The average human attention span has been significantly shrinking during the last few years, mostly due to our digital connectedness. The brain always seeks information, so it constantly wants to find out what’s new.
In an endless sea of information online, we’re able to easily get certain information and quickly move on to the next topic we’re interested in. However, this will cause your focus and concentration to suffer. If you find it difficult to focus during work or in school, then you should try out these 5 ways to improve your concentration.
Avoid Electronic Devices For The First And Last Hour Of Each Day
Most people grab their smartphones or turn on their computers as soon as they open their eyes in the morning. It doesn’t matter if you do this to read the latest news, check your e-mail, or log in to your favorite social media websites. Whatever you use them for; electronic devices will have a negative effect on your concentration.
No one is suggesting that you stop being on social media or delete your personal e-mail account altogether, especially if you enjoy spending your free time online. Instead, you should simply avoid using electronic devices for the first and last hour of each day.
Spending the first hour of the day without your smartphone or computer will allow you to start off your day with a sense of control and accomplishment, while the last hour will provide you with a chance to relax and properly prepare for sleep.
Create A Distraction To-Do List
According to the Huffington Post, it takes about 25 minutes to return to your original task after being distracted. This is why you should always carry around a notepad in which you will write all of your distracting thoughts.
When you’re working on a specific task, certain distracting thoughts like wondering what the weather is going to be like tomorrow or what good movies you could watch tonight will constantly pop up in your head. Whenever this type of thought pops up in your head, just write it down and promise yourself that you’ll look it up once you finish your current task.
Not only will meditation help you learn how to live in the present and be more relaxed, but it will also improve your focus and concentration. Meditation will help you become clear-headed, thus allowing you to immediately focus on your current task. Know that meditating won’t take too much time out of your day. Just 10 to 20 minutes a day is more than enough in order to become more productive.
Maintain A Healthy Work-Life Balance
If you sacrifice your personal life for your job, chances are that you’ll just be a less effective worker. Not leading a healthy personal life will lead to inefficiency, poor decision making, increased mistakes, and inability to come up with new ideas.
Engaging in activities that you enjoy will not only improve your satisfaction, but your job performance as well, at least according to the Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org/2009/10/making-time-off-predictable-and-required).
Engage In Physical Activity
Exercising regularly will not only improve your physical health, but it will also help keep your brain fit. According to a study conducted by the University of Illinois, students who engage in moderate physical exercise perform better on tests than those who don’t (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331183800.htm).
Working out regularly will help you ignore distractions. Even though this is a fact, researchers still have no idea why exercise impacts the brain in this particular way.
It’s also worth mentioning that physical activity will teach you discipline and strengthen your willpower. This is very important when it comes to focusing properly.