Here’s the deal! No matter how much you try and how much time you spend, without good focus, nothing will stick to your mind. Don’t keep digging for the ways as in this article we will discuss about few simple hacks to improve your focus and concentration. But before that, let’s explore what focus is and its importance.
Did you know how vital focus and concentration is to memory? The focus is as crucial to memory as the key is to a lock. Of course, you can force-open the lock anytime, but it would be easier, faster and smoother with the key. Likewise, you can complete your work anytime, but how about you get it done in a go, with a simple formula known as focus.
The ability to focus and concentrate on a certain task is something that indicates our future success. All famous people must have mastered this art of focusing, don’t you think? As we live in a world full of distractions, there are so many things that constantly wants our attention. Our brain is not equipped to deal or manage those huge disrupts (lucky if you can deal). So, instead of becoming the brain’s slave, one should master it.
The new study from Microsoft Corp. revealed that the average attention span of the human is 8 seconds, which is comparatively less than an ill-focused goldfish having 9 seconds of attention span. The prime reason for this is the digitalized lifestyle of people and brain’s curiosity to know what’s next.
The next example is, suppose exams are approaching and you need to focus and concentrate on studies, but your mind keeps dancing all around. The workplace makes it even difficult when you have 100 people around you. At that moment, you sit and wish to focus on your work or your studies, but ultimately ends up with walking away. Elie Venezky, the author of “Hack Your Brain” says that we should change the way of viewing something when we need to focus on work and not on something moving around us.
The focus is like a muscle which can be built. Many people, who are unable to focus, think that they lack this power and can never gain it. You are wrong! With the help of mindset and tools, we can make this happen.
Here’re few simple focus and concentration hacks. Read this and trust us, as you never have to look around for ways to stay focused.
Strategies to improve your concentration
Ambiance plays an important role in improving the concentration and focus. The more comfortable and peaceful our ambiance is, the easier will be our ability to focus. Here’re few simple tricks to improve your physical surroundings.
- Be Comfortable:
Comfortability matters! Make sure that our table and chair are in the right position. If the chair is too low or too high or making a cracking noise, we will be disrupted and may lose our focus.
Too low or too high temperature can also be the cause of lack of focus. According to “The Workplace Regulations 1992”, the temperature during the working hours at all the workplaces shall be reasonable. The sweaty or the cold ambiance may take your mind on the ways to prevent it, instead of focusing on the task at hand.
- When Noisy, Plug-In:
The solution to all problems is Music! Music has a soothing property and listening to it may help in calming the mind so that we can pay attention to our important works. Instrumental music is the best and one can also go for “White Noise” that makes the perfect plug-in for a long-term focused task.
Pomodoro is a time management technique in which the longer work sessions are broken down into small intervals or breaks (max. 20 minutes) using a timer. This technique gives a natural flow to the work and the brain doesn’t lose its focus or gets tired. In fact, the concentration boosts to a maximum level that helps in improving the ability to focus.
- Get Sufficient Sleep:
Sleep is equally important as the focus to achieve the aim. You can’t focus on anything until you have slept enough to wake up fresh next morning. Studies show that sleep opens the door to memory and concentration and helps in the proper brain function so that we can focus on our work easily.
Summary: Ambiance plays the role of a jack in staying focused. We should be comfortable with our working arrangements and the temperature. If the noise persists, plug-in a soothing music, and if the session lasts longer, follow Pomodoro technique. Don’t forget to sleep properly.
2. Important Nutrients:
Every day we see and learn about the importance of various foods which are good for our health. Nutrients play a very important role in maintaining our focus and concentration.
- Stay Hydrated:
Many of us often forget to drink water while working. Health experts suggest never to follow such regime as it may cause dehydration and lead to tiredness and mental sluggishness. Meanwhile, we can grab a cup of coffee and go to a distraction-free place at the office premises to enjoy me-time.
- Don’t Stay Hungry:
Think, you are completely focused on your work or in the middle of an important meeting that needs your attention, and suddenly you realize that your stomach is awfully hungry. Then your mind, on its own, goes to your starving stomach and you lose the focus track on your work.
To keep both the stomach and mind happy, we should consume a sufficient diet to keep the brain alert and active that will help to improve cognitive functions of the body. A bowl of oatmeal will give a jump start to your metabolism and you will get enough energy to stay productive all-day round. Also, don’t forget to include fats (like nuts, eggs, avocados) in your diet as it promotes the brain power and brain health.
Summary: Working doesn’t mean staying dehydrated and hungry for long. Nutrients help in maintaining the focus and concentration. So, grab some coffee and a bowl of oatmeal for an energetic morning and a focused mind.
3. Workplace Mindset:
Workplace means thousands of people and thousands of people mean constant distraction. Here’re simple tricks that will make your work easy in the workplace.
- Leave Other Worries For Later:
Many people have a habit of constantly worrying about something else while working, be it a project deadline, a new colleague or a family problem. Always remember, whenever we find ourselves worrying about something else, which is not important at that moment, note it down in a paper. This will help in releasing all the tensions on a piece of paper so that our mind will be free from all of it, and we can focus on important stuff. Later, we can schedule a time to think and discuss our worries.
- Stay Focused on One Task:
Multitasking is good, but it lacks the focus we need to do a particular task perfectly. Researchers believe that it takes approx. 15 minutes to regain focus after distraction. Therefore, it’s better to focus on a single task at a time, until there’s something urgent waiting for you.
- “Do Not Disturb” Sign Helps:
“Do Not Disturb” sign makes people aware that currently, you are doing something important that doesn’t require any disturbance. Put this sign outside your cabin so that you can complete your essential task without losing focus. Also, in your office conversation chat group, you can go on a “Do Not Disturb” mode for a short interval.
- Turn Off the Mobile:
Make a habit of putting the phone in a silent mode while working. If the phone keeps buzzing after every 5 minutes, we will be distracted and will lose our focus.
- Prioritize First:
Prioritize the work first and then start working on it. This gives an idea how to carry forward the work efficiently and complete it before the assigned target time.
- Come Early and Leave Early:
In most of the office, shift timings starts at 10 in the morning or follows 9 working hours shift in a day. In this situation, it would be best to come to the office early and leave early. The morning ambiance at the workplace is silent and calm as there’s not much crowd. We can utilize this time at our best on important works that need an extra focus.
Summary: At the workplace, forget your worries, stay focused on one task, silent your phone and prioritize the tasks accordingly to make your workload easier. Put a “Do Not Disturb” board in order to avoid disturbance and make sure to follow the “Come early and Leave early” rule.
4. Other Factors:
Here’re some other important factors that will help us in staying focused.
- 10 Minutes Helps:
Our mind struggles constantly for 8-9 hours at the office. Give it a break of 10 minutes after every hour to regain its energy. These breaks will allow the mind to relax and focus again.
- Coffee is the Best Therapy:
Coffee is the best therapy! Yes, you get it right. The caffeine present in the coffee gives a stimulant kick to the brain cells positively. This helps to improve the memory, focus, and concentration.
- Give Yourself a Reward:
Every time you complete a certain amount of task, give yourself a small reward. For example, promise yourself to stay focused for 40 minutes and then reward yourself with your favorite chocolate or a cup of coffee. This will induce a positive energy inside your mind and will motivate you to complete the next task, in the same focused way.
A new research in the field of Neuroscience and Psychology says that doodling helps to stay focused and grasp new information quickly. It activates the brain’s focused circuits and keeps us away from daydreaming.
Note: Doodle is a rough drawing made by a person absent-mindedly.
- Intermittent Fasting:
As discussed in my previous article, intermittent fasting is 16:8 fasting in which we fast for 16 hours a day and eat healthy for the remaining 8 hours. You might be getting a thought, how can a fasting helps in staying focused? Here’s the thing! If we stay on fast, the amount of energy wasted on digesting foods will be utilized by resources that help to concentrate on our work.
Summary: Always remember, 10 minutes break do help, coffee is the best therapy and doodling really helps in promoting the focus of a person. Sometimes, a small reward for yourself also makes the best way to stay focused.
Great! I hope you have picked one or more of the given hacks and implemented it. Better start from sorting out your ambiance as it will be good and easy. But remember that whichever tricks you follow, do it determinedly and soon you will notice that your focus is sharpened and is available to you anytime and anywhere, without any extra effort.