Do you suffer from a lack of concentration? Are you reading or typing the same sentence over and over because you cannot focus?
According to the National Institute of Health, more than four percent of the adult population in this country suffers from attention deficits.
Though ADHD is often thought of as a children’s issue, many kids never outgrow the problem. A child who has severe attention problems can turn into an adult with attention deficit problems. Sadly, many adults don’t get the help they need for this problem, and they don’t realize that they can develop effective coping skills.
Identifying Focus Issues
How do you know if you’re someone who struggles with concentration issues? Are there clear signs that you have a problem? Here are a few of the indications that your focus is lacking:
- You have poor short-term memory.
- You don’t think clearly.
- You’re always losing things.
- You can’t make decisions with ease.
- You cannot focus on the task at hand.
- It takes a great deal of energy for you to concentrate on anything.
- You’re constantly fidgeting or doodling on paper.
- Your mind is always a million miles away.
- People often tell you to focus on pay attention, even in a conversation.
Twenty Ways to Improve Your Concentration
Now that you’ve identified there’s a problem, it’s time to fix it. There are many natural ways to combat our inability to focus; here are the 20 most popular methods.
1. Fix Your Posture
How many times did your parents tell you to sit up straight? Well, it seems that your mom and dad knew what they were talking about. Your posture can affect your concentration. Keeping your spine straight and your shoulders back will help your body get the oxygen it needs, improving brain function.
2. Play Calming Music
Having some mellow music playing in the background often helps people with ADHD focus. Now, keep in mind that some people need to have a tranquil room to get anything done. Try it the next time you have focus issues and see how it works for you.
3. Try the Pomodoro Technique
If you have a task that requires direct focus, then you should try the Pomodoro technique. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s something you should consider. According to Forbes, Italian Francesco Cirillo created this method to keep himself focused.
Set a timer to encourage you to stay on task. For instance, if you must do your taxes, you should focus on the paperwork for one hour. Then, when the timer goes off, you stop and take a break. It’s a simple trick that tells the brain when to focus and when it’s time to rest.
4. Alter Your Diet
Have you heard of the Keto diet craze? One of the many benefits of a diet high in protein and healthy fats is that it improves concentration.
Many say they feel as if a fog has been lifted once they get the processed foods and sugar out of their system. If you lack mental clarity, you should avoid harmful foods and raise your glucose levels.
5. Focus on Goals and Objectives
Stop focusing on the other 150 things that are going through your mind. Set goals and objectives for each day and make that your priority list. Try to stay focused on the tasks and hand and not get sidetracked by life’s never-ending chore list.
6. Remove Distractions
Is there anything in your office that is distracting to you? Do you try to work around your children, a television set, or have problems shutting off the electronics? Part of the issue with your focus could be that you have things pulling your mind in 100 different directions.
Take inventory and start by removing devices and limiting your access to things like your email. You don’t need to check your email and instant messenger every five minutes, and you should limit it to just a few times a day.
7. Try Meditation
Before you begin work or any other strenuous mental tasks, try meditation. You don’t have to spend a whole hour as ten minutes will do. Give yourself time to relax and clear the mind. When you’re under stress, your brain cannot function properly, and meditation helps alleviate this problem.
8. Take Breaks When Needed
It will help if you take frequent breaks when doing difficult tasks. Your brain needs time to refresh. You can even do small mini-meditation sessions during the day as needed. Why do you think so many people sleep in their car on their lunch break? They need to turn off their mind for a few minutes.
9. Create A Reward System for You
Most folks think of a reward system as something that is used for children. However, adults can benefit from these programs too. Give yourself small rewards for accomplishing all the tasks you must during the day. You can build up the little rewards to one big prize at the end of the month.
Your workspace will be a place of productivity if you clear the clutter that’s all around. It’s easy to have stacks of papers piled on your desk and work lying everywhere. However, when you declutter your office, you can also declutter your mind. A clean space will have a good impact on your brain, which helps to improve your attention.
11. Make To-Do Lists
To-do lists are great tools to keep you focused. You will feel a sense of pride when you cross items off as done. It also helps to ensure you accomplish all the tasks you must do in a day.
12. Hit the Gym
Many people don’t know that when they exercise, it improves their brain function. When you’re working out, it activates the prefrontal cortex area of the brain. This area stimulates the production of vital neurotransmitters, like serotonin and norepinephrine, which flood your mind with much-needed oxygen.
13. Make Bedtime a Priority
Did you know that your lack of focus can come from not getting enough sleep the night before? If you go without the appropriate 7-9 hours of sleep each night, you create a sleep debt. You will eventually need to pay that debt, but your brain’s function depends on proper rest.
When your body is exhausted, it reduces oxygen levels in your brain, which affects your attention span. Make bedtime a priority and stick with it.
14. Arrange Tasks by Difficulty Levels
Did you know if you do the most difficult tasks first and save the easiest for last, it can help your focus? If you keep all the hard stuff for after lunch, you will dread coming back to work. Plus, focus levels are almost always better during the morning hours, especially if you have a lunch full of sugar and carbs.
15. Burn Candles or Incense
Certain scents are very calming and soothing to the body. Candles with a citrus smell can enhance focus as well as lavender and cinnamon. Burning these aromas helps to relax and keep you focused.