Lack of concentration is one of the most frequent complaints heard by workers and students. Everyone is capable of focusing deeply, especially while playing video games, playing your guitar, or the piano. But as you might know, concentration strategies require practice, the same as learning any other skill like dancing or writing. You will probably start noticing minor changes within a few days and considerable improvement only within four to six weeks of training. That’s a short time considering how many years you’ve spent not concentrating as well as you’d like. Here are some of the best ways of improving concentration backed by science:
Mindfulness and meditation:
It might feel counterintuitive to let go of something your care about and focus your attention on the present moment. But it’s a proven way to rewire your brain for better focus in your everyday life. Sitting still for a few minutes each day, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing and the sounds around you, can strengthen well-being and mental fitness and improve focus.
The main idea is to train our brain to focus on the details of what matters at the present moment. When you focus on your breath, you will not be distracted by things that concern us. Our minds go in the direction we choose to focus. With practice, you can learn how to use your breath to bring your attention back to a specific task, even while being distracted.
There is scientific evidence showing that progressively pushing to higher levels of attention in cognitive games training can improve concentration in everyday activities and help you develop your working and short-term memory, as well as your problem-solving skills. Such games including sudoku, chess, and brain-stimulating video games, are all great options.
Another proven option might be setting a simple timer to train your brain to hyper-focus on a task. First, decide what task you want to finish. Set your timer for 20 minutes and concentrate on one thing without interruptions. When the alarm rings, take a short break for 5 minutes. Then reset the timer and focus again, and after a few cycles, take a longer break of 15 minutes. It has shown to be vastly effective in improving concentration.
A healthier lifestyle:
There is a direct link between living a healthy lifestyle and your ability to stay focused. Individuals who do sports perform better on cognitive tasks when compared with those who have poor physical health. It helps reduce stress and improve sleep, and since the body and mind are so closely linked when your body feels better, so does your mind.
A healthy diet has been shown to support brain health and treat underlying conditions. Prefer food that moderates your blood sugar, and gives energy for a longer time like fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods. Reduce sweet drinks that cause sharp increases and dips in your sugar levels. Also, your brain requires a lot of good fats to function as needed. Foods like nuts, coconut oil, and avocados are great ways to add healthy fats to your diet and help your brain run more smoothly.
Decluttering your space:
Studies show that the average person loses an hour a day to disorganization. It’s easier to stay organized when you can find anything you need on your desktop. Clutter has a noticeable effect on your concentration. Researchers discovered that having too much clutter decreases the brain’s capacity for focusing and processing information, and it causes you to be unable to accomplish much.
Other studies show that once a person gets up from something they are working on, they are much less likely to return to the thing they left. A clean desktop is your best bet to start the day with a productive attitude.
Set a worry time:
People who set a specific time for being worried find themselves worrying 35 percent less of the time within four weeks. That’s a significant improvement for a minor change in your daily routine!
Schedule a specific time each day to think about the things that keep invading your mind and interfering with your concentration. For example, set 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. as your worry/think time. When your brain is busy worrying during the day, remind yourself that you have a particular time for worrying. Then, think of the present, and return your focus to your previous activity.
The reward for improving your concentration is worth it. You’ll improve your ability to learn new information and find yourself accomplishing more at the same time. It can even affect your social life, and best of all, concentration skills help your self-confidence because you will realize how much more is possible when you can give your total attention.