Research shows that most of us have incredibly short attention spans, and according to other data, attention spans are sometimes even shorter than those of a goldfish!
Well, of course, how to focus in the world of constant digital attacks, large volumes of information, and strict work requirements?! Your capacity to focus and perform better will improve as you become more aware of the limitations and potential of your brain and seek to enhance them.
Here are 5 evidence-based strategies to help you focus.
Train your brain
Our brain is a mental muscle that can be strengthened and “pumped” with exercise. The brain is naturally curious and is constantly in a state of curiosity about what is going on around us. Ignoring this fact, one cannot remain focused. The lack of the capacity to focus creates a large gap in the degree of productivity and efficiency, thereby jeopardizing the chances of success. The great news is that the ability to block out distractions allows the brain to become more productive, focused, and creative.
Concentration is also a muscle that you can work. Strengthen the degree of concentration by turning off all distractions, and paying attention to only one task. Start small – with five minutes a day, and then increase this period of time. If you find yourself reading up in the clouds, just try to get right back to the task at hand. It’s like training in the gym – you need to form and work out the muscles of focus and concentration.
It is known that attention is more concentrated in an unfamiliar environment, especially if there is a security threat in it. This is very well illustrated by the example of driving a car. If you, say, rent a Ferrari in Dubai in a rental shop and drive it along the highway, then your brain will be heavily focused on the process of driving an expensive, albeit rented, sports car. Several factors come into play here:
- you are driving a car on the road;
- you are driving a fast and expensive car on the road;
- you are driving a fast and expensive car in an exotic country where you have not been before (in this case, the UAE).
We can say that driving a car is a good simulator for concentration in everyday life. If you don’t have a car, you can always rent one.
Physical activity and exercise are not only beneficial for the muscles of the body, but also for the brain, which is directly related to the development of memory and concentration. Especially good are those sports that speed up your heart rate, such as walking or swimming. This increases the brain’s blood supply, which increases oxygen levels and improves communication among neurons. Exercise contributes to the improvement of the genesis and plasticity of neurons, the creation of new ones, and the connections between them. Your physical activity can directly help your memory, your imagination, and even your capacity for planning and setting goals.
Scientific studies have proven that meditation not only has the ability to change the structure of the brain, but also has a beneficial effect on the state of mental focus, and this directly improves cognitive performance. Meditative practices help to better concentrate on work, remember more professional information and important details, save energy longer and be less likely to be in a bad mood.
During their research, scientists used many different methods and tests to measure how frequent meditation impacts people’s capacity to focus. The results of one of them showed that, in general, people who have only been meditating for a few months do better on activities that are aimed at testing the ability to “unplug” from distractions. Those who have been meditating for longer periods show a markedly better capacity to maintain attention and concentration, especially for extended durations of time.
Your mood, energy level, and capacity to concentrate are all regulated by the food you consume. Food has a remarkable capacity to impair your ability to pay attention, remember things, and think clearly. As a result, you should pay close attention to your diet.
According to studies, blueberries can improve memory for up to 5 hours and aid with attention. The blueberries’ antioxidants aid to maintain brain activity by promoting oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Additionally high in essential oils and amino acids that improve mental concentration include fatty salmon, avocados, almonds, and green tea.
We all think much better when we are well-rested. A clear mind, and a ready brain allow us to focus, learn and remember more information, and stay creative. When you start to get tired, it becomes difficult for you to focus on some things.
Poor concentration is one of the key signs of chronic sleep deprivation. Uninterrupted 7-8 hours of sleep before the start of a busy work day can make a significant difference between the state of exhaustion and maximum concentration.
Author: Vital Shpakouski
Philologist with higher education, professional translator, former volunteer and teacher, entrepreneur, and salesperson with 13 years of experience. Now I’m a copywriter in Internet marketing, writing about everything that helps businesses grow and develop. In my free time, I create music and songs that no one hears and take photos and videos that no one sees.