With the rise of social media and the pressure to fit in with this fast-paced world, how to focus better is a question everyone is asking.
Focusing is not as easy as it sounds! It could be that teeny line separating you from smashing your goals — getting that promotion, creating that masterpiece, or getting that A.
Not to worry! I come with good tidings: effective methods to help you focus better and become more productive. Let’s dive right in!
How To Focus Better
Learning how to focus better requires patience and consistency. You have to engage all your senses and put your mind into it, or else you’d only be deceiving yourself. Here are 12 tips for focusing better and being more productive
1. Starve Your Distractions
The things you give attention to are the things that thrive in your life. If you water a plant every morning, that plant is sure to blossom. If you read a lot, you’ll find out that you’d be more knowledgeable.
If you keep worrying, you’d only become a master worrier in the same vein. On the other hand, if you keep using your phone when you’re supposed to be studying, you’d become a master TikToker and Master D-grader.
Hence, to learn how to focus better, you have to learn to starve your distractions. What keeps you from concentrating? What stops you from doing the right things at the correct times? Figure them out. Then, starve them to death.
For instance, if your phone distracts you from studying, put it away entirely throughout your study time. It might be challenging, but try it first and stick to your resolve. It’ll become easier as time goes on.
2. Set Goals And Deadlines Around Your Tasks
To understand how to focus better, you must be able to set goals for your tasks. Add a timeline to achieving a particular goal and set daily or weekly milestones to keep you motivated.
Setting a deadline for yourself will also make you aware that you don’t have to work on the task forever. This would help you put your mind to it and get it done promptly.
3. Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking doesn’t — and has never — helped anyone focus. You’ll be slow and may end up with nothing significant done. To avoid this, you’ve got to ensure that your mind is doing only one thing at a time.
That way, you’ll be able to understand what you’re doing and do it to the best of your abilities. Multitasking may seem like the easy way out when you have many tasks, but it’s a distraction!
4. Maintain Mind-Refreshing Habits Like Meditation And Journaling
The human mind is never inactive! Even if you’re not actively trying, you’re always thinking about something. So with the millions of things going through your heads daily, don’t you think you need a break sometimes?
Focusing on a particular thing will be hard if your mind is jumbled with multiple thoughts. So, you need to clear out your mind and eliminate all the noise so you can focus on a task. But, how can you do that? Meditation and journaling!
Meditation is simply freeing your mind and clearing it of intrusive thoughts. You can do this by performing breathing exercises and visualizing your goal. All other thoughts will be filtered out of your mind, and you’ll find it easier to concentrate.
Journaling is just like meditation, just that you’re doing this in a book. Get a journal and write down your thoughts whenever you feel overwhelmed. Unburden your mind and hold nothing back. Don’t worry if nothing seems to make sense.
If you try these two, the traffic your mind experiences will thin out, and you’d finally be able to concentrate.
5. Rest Often
If you want to learn how to focus better, quality rest should be your priority! Resting often would refresh you and boost your brain’s creativity and productivity levels, thus helping you to concentrate on the task at hand.
Don’t joke with bedtime; ensure that you sleep for 8 hours daily. Also, take out time to unwind regularly after working so hard. You’ll wind up refreshed and with a sharper mind to focus on what you have to do.
6. Pay Attention To Details
Paying attention to the small and seemingly unimportant things requires your complete attention. And that would help you focus better.
For example, after working on an essay or proposal, go through the texts for punctuation errors, grammatical errors, and omissions one after the other. Those will require your full attention and keep your focus unwavering.
7. Make Use Of Short Breaks
Working on something for a long time without a break is a distraction in itself. No matter how much you try to stop it, your mind would unwittingly drift to other things.
To avoid this, get up at least after 30 to 45 minutes of non-stop work and distract yourself. Then, take a short break to unwind. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the next thing when you return.
Plus, your concentration would be doubled, and you’ll put more of yourself into your work.
The distraction you’ll typically experience after working for long periods would disappear because you’ve distracted yourself already. To succeed in your journey of learning how to focus better, always keep this in mind.
8. Get Involved In Brain-tasking Activities
Certain activities will help you learn how to focus better. They help stimulate the brain and force it to focus on tasks because of the level of brainpower needed.
Games that require focus are a great way to train your brain in this aspect. For example, playing ping-pong, catching a ball, playing board games like Chess or Scrabble, solving a Rubik’s cube, or playing puzzle games can help.
9. Listen To Music
Music will help you focus better because it blocks unnecessary noises that can distract you while you work. Music also provides a rhythm that would most likely set the pace for your work.
Music reduces stress, improves your mood, and encourages a positive mindset toward your work.
10. Have An Organized/Comfortable Workspace
Believe it or not, all your knowledge gathering on how to focus better would be a waste if your space is cluttered and uncomfortable.
A cluttered workspace is more likely to distract you than your phone might even be able to achieve. However, an organized workspace would stop your mind from wandering to the state of the environment.
It’d also be easier to find valuable things needed while working. So before you work, get all the things you’d need, arrange the area, and put everything in order, so you don’t waste time searching for things you need. If you do this, you will save time and energy and essentially focus properly.
11. Practice Productive Procrastination
Productive procrastination involves putting off something important to a later date or time and doing something else in its place. For instance, if you’re writing an essay and get stuck, put it away and work on your Algebra homework instead.
That way, you’re doing two important things simultaneously. Instead of getting frustrated and sulking about getting stuck in your essay, pick up your Algebra.
Productive procrastination is essential because it helps you focus on something different when what you should be doing is proving difficult or undesirable. It helps to channel your energy into something else and aids your focus by slowly eliminating tasks.
12. Improve The Quality Of Your Diet
What you eat will tell on your overall well-being. For example, some foods like fruits, vegetables, and proteins will help your mind stay sharper and more focused. So, cut down on junk and adopt a healthier diet.
How To Improve Focus And Memory
As we age, our ability to remember things may deplete. Hence, to know how to improve focus and memory, understand that improvement would take a lot of lifestyle changes and largely influence personal growth. These tips will help you:
1. Learn New Skills
The practice of taking up a new skill would actively engage your brain in an activity that demands attention and concentration.
This is likely to improve your brain function and assist it in being aware of what is happening while you’re learning. Also, learning a cognitive skill such as photography, for example, would naturally enhance one’s memory.
2. Improve Your Vocabulary
Learning new words and building your vocabulary would be great for you if you aim to know how to improve your focus and memory.
But, to do this, you have to actively participate in taking up new words each day, studying their meanings, using them, and revisiting them when you feel like you’ve forgotten something.
This actively engages your brain in a conscious exercise that’ll make it easier to focus on learning and remember things.
3. Learn A Language
Learning a new language is highly effective! It involves opening your mind to grasp the concept of an entirely new language easily. This is a surefire way to improve your focus.
4. Learn A Musical Instrument
Certain parts of the brain are necessary for coordination. Learning how to play a musical instrument helps to exercise these parts. Attend classes or teach yourself, get an instrument and practice.
By doing this, you’ll be developing your cognitive skills and keeping your mind active. This will teach your mind to focus better on tasks and enhance your memory.
Natural Ways To Increase Focus And Concentration
There are many ways to improve your focus and concentration and they’re not limited to setting goals or engaging your cognitive abilities.
You can also go green — natural — and still achieve the same results! Here are some guidelines:
As cliché as this might sound, it’s helpful! Cut down on your junk intake and restock your fridge and cupboards with greens, fruits, and sufficient proteins. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. A healthy mind is a sharp and focused mind.
As one of the natural ways to increase focus and concentration, exercise is just as important as food is. In addition, exercise is important for your overall health.
It aids memory, increases growth and development of the brain, and increases overall brain and body health.
Enough water is the gateway to improving your mental well-being. Plenty of water is important for the brain to function fully.
It increases blood volume and eliminates symptoms like confusion, headaches, dizziness, false hunger, etc. You’re advised to drink at least five cups of water each day — not including other drinks.
If you put all the tips in this article into play without proper hydration, everything you do would be twice as hard for you. You might even feel so faint and tired that working would be impossible for you.
3. Abstain From Alcohol
Alcohol is a big memory retarder. When you drink, you’ll have difficulties recalling important information quickly or not at all.
You can make do with a green bottle or two once in a while, but avoid taking too much as this might affect your focus and memory.
How To Focus Better When Studying
A lot of distractions abound in school life. So, knowing what to do to focus better when studying is the average student’s worry.
It could even be that you’re simply not in the mood to study and end up constantly distracting yourself. The following tips will help you overcome these problems and find it easier to befriend your books.
1. Mentally Prepare Yourself
Mentally prepare yourself by telling yourself that you have to study. Write it down, say it to yourself, or set an alarm to remind you.
Also, when you’re ready to study, take deep breaths and calm your mind for a minute. After that, you can start studying.
2. Have A Study Plan
Knowing how to focus better when studying requires having an effective study plan. Set study tasks, goals, and appropriate timings for each study session.
This way, you know you’re reading all the essential subjects, and you’ll be focused on whichever you’re studying because you won’t have to keep thinking of which subject you should study next. You have it all planned out already.
3. Be Accountable
This is just as important for focusing as creating a study plan. Keep track of your work, monitor your progress each day you study, and acknowledge them.
The progress you make would help to boost your morale and motivate you for your next study session.
When you learn how to focus better, you will also know that being accountable not only helps you to focus on your studies.
However, if you apply it to your everyday life as a student, you’ll find that you’d get a confidence boost and make good progress in your studies.
Prioritize by getting ONLY what you need for the study tasks at hand. If you won’t be needing your T-square, discard it. Keep it off the study table if you don’t need your calculator. Keep your phone away, too. Those are distractions.
Ensure your reading space consists of only essentials. Your brain would find it easier to process information in an environment free from distractions. Therefore, prioritize only what you need.
5. Record Yourself
This may sound weird, but if you want to learn how to improve focus and concentration while studying, you should record your activities.
When your phone is around you, you might get tempted to scroll through Facebook or check who’s liking your photos.
But, when you record a video of yourself studying, that’s one distraction down. You’d be able to focus more on the task at hand.
How To Improve Focus At Work
Regardless of how much love and passion you have for your job, there are times when focusing might just seem impossible to achieve. If you lose passion for your job and struggle to be productive, you’d find these guidelines useful.
1. Set Goals To Increase Focus
In this case, you’d have to build your focus. This would take a lot of discipline and accountability, so make sure you’re honest with yourself.
If you think this is difficult to do alone, talk to a colleague about it and let them check your progress from time to time.
Set a timer for a period and work with it. Do not stop for anything until that timer goes off. Then set a bigger goal, say ten more minutes, then fifteen, then twenty until you can finally focus without being distracted for a whole hour.
You’re building your focus this way. Learning how to focus better requires discipline and patience to achieve. You have to be intentional and purposeful to pull this one-off.
2. Excite Yourself About Work
Some jobs would seem too overwhelming and you just wished they’d disappear. While you’ll find it hard to concentrate on such jobs, it’s advisable to excite yourself about them.
You can turn your tasks into games, set timers for them, and race yourself to finish them with rewards at the end. This would help you focus on the tasks and make them more enjoyable and less daunting.
The thing about learning how to focus better is that you’re teaching your brain how to increase its attention span. So what better way to increase your focus is there than reading?
Read a book, a lengthy journal, or a magazine. Reading involves total concentration. By reading, you’ll teach yourself how to focus more and resist distractions.
4. Make A Priority List
Organizing your day properly by making a list of all the tasks you need to complete will help you concentrate on the important things.
Once you’ve listed all the things you have to do, rewrite the list in order of priority. Then, deal with your tasks in that order.
It’s always safe to start with the bigger tasks first. Then, once you get them out of the way, you can easily work out the other simpler things.
5. Organize Your Workspace
I’m a stickler for order. I like to work in squeaky clean environments where everything is well-arranged. So before I get to work every day, I stack all my books and stationery properly.
That helps me minimize distractions and stay focused on the task at hand. So, ensure that your workspace is organized and well-arranged.
Then, you won’t have to spend time looking for anything or trying to keep things in place. Also, make sure your workspace is comfortable for you. Create the perfect space for you. That’ll inspire you to work and focus.
How To Focus Your Mind On One Thing
When there are many things to be done, we might be tempted to multitask and get them done simultaneously. This is straining and unproductive. You’d end up achieving almost nothing and spend double the time needed.
If how to focus your mind on one thing is a big issue for you, I suggest you read on. You’ll find useful ways to pinpoint your energy in one direction.
1. Chew Something
Chewing leads to increased blood flow in certain parts of your brain. This increased flow can aid concentration and help you keep your mind on one task at a time.
Also, the smell of peppermint can improve alertness and focus for individuals. So, grab some chewing gum or candy to stimulate your brain and focus on one task longer.
2. Prioritize According To Urgency
Write down everything you have to do in a day and rearrange them in another list according to how important they are. Then, work with the list.
When you do that, it’ll be easier for you to focus on one thing at a time because you already know what should come next.
3. Divide Your Tasks Into Smaller Parts
Sometimes, you might find it difficult to achieve a task if it seems too huge to accomplish. There’s a simple way to handle this: divide it into sections and work on it.
You’ll find that concentrating would be easier because your mind would be focusing on one thing at a time.
4. Relieve Stress
Stress is a major cause of the inability to focus on one thing at a time. In this case, you can take a walk, play, take a short nap, do some yoga, paint, sing, dance, eat, et cetera, to clear your head. When that’s done, concentrating on the task at hand will be easier.
5. Group Similar Tasks
Think about doing laundry. I HATE doing laundry, but when I can’t dry clean my clothes, I have to clean them myself. When I first take out my huge piles of clothes, they seem like more than I can (and want to) handle.
But, when I group my clothes into segments (e.g. black t-shirts, cotton, silk shirts, jeans), I find it easier to wash my clothes. It’s even faster!
That’s how to focus better, too. Instead of trying to do so much at once, just select similar tasks, group them, and do them once at a time. Work smart and fast.
6. Concentration Exercises
Concentration exercises are useful for helping the mind to focus on a particular task. These exercises are best achieved by first training the body to obey the mind. They can be quite tedious, so they’re not for the impatient.
However, the outcome of these exercises will go a long way and you’ll find that focusing will become easy as ABC.
7. Sit Still In A Chair
This exercise involves sitting still in a comfortable chair without making any voluntary or involuntary movements. The only thing you have to do is take deep breaths and clear your mind.
This involves maximum concentration and complete awareness which may not be easy.
8. Gaze At Your Fingers
This involves sitting upright on a chair and placing your right hand straight on your right shoulder while moving only your head to focus your eyes on your fingers. Do this for your left hand as well.
When you can actively focus on both for at least five minutes, you can start increasing the time. It’s part of those concentration exercises that may seem easy or absurd, but trust me, you’ll marvel at the results.
9. Focus On A Glass
Fill a small glass with water, place it on a table before you, sit upright, and focus your eyes on it. Then, focus all your senses on just looking at that glass and don’t move.
This exercise would help you to have control of your involuntary movements by allowing your mental power to take over their control.
10. Meditate For 10 Minutes
Meditation is a relaxing technique that can help you clear your mind, stay calm, and stay focused on a particular thing. A meditation exercise mainly involves breathing exercises.
To meditate, find a quiet place. Then, sit and try regulating your breathing for 10 minutes. Keep your mind on how you’re breathing in and out — nothing else. Bit by bit, your mind will clear out and your mind would be sharpened.
11. Exercise Your Body
Daily, try to take 15 – 30 minutes to exercise your body. Exercising your body can help you feel healthy, refreshed, and energized. When you feel that way, it’s easier to focus on one thing.
You don’t have to do too much. Jogging or just walking to a certain location can help. Dancing is also a great way of keeping your body active.
Tips On Improving Focus
There are many useful tips on improving focus. Some seem cliché or hard, but I’ll go over some important ones that would be vital for what you need to achieve.
- Drink coffee. Have a good dose of caffeine before you being your work. It’d help.
- Reduce your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol is bad for your memory.
- Practice mindfulness by making sure you bring your mind to the present work and achieve what you need to.
- Reduce the time you spend on social media as it can be a huge distraction.
- Take nature walks regularly. Try to connect with nature. It’ll help you get more in touch with yourself.
- Meditate. Take deep breaths and focus on clearing your mind. This will sharpen your mind and make it easier for you to work.
- Prioritize rest. Your physical and mental well-being play a huge role in the clarity of your mind for focus and concentration. Therefore, create and maintain a healthy sleep schedule.
- Do away with junk and eat good food. A healthy body breeds a healthy mind.
While learning how to focus can be hard, it helps with productivity and organization.
So, if you’re thinking of starting the learning process of how to focus better, try out these tips and see how well they work for you and how much more productive you become.
if you’re having difficulties with implementing any of the tips, that’s fine. Personality differs so, pick those that work for you and focus on them. Good luck!
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