Lack of focus and concentration. We all have it at some time or another. Blaming your lack of focus and concentration on others is not the way to go. It is usually far-fetched to think you are suffering from a medical or mental issue given your inability to focus in stressful situations or to concentrate during a business meeting. But there are some things you could change in your daily life that might improve your concentration.
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While your brain is not exactly composed of muscle tissue, you could think of the mind as a muscle. Through active training, you can strengthen its functionality, specifically when it comes to focus and concentration. The exercises, tricks, and lifestyle alterations listed below are great methods you can use to improve your concentration and focus on a daily and long-term basis.
Meditation is something that everyone can take part in and for good reason, too. Mindful meditation has repeatedly been shown to strengthen mental capacities and increase your attention span.
You don’t have to devote a lifetime to this activity to see its benefits. Spreading 10 to 20 minutes of meditation throughout the day can improve your concentration.
Rebekah Borucki shows how you can use 4-minute meditations to reduce stress in her book You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life.
Mindfulness is something you can also practice throughout the day to help stop distractions. For instance, when you’re eating, you can make it an active experience versus a passive activity, such as eating while watching television.
Concentrate on your chewing and experience all the flavors and textures. This sort of conscious thinking will likely lead to being less distracted. Be conscious of your thoughts and keep yourself on task.
Make a List
Everyone’s probably heard this one already, but it works. Seriously. Increasing your ability to focus can be significantly influenced by something as simple as making a list of the things you have to do. Compose a list prioritizing the important tasks first, then create a separate less urgent list.
Creating a list will not only prioritize your activities and deadlines but will prevent you from multitasking. Research time and time again has proven that despite our beliefs, most people cannot multitask.
We are only able to tackle one issue at a time effectively, and trying to do multiple things at once will only decrease the value of work for each task and lead you to easy distraction. Stay focused and concentrate on one task on your list at a time.
Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky discuss ways to focus more on what needs to be done in their book Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day.
Wiggle Your Feet
Ok, this one sounds weird, but it works. Olivia Fox Cabane, the author of The Charisma Myth, suggests doing this. Cabane suggests that we can often tune out during a conversation or become completely distracted during something important.
We look for some form of instant gratification and distraction, like a new email or text. Cabane suggests that to avoid such instances take a moment and mindfully concentrate on your toes, wiggling them around. Then you will be able to handle some of your tasks with better focus.
It’s not just the emails and texts that can be the cause for your inability to focus. Other small distractions limit attention span, so it’s important to seclude yourself from these diversions.
Our inability to disconnect easily from available tools like the internet, computers, and smartphones can be the main cause of our lacking attention capacities. Mel Robbins, the author of The 5-Second Rule, suggests leaving the phone out of the room. She also says when you feel yourself getting distracted or unable to concentrate and start something, just count down from five and launch right into whatever it is you’re doing.
Author Joshua Seth discusses ways to stop distractions in his book Finding Focus In A Busy World: How To Tune Out The Noise and Work Well Under Pressure.
Close the computer, leave the phone somewhere else, meditate in the morning, wiggle those toes, and get to work. These are just four ways that could help you find your focus and concentration.