Do you get distracted while working easily? Have you been trying to look at your computer but just can’t function? Are you unable to work because of too many thoughts in your head? If these situations are familiar to you then you may need help with your concentration power and focus levels!
Why can’t I concentrate?
If you often find yourself asking the above question then you have come to right place. Let’s look at some of the reasons you are unable to concentrate:
- Lack of sleep
- Medical conditions or injuries such as concussions
- Restless Mind
According to a study published in January 2008, an average working individual was interrupted every 11 minutes and it took an average of 25 mins to get back on time. Imagine the same during the current situation!
Moreover, in teenagers & young adults, binge drinking has been established to interrupt normal brain growth in the parts that are linked to high-level thoughts. Heavy alcohol use may therefore affect a youngster’s ability to perform in academics and sports, and these effects could be long-lasting. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183294/]
Why improve concentration & focus?
“The powers of the mind are like the rays of the sun. When they are concentrated, they illumine.”
– Swami Vivekananda
Ancient wisdom believes that concentration is the secret to great success. Now even modern studies prove that increasing concentration power can help you increase productivity and attention span thereby leading to better performance & improved brain development.
Improved concentration levels help while studying, improves memory and comprehension. Most importantly, it helps you ignore irrelevant thoughts and distractions and enables you to move towards your goal like a dart!
So, how do you increase your own concentration power? Here are some simple yet powerful hacks.
How to increase concentration power
- Prepare a distraction-free environment
- Eat the right food
- Consider napping in the afternoon
- Play memory games
- Practice meditation for concentration
- Use focus timers
- Try Listening To Music
Prepare a distraction-free environment
If you want to focus and increase concentration power, create proper boundaries and a distraction-free environment. When you are starting a work session, lock your door and put your phone away. Do everything in your capabilities to stay distraction-free. As per a study, it takes you 23 minutes on average to refocus on a task after you respond or check an email or text. Hence, a distraction-free environment is key.
Eat the right food
The food you eat helps you refresh, stay energized and gives your brain fuel to perform better. There are certain foods that help you focus, increase concentration power and achieve more! They contain certain proteins and vitamins that can help you get that little extra. These include berries, grilled white meat, yoghurt and even coffee. In fact, drinking a cup or two of coffee every day can help stimulate your brain and help you stay alert.
Consider napping in the afternoon
Naps are a great way to give yourself a break and reset your focus. In fact, It will help you restore mental alertness, give your brain some time to rest and you can come back to your work all guns blazing. However, ensure you nap at the right time. You want to increase concentration power and not feel drowsy the whole day instead. Moreover, napping has many other benefits that you should definitely consider if you often feel tired or lose motivation in the middle of the day.
Play memory and thought based games
On the face of it, it feels recreational, but there are many benefits to this. Playing online games such as Among Us, Codewords or other games such as chess and sudoku activate your brain and improve critical thinking. Moreover, in all these games you need to be thinking one step ahead of your opponent, which requires uninterrupted focus and concentration. Consider using your breaks or free time to play these games in order to increase your concentration power.
Practice meditation for concentration
Meditation has proven benefits for your brain including better focus and concentration power. Meditation helps develop your brain’s prefrontal cortex. This is the part of your brain that is responsible for memory, knowledge and learning. So as you make it stronger, it allows you to concentrate better and for a longer time. Be it studies or work, your concentration will be higher.
Use focus timers
Focus timers are a great way to hone your attention span, work more productively and increase concentration power. Either download an app or use your phone’s timer for this practice. Set a time you’re comfortable with and once you begin, focus on your task without distractions or breaks for that period of time. It will help your brain sharpen up and help you set aside distractions. Moreover, since you know the timer is ending soon, it gives you added motivation to beat the clock and then take a well-deserved break.
Regular exercise helps improve concentration power as per research done in 2018. The research proved that daily physical activity helped children double their concentration and attention in just 4 weeks. According to NIH, 1 year of moderate aerobic activity in adults can also help reverse memory loss that occurs mainly due to age. Therefore, getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day can be helpful. A quick jog or taking stairs instead of the elevator can also help increase the heart rate. Other simple activities include cycling, skipping & swimming.
Music to improve concentration
Tuning in to music or ambient noises such as nature sounds or white noise help cover background noises and help improve concentration power. The type of music also does matter here as suggested by a 2009 study that claims classical music or nature sounds are the better choices in order to improve concentration and focus. In case you can, do invest in a good quality noise-cancelling earphone to drain out all kinds of background noises and help you focus on the task. For a quick fix, one can try humming while using a pair of earplugs as well.
Your concentration power can be increased with these activities as long as you can incorporate them into your daily activities and keep it going. These hacks are a great place to start if you’re looking to increase your concentration power, be it for studies or work. It will sharpen your mind, improve your diet too and lead to better focus. For more holistic development, try and avoid your mobile phone during work hours, set boundaries for things you find distracting and genuinely put effort into increasing concentration power.
Evolve’s guided audios are designed to help you improve focus and increase concentration power. The Evolve app is now live globally, click here to try for free!
Jash is an expert on mindfulness.