 Tips On How To Improve Your Focus And Concentration
The following are a list of 5 items that I myself have started implementing in my life. These 5 tips I put together after doing research into what could improve my focus, and out of all the research, I built this small but easy to accomplish list because focus and concentration are the most important items to succeeding with being productive.
So, without further distraction, here is my 5 Tips On How To Improve Your Focus And Concentration.
1. Switch off your mobile for 10 minutes
Up until around 20 years ago I never had a mobile phone. I spent many years never having one and never missing not having a phone with me. Up until 10-12 years ago (I can’t remember the exact date I got my first real smartphone) I never had a phone that could connect to the internet. Up until then I never missed not being able to connect to the internet from anywhere.
Fast forward to today and our phones keep us constantly connected to the internet, offering constant temptation and distraction. Beeps and vibrations where we get messages, Facebook updates, Tweets and so much more. One beep and our focus goes.
There is a solution to this. Switching off your mobile for some period of the day can help us refocus and concentrate. Amazingly the world around us doesn’t fall apart if we can’t reply instantly to that tweet.
Now, in some cases, such as if you have a child in childcare or an elderly relative that may need to get in touch, you may not be able to go completely mobile free. There is a solution to this too. Have a separate number of communication channel that is only given to them. Only they know it, and this channel can be left open. That way, if they need to contact you that channel is still open.
Try it for 10 minutes. Turn off your phone. See how it feels. Removing that distraction, especially if you have a task that has to be completed, will help with your focus.
While on the subject of phones, there is one other thing you can try. Many of us wake in the morning and the first thing we do is check our phones. Why not use that time, instead of looking at your phone, to self-meditate. I won’t go into too much details on self-meditation in this step as I will be talking about that soon.
2. Make a to-do-list
This may seem obvious, make a to-do-list for your day. It’s amazing how many people don’t do this. They make and keep a list of items to do in the mind, which they think helps. The biggest problem with doing that, well there are two, firstly it’s easy to add items to it as you go through the day and never actually get anything done. The second problem is it’s easy to forget stuff.
Here is what you should do. The first thing you do when you get into your office is to write out the things you want to accomplish for today, just a standard to-do-list. Next, take a second piece of paper. Now, go through you to-do-list and think – if I had to leave halfway through the day (or another one is if I were going on holiday tomorrow) what is the most important task I need to ensure is finished.
When you have this most important item, write this as your number 1 item on the second piece of paper. Then, go through the remaining items and do the same, think what is the most important item out of these left tasks I would need to finish, write that as your number 2 task. Do it again a third time and write that as your number 3 item.
You can take the rest of the items and put them on the end of the list. You now have the most important 3 things you need to focus and concentrate on for the day. Doing this will focus your time on the most important tasks.
3. Get out for a walk
Spending all day sitting at your desk, working, answering calls and all those other tasks you need to do can cause fatigue which will hinder your focus and concentration.
There is a time for work and there has to be a time for regenerating. Eating and drinking will help, but a great way to help with focus and concentration is to get out of the office and go for a walk, preferably somewhere where there is nature around you – but just out for a walk in the fresh air if not.
Taling yourself out of the office, out of the work environment, taking a walk, breathing in the fresh air and just exercising will allow you to focus and concentrate more when you get back into the office. Taking time for yourself and just letting your mind wander onto other things as you take a stroll.
4. Get to bed by 11pm
So, this is one of the items I myself are bad on. I’m terrible when it comes to getting to bed on time and getting enough sleep. There is always one more task to do, such as writing a post, writing some code, sending an email.
The issue is, if we don’t get enough sleep then it can have detrimental effects on our focus and concentration, even our health. It’s such a simple thing to do. Simply ensure you follow your to-do-list and only do the items on the day you list for yourself.
Your items that have to be done should be finished before 11pm at night, which means you can go to bed on time. Do this, get enough sleep and you should notice better focus and concentration through your day.
So, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation. A typical meditation consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. If you would like a fuller description of mindfulness, then this site has a great description.
The reason it’s on my list is that it allows you to spend 10 minutes doing some simple self-meditation, at the end of which you should feel just more relaxed and ready to focus.
I have been using an app on my phone called Headspace, which you typically use first thing in the morning. Its very simple to do and use, you simply run it and follow its instructions for the time limit it gives.
It just allows you to relax, focus and I am finding it’s helping me prepare myself for the day ahead.
This is what I am doing…
So, those are my 5 tips on how to improve your focus and concentration. These came from my own search for how to improve my own focus and concentration when working. These are the 5 things I am following myself.
If you have any other tips that you think would be good to add to this list or can help, please leave them in a comment below because the most help we have to improve our focus and concentration, the better we an all be.