Now more than ever, we live in a world filled with distractions and notifications constantly competing for our attention- all day, every day. Needless to say, we all could benefit from improving our concentration and becoming masters of our brains, instead of slaves to the constant distractions.
Here are 10 tips on how to improve mental focus:
- Brain training activities:
Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, chess, jigsaw puzzles, word searches and memory games can help improve concentration, develop your working and short-term memory, and processing and problem-solving abilities.
- Sleep well:
Sleep deprivation affects cognitive functions like memory and attention, your mood, slow down your reflexes and, of course, your performance at work. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep and make good sleep habits, like winding down and turning off screens an hour before you go to bed.
Try to start your day with exercise. One of the many benefits of regular exercise is increased focus. Research shows that just a year of constant moderate activity can help stop or prevent memory loss associated with age.
- Get in touch with nature:
Scientific evidence supports the positive impact of just 15 to 20 minutes of exposure to natural environments. Take a walk through a park, place a plant near your work space to boost concentration and productivity.
Improved focus, attention and memory are only a few of the benefits of meditation and mindfulness practice.
- Take breaks:
When feeling that your mind wanders and concentration drops, take a break. Get a drink or a snack, take a short walk, or get some sunlight on your face. Breaks can help boost cognitive functions and more. Use techniques such as the Pomodoro Method.
- Listen to music:
According to research, baroque classical music, nature sounds or white noise can help improve focus by helping you tune out background sounds.
- Eat right:
Making sure your diet has variety can help you nourish your body and brain with all the nutrients needed to function properly. Include healthy fats and stay hydrated.
- Eliminate distractions:
It seems obvious, but distractions are underestimated. Turn your phone to Do not disturb or airplane mode, turn off computer notifications, and if working from home, set a specific time and place to work and request to be left alone for that period of time.
- Do NOT multitask:
Seems like a great way to get a lot done, but it’s actually counterproductive when it comes to concentration and productivity. Instead, set small daily goals that you can achieve by focusing on one at a time.