Top tips for better focus
Still with us? Great. Here are some habits and practices that can help you stay alert.
It sounds obvious but making a concerted effort to remove the things that distract you is key. Block out time in your diary for tasks you need to focus on and let people know to not disturb you during that time. Put your phone out of sight and close down apps and silence notifications. Close down all windows on your laptop other than the ones you really need for the task in hand.
Be in the moment
It takes discipline to bring your mind back to the moment and to drown out the noise. But it can help to acknowledge that we are in control and can choose where to focus. Practicing mindfulness can help with this. By learning to focus on your breath you can use that to centre your thinking and bring your attention back to the task you want to complete.
Walk away from the task
Our brains aren't wired to focus infinitely. We need to take breaks. Pop the kettle on, go for a wander, talk to someone about something different and when you return, you'll be able to refocus better. Switching tasks can also help to give your brain fresh focus.
Exercise gives your brain a hit of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which can help with focus. Moving also can relieve tension and relax your muscles - which can put you in better shape to concentrate mentally. Starting your day with a brisk walk or a workout is a great way to stay sharp.
Plant the seed
Even better, get your movement boost with a hit of nature too. Giving your brain a break and connecting with nature on an outdoor walk or run has been shown to aid concentration – even having plants and greenery in your workspace can help.
Brain and body are intrinsically linked and keeping blood sugar on a level and maintaining energy can help your concentration. Avoid sugary foods that cause peaks and dips and fuel your focus with good fats like nuts, berries and avocados.