Science suggests that we’re much more distracted than we believe that we are. This is a serious problem, whether you’re a student, a busy professional or a talented artist. Not only do distractions reduce our productivity, there’s evidence they also curb creativity.
In order to focus and enhance your concentration, you will have to undertake some proactive steps. Here are the options that will yield the best results, helping you harness your mental power to the fullest capacity.
Work Out Regularly
Exercise is good for you in more than one way. It will help you maintain a lean body, it will boost happiness and also help you enhance your concentration.
A workout will improve the flow of blood to all parts of the body, including the brain. In addition, it’s an excellent antidote for stress and chronic fatigue – two everyday occurrences that make the busy professional quite distracted.
Research suggests that regular exercise changes brain chemistry. In a clinical trial, people who worked out regularly appeared to have a bigger hippocampus – the part of the brain that plays a role in memory and in learning new things.
You don’t have to go to the gym in order to experience the benefits of physical activity. A brisk walk to the office (just 30 minutes per day) will be sufficient to get the blood pumping. Listening to some dynamic music along the way to benefit from its mood enhancing properties.
Deal with Digital Distractions
Digital distractions are the biggest enemies of productivity and maintaining a high level of concentration throughout the day.
According to the American Psychological Organization, people have more trouble focusing and staying in the moment when they use digital media. Their research had two groups of people having dinner. The first group used a smartphone and the second one didn’t have access to technology. People who were on their phone during the dinner found it much more difficult to be present and to engage.
To enhance your productivity, you’ll need to determine when to disconnect and focus your undivided attention to something else.
If the temptation is too much for you and you simply can’t handle being away from Facebook or Instagram, you can rely on some smart tools to get the job done. FocusMe is one such tool that will help you improve your grip over digital temptations. This isn’t the only function and FocusMe can be utilized to create a comprehensive, daily work/lifestyle routine.
Focus on Just One Task
We live in a world of multitasking. Most people have to engage in multiple things at the same time because they worry that the time isn’t enough to handle everything.
Multitasking, however, is one of the worst things you can do in terms of maintaining your focus.
Research suggests that only 2.5 percent of all people can multitask effectively. Everybody else is getting mightily distracted during the process. Other studies suggest that multitasking decreases both the quality and efficiency of work.
There’s no reason to worry that you’ll be incapable of handling all tasks.
If you focus on just one activity, you’ll get to finish it much faster and move on to the next task at hand. Just determine your priorities for the day and start with the most crucial tasks.
Keep yourself from interrupting activities by having phone conversations or checking your email constantly. Checking your inbox in the morning and the evening before leaving the office will be sufficient to maintain adequate correspondence.
The Power of Tacking a Break
We’ve all been in the following situation – having to finish a task because of an impending deadline but feeling either completely braindead or out of ideas. In such instances, persevering isn’t going to cut it.
Taking regular breaks isn’t a waste of time because these minutes dedicated to relaxation will boost focus and productivity.
If you start feeling overwhelmed by whatever you’re doing, you should take a quick break. A few minutes to going out or having a coffee will give you a chance to distance yourself from the problem and eventually find a fresh solution upon your return to the task.
Research suggests that giving your brain something new to focus on every 20 minutes will be optimal for concentration. Even if you don’t get breaks this often, you should pause and have a breather every few hours.
Choose Your Sound
Audible stimuli have a profound effect on the way our brains work. You will simply have to find that sweet spot through personalization.
Some people feel best and most concentrated in complete silence. If you are such a person, you’ll find it impossible to concentrate in the busy, hectic office. Noise-cancelling headphones could be a good choice for people like you. Alternatively, you should look for a silent workspace that enables you to maintain the level of silence needed.
Ambient noise also happens to be a good choice for a portion of the population. Thus, some freelancers and professionals prefer busy cafés or urban gathering spots/coworking spaces for the purpose of maintaining optimal focus.
Finally, you may want to dedicate some time to creating the perfect concentration playlist. Music is a great choice for getting in the zone.
The research focused on music’s ability to produce cognitive enhancement is overwhelming. Whether chillout, jazz or heavy metal, music can give you the state of mind needed to distance yourself from your surroundings and to completely dedicate your attention to the task at hand.
Researchers still can’t tell why the human brain likes music so much but facts are facts. You may have to experiment with different styles a bit until you find the type of rhythm that’s best suited to your personality and the work you have to do.
Becoming more concentrated is all about eliminating the factors that distract you the most and focusing on the activities that make your thought flow. There’s no universal approach towards enhancing cognitive abilities. You know what it takes to work better and concentrate. Make sure that the right conditions are present, and you’ll soon notice a massive boost in your productivity.