“The only prudence in life is concentration.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many times throughout life, we struggle with remaining focused. Distractions are at every turn. Thoughts loom over our minds, and it can be challenging to concentrate on one thing at a time.
In this article, we will find out that the path to greater focus includes the following:
- Spend 20-30 minutes on a hobby each day
- Take a break from screens
- Get up and walk
- Take a vacation
- Consider taking supplements
- Review external causes (sleep, stress, environment)
- Organize folders
- Take time to meditate
- Drink lots of water
- Consult your doctor
The Path to Greater Focus
1. Spend 20-30 minutes on a hobby each day.
Spending time on a hobby each day allows us to enjoy life more. In doing a hobby, we are more ready to get back to work.
We can only focus on so many things so many times throughout the day. We can only spend so much time on work until there is a decrease in productivity.
Spending time on a hobby helps our minds shift to what is more enjoyable. Switching up the routine and doing what we love throughout the day helps us to be more productive in our work.
Harvard Business Review states, “Hobbies can make workers substantially better at their jobs.”
2. Take a break from screens.
Our brains are continually on a dopamine hit when checking our phones. When we spend more time on our screens than with people in nature and other aspects of life, we tend to become overextended.
Our phones are distraction machines. It can be tough to focus on one thing for an extended period.
With notifications constantly going off, our mental bandwidth is stretched and diminished. We begin to multitask, placing the residue of our mental bandwidth on many different items.
It is essential to step away from screens. Give your eyes a rest and allow your brain to recover. This, in turn, will help you to focus.
3. Get up and walk.
Due to our culture, we have become sedentary beings. We tend to sit most of the time when we should be moving.
Take time to get up from your desk every 30-60 minutes and…
- Go for a 5-15 minute walk
- Do some yoga
- Stretch your legs
Doing the above will help you escape the mundane task of sitting and looking at a screen all day.
Movement helps to boost productivity - so prioritize this into your schedule!
4. Take a vacation.
We all need to get away from routine and bring excitement into our lives. By taking a vacation and stepping away from work, you will come back feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated.
The excitement of life will be back because you took time to shut everything down, rest, and have fun.
If you are able, consider spreading your vacation days out in the following:
- Every month, take a Friday off.
- Every quarter, take a week off.
- Every year, take 2-4 weeks off.
5. Consider taking supplements.
Supplements can be a great way to boost concentration and focus.
According to Harvard Health, “Many brain supplements focus on omega-3 fatty acids (such as those found in fish oil), vitamin E, various B vitamins, or various combinations. Why these? There’s strong evidence that certain diets — like the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the MIND diet — can help improve cognitive function.”
Consult with your doctor before incorporating supplements into your daily routine.
6. Review external causes (sleep, stress, environment).
Assess what is keeping you from a productive day and focusing.
Are the neighbors keeping you up? Do you have an animal that you sleep with that is disrupting sleep? Are you looking at screens right before going to bed?
Is your work environment disorganized? Do you have too many things on your desk? Are you constantly checking your phone and having it nearby when you work? Are you operating throughout each day without set goals to accomplish?
Determine external causes outside you that could be disrupting your sleep, causing you to feel stressed, or are a distraction to your work environment.
After reflection, take the appropriate actions to prioritize sleep. To understand the damaging effects of not getting good sleep, see our article How Is Sleep So Important To Mental Health?
Without proper sleep, our focus will be inept.
7. Organize folders.
Just as it is challenging to find clothes to wear when they are on a heap in the ground, so is it with disorganized folders.
Consider building folders in your Files, Google Drive, and office space. This will help you to stay organized, know what each folder possesses, and help you not to have to remember or stress about where things are.
Organizing folders is a great way to help you focus on one task at a time.
8. Take time to meditate.
Meditation is key to maintaining concentration and strengthening your ability to focus.
Mindful states, “Research has found that with meditation, the amygdala—the area of the brain that responds to stress—becomes quieter.”
Even Columbia SPS says, “Meditating for a few minutes a day has been proven to reduce distractions and increase focus.”
Check out this short video to understand more about how to meditate.
9. Drink lots of water.
Hydration is key to concentration.
According to the USGS, “the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.”
The Sleep Doctor says that “we lose about 1 liter of water each night!.”
Drink 12-16 oz within the first 15 minutes of waking up. This will replenish the much-needed fluids that your body and brain need.
The brain cannot act effectively without proper hydration. Click here to understand more about how dehydration affects the brain.
Make drinking water a priority upon waking up and throughout the day.
Not sure how much water you should drink each day? See our article, How Much Water Should I Drink Per Day?
10. Consult with your doctor.
There could be some underlying effects resulting from your lack of focus.
Consider talking to your doctor for further inquiry on why you are having trouble focusing.
From Feeling Groggy to Having Clarity
Now that you know what to do when you have trouble focusing, it is time to understand more specifics on how best to move forward.
To better understand the power of supplements and hydration with focus and clarity, see the following articles below:
- Are Supplements Necessary for Good Health?
- Who Should I Talk to About Supplements?
- How Does Dehydration Affect My Brain?
Remember, nobody ever regretted growing.