Focus is in short supply these days. With the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, there’s always some sort of distraction, right at our fingertips, ready to snag our concentration.
Can't Focus? Here’s The Science Behind Why We Stop Focusing
Loss of focus happens when the subthalamic nucleus in the brain interrupts the thinking process (4). This interruption used to be very beneficial to humans back in the caveman days when a tiger would approach and their fight or flight response would kick in, clearing away whatever they were thinking about so they can focus on escape. Nowadays though, we are being constantly presented with distractions from our phones as well as unexpected stressful events on the news that are clouding up our concentration. This chronic lack of focus and concentration can result in de-motivation and low energy...no thank you!
If you’ve been looking to up your focus game, check out these 15 tips to increase concentration and get your work done fast!
1. Increase brain power with Mindfulness Meditation Apps
Meditation Apps have exploded in the last few years. Apps like Headspace and Insight Timer are great for people who don’t have time to sit through a one-hour meditation class, but still want to inject a little zen into their day.
2. Try using App-Blockers (freedom App)
Do you find that your mind tends to wander to social media or time-waster sites when you should be focusing? Download a website or app blocker program like Cold Turkey or Freedom and watch your focus rise to new heights.
3. Try a natural nootropic supplement
Nootropics are a class of supplements known to improve cognitive performance and brain power. Used primarily to increase focus, concentration and memory. Stacked together, these supplements become significantly more effective. For example; L-Theanine increases Dopamine levels, which helps with motivation, L-Tyrosine reduces stress and Caffeine boosts energy. Add in a Vitamin B Complex which plays a very important part in brain metabolic pathways and is known to increase brain power and improve focus with regular use and you have yourself an effective brain power supplement.
*Note - always be careful when stacking nootropics and vitamins and opt for a trusted and tested Nootropic supplement stack, such as Neuro Focus Plus.
4. Exercise can help with concentration
I know you’re probably tired of people telling you to exercise, but they do have a point. Did you know that regular exercise is known to augment the physical health of brain cells by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of growth factors? Improving the health of your brain cells can in turn improve concentration and focus. Exercise also reduces anxiety and greatly improves sleep which can also help with concentration. (1)
5. To-do lists helps with memory and focus
If you’re one of those people who feels like you have a million and one thoughts swirling around in your head at all times, try making a to-do list. Tack it up in clear view so that you can clear that space in your mind for more important things. There’s something called the “Zeigarnik Effect”, discovered by Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik. It’s the idea that humans tend to remember things they “need to do” better than the things they’ve “already done” (2). Keeping a list of future tasks will not only improve focus but it will guarantee that you’ll remember to do them!
6. Breakfast can help with concentration and focus
Eating a balanced breakfast is crucial if you’re looking to improve focus and concentration. Skipping breakfast actually encourages hyperactivity, poor brain function and mood swings. No bueno.
7. Increase brain power by reading a hard-copy book
Something magical happens when you crack open an old fashioned hard copy book. You zone in and almost go into a sort of meditative trance. Unlike reading articles and e-books on the internet, a hard copy book offers a completely distraction-free experience. For those who need help with concentration, regular deep reading from a hard-copy book is essential.
8. Fidget while you work
It’s been shown that fidgeting, such as tapping a pen, wiggling your toes or spinning a fidget spinner can help with concentration. The action of fidgeting gives the brain something consistent to focus on, similar to meditation.
9. Get enough sleep
Sleep is imperative to proper brain function and focus. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body overcompensates by releasing cortisol and adrenaline. Not only can this do damage to your brain cells over time, but after the initial high you get from the adrenaline, you will undoubtedly crash and your focus will be all over the place.
10. Monitor your breath
If you can’t afford a subscription to a meditation app, try using your own breath to connect to your natural flow state. Witness every moment of your breath, from the second you pull the air in, to the moment you reach full lung capacity. Picture your mind as the surfer and your breath as the wave. Now ride that wave!
11. Binaural Beats can help to improve focus
Binaural beats are a great way to naturally increase brain power by utilizing specific types of frequencies. Two different frequencies are pumped through your headphones to create 1 new frequency by your brain. This new frequency launches the user into an alpha, theta, or delta state depending on the program used.
12. You do you - know your peak times to improve concentration
So, you’re not a morning person? That’s totally OK. some people can focus better first thing, whilst others feel more energised and motivated in early evening. Forget the 9-5 rules. Spot your key focus times and plan to do work requiring heavy focus at the times when you’re at your best.
13. Say no to multi tasking
Multi-tasking can leave your brain overwhelmed and exhausted, especially when you’re skipping from tab to tab on your desktop. Try to focus on one thing at a time, the same way you would do if you were reading a book. You’ll find that you feel calmer and able to finish your work quicker than if you were jumping from thing to thing.
14. Clean your environment
Messy desks breed messy minds. Improve focus and concentration by creating a harmonious environment to work in. Your mind will be a little bit more at ease knowing that everything is in order.
15. Avoid blood-sugar imbalances
When you skip a meal, adrenaline is released and your stress level goes way up which can have a negative effect on your focus. By eat several slow-burning carb-based snacks throughout the day like legumes, oatmeal and nuts, you are avoiding any adrenaline surges and keeping your brain at full power.
A high-quality nootropic supplement such as “Neuro Focus Plus” (which includes B Vitamins and adaptogenic herbs) paired with these lifestyle tips will give you the focus you’ve always dreamed of.