Do you want to focus better throughout your day?
If so, you’re not alone. It’s common to struggle with keeping alert and concentrated. In such a fast-paced world, it can be hard to focus on the task at hand when you have a million things running through your mind. Being productive can be difficult when your concentration is continuously broken.
However, there are tips you can try to focus better and make yourself the most productive you can be.
Focus Better With These 5 Tips
1. Turn off your phone
Are you really going to be focused on your work if your phone is constantly making noise?
Even if you’re completely concentrated on the task at hand, text notifications and tweets will break that concentration. Turn off or silence your phone when you’re working on a task so you can focus on what’s in front of you—and if you’re really worried about missing something important, allow yourself to have a brief phone break every half hour or so.
2. Figure out your ideal environment
Many people think that being alone in a completely silent room will help everyone focus, but that’s not necessarily true. Maybe that works for some, but you may focus better when you are surrounded by people, or if you have the right music playing.
Silence can be more distracting than a loud noise, depending on who you are and how you work. Figure out what environment works best for you.
3. Avoid multitasking
Have a lot of tasks to do? Don’t try to focus on them all at once.
According to one study, the brain can only handle two complex tasks at a time—try to add a third, and performance will deteriorate. You might have a million things on your plate, so it might be tempting to try juggling them all.
Instead, try writing down all of your tasks in one cohesive to-do list, organized by priority—and only focus on one at a time. Besides, crossing something off a list is just so satisfying!
Related: Why Multitaskers Get Less Done
4. Have some coffee—but not too much
Feeling a bit weary? It’s hard to keep focused on the task at hand if you are falling asleep! Try drinking a bit of coffee for a boost. Just be sure to drink it in moderation; having a whole pot may backfire, but a cup of coffee can give you a little jumpstart and help you focus better, all while giving you something tasty to sip on.
5. Don’t skip breakfast
You might be really busy in the morning, and it might be tempting to skip breakfast—especially if you don’t feel terribly hungry after waking up. However, it will hurt you in the long run.
One study found that skipping breakfast may interfere with cognition. If you want to focus better and be at the top of your game, make sure to eat a hearty breakfast full of fiber & protein.
Find yourself continually running late, which prevents you from eating breakfast? Keep a stash of fruit or nuts in your car, or make some easy on-the-go breakfast the night before.
Related: 7 Ways to Have More Energy All Day
When there are a million things to think about, it can be hard to stay concentrated and alert. However, there are simple ways for you to focus better than you have been. By turning off your phone (and allowing yourself phone breaks, if necessary), figuring out your ideal environment, completing one task at a time, having (some) coffee, and eating a hearty breakfast, you can keep your focus razor-sharp and be the most productive you can be.
Photo by james veltmeyer
Originally posted 1/2014 and updated 11/2014.