Having Trouble Focusing? Try These Expert Tips.
It’s a common scenario: you’re reading a book, and by the time you finish the page you realize you’ve been thinking about something else the entire time.
Trouble focusing also affects work, school, and tasks around the house. If you have a seemingly endless to-do list but just can’t get yourself to focus on one particular item, you may have several half-done projects in front of you.
With constant notifications and information overload, it’s no surprise that many of us have trouble focusing and staying on task these days. Do you find it difficult to get back into a task after a distraction, no matter how minor? Do you spend more time daydreaming than doing?
Read on for some of our favorite tips for boosting your focus and productivity so you can get your day—and life—back on track.
Common Reasons for Being Easily Distracted
Concentration levels and attention spans can vary for a few different reasons. For example, some people have naturally shorter attention spans than others or a harder time tuning out distractions in general.
Other common reasons for being easily distracted include:
As we get older, our bodies and brains naturally experience some wear and tear, hence the concept of “senior moments.”
Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation, especially as a regular occurrence, can easily affect concentration, memory, and attention span.
Head or Brain Injuries
Head trauma or concussions can affect memory and concentration, with the effects varying in severity.
Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, or even chronic stress, can take a toll on one’s ability to focus.
Issues such as inflammation and high blood pressure can affect brain health, which can affect concentration and focus.
Medication Side Effects
Some drugs can result in “brain fog,” or confusion, forgetfulness, and lack of mental clarity. The severity and duration can vary depending on the medication and its purpose.
With our phones, the world is at our fingertips. Calls, texts, social media updates, and access to pretty much any information you want, whenever you want it, can be especially overwhelming. With endless distractions, focusing on just one task can feel impossible at times.
If you’re just not that into the task or activity in front of you, your brain may go looking for something more stimulating.
Expert Tips for Naturally Improving Concentration
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to naturally improve your focus and boost your productivity.
Train Your Brain
Have you already hopped off the Wordle train? If so, it might be time to get back on.
Think of your brain as a big muscle. Instead of strength training, though, you can exercise your brain through cognitive training. Memory games, puzzles, chess, sudoku, and word puzzles are all great ways to push your brain to higher performance levels.
Physical activity boosts your brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which help to improve your focus. Plus, exercising regularly can contribute to a better night’s sleep.
You don’t have to be a gym rat to get your daily fix of exercise. In fact, for many people, just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per week is sufficient. Not sure where to start? Just schedule some time for a brisk walk each day!
Get Better Sleep
There’s no denying the fact that agood night's sleep can make a world of difference to our physical and mental health alike.
Ideally, you should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you’ve got a condition such as sleep apnea that is affecting your quality of sleep, it may be worth talking to a specialist to explore your options for sleep quality improvement.
Take a Break
Have you ever taken a break from working at your computer, only to spend the next chunk of time scrolling through your phone? Give your brain and eyes a break by getting out in the fresh air and spending some time away from your screen.
Breaking up your tasks will make you feel fresh and ready to focus, doing wonders for your concentration.
Sometimes, all of the tasks on your to-do list can feel overwhelmingly impossible. It may feel counterproductive, but slowing down and practicing mindfulness is a great way to reign it in and regain focus.
Sit still for a few minutes, focusing your attention on the present moment. Close your eyes and concentrate on breathing—or even try some full-on meditation—to tune out distractions and sharpen your focus on the task at hand.
Feed Your Brain
Improve your focus and productivity from the inside out by avoiding foods that are processed or high in sugar and fat content, and eating plenty of brain-boosting foods instead.
For example: fatty fish such as salmon and trout, blueberries, broccoli, eggs, nuts, and spinach.
Of course, one of the best ways to improve your focus is to remove distractions. Turn off the TV and set your phone aside; you can even ask your family or coworkers to leave you alone during a specific timeframe each day, or go to a library or coffee shop to work uninterrupted.
Some people have no problem juggling multiple tasks at a time. For others, though, those additional tasks can act as distractions. List your tasks in order of priority, and do them one at a time.
Try Hilo Energize Gummies
Sometimes, all it takes is a boost of energy to get your brain back on task. Coffee may do the trick, but sometimes caffeine just isn’t ideal.
For a non-jittery, caffeine-free energy boost, try Hilo Energize Gummies. Made with a mix of natural ingredients including beetroot, maca, rhodiola, and lion’s mane, these tasty vegan, gluten-free gummies are perfect for providing lasting energy and sustained focus.
As much as we wish every issue could be solved by taking a couple of simple steps, that isn’t always the case.
If constant distractions are wreaking havoc on your day-to-day life, it may be worth visiting a doctor or specialist to rule out something serious and/or discuss potential diagnoses.