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Debamita Banerjee

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Do this to increase Focus and Concentration

We're required to exercise our brains throughout the day for numerous purposes. If you're overloaded by work, stressed about an upcoming test, or just trying to boost your productivity, a higher concentration can help you amplify both the quantity and quality of your work.

Concentration refers to the ability to direct all your attention towards a singular task at one time. Hence, a high concentration would mean that you can drop off secondary thoughts from your brain on command. This would need you to be completely invested in what you do and have a firm grip over your conscience. Once mastered, the ability to focus can be a boon for both your personal and professional life.  

Ways to Increase Concentration and Focus  

In spite of the predestined factors that impact our focus, there are numerous methods one can practice to drastically enhance their brain function. The primary goal here is to extract the most out of your mind without causing burnout.  

Here are some ways you can increase your concentration and focus.  

Get Adequate Sleep

Sleep plays a huge role in determining the performance of all our cognitive functions such as concentration, memory, attention, etc. Being sleep-deprived can slow your brain down and make you incapable of focusing on daily tasks. As you're bound to be drowsy, you're not as interested in your work as you should be.    

Getting high-quality sleep for 7-9 hours each day without any interruptions is essential for high concentration. Read the article here https://www.iamears.com/blog/How-to-Fall-Asleep-Naturally-34173cb38f07f89d to find tips and tricks that can help you fall asleep naturally.  

Brain Training  

The more you indulge in brain games and exercises, the more accustomed your brain gets to focus on things to achieve desired results. It can be termed the psychological version of muscle memory. It's the same reason why children are taught to remember patterns and colors through various games before they are taught complex lingual and mathematical rules.    

Try to solve Rubik's cubes, crosswords, sudoku puzzles, or even play thought-provoking video games in your leisure time. Keep in mind that everything is good in moderation, so don't go overboard with such games and waste time that you could invest in activities that need your undivided attention.    

Get a Dose of Nature  

Taking a short walk in a garden or sitting by some greenery on your balcony can have a positive impact on your concentration and information retention abilities. A recent study claimed that placing plants in an otherwise empty workspace helped people increase their productivity and be more engrossed in their work. Hence, you can add some low-maintenance plants such as succulents near your workstation for better focus.  

Listen to Calm Music 

There's enough reason why ambient music playlists on various platforms have been garnering so much attention. Listening to calm music with minimal or no lyrics can boost your concentration by manifolds. If you're not fond of music while working, find natural sounds on the internet and play them in the background to create a more productive atmosphere.      

Although, avoid personal playlists because the music that you love can end up distracting you. Also, try to keep the volume down so that you can still think clearly.  

Meditation and Deep Breathing  

Meditation and Deep Breathing can help you pacify your brain and collect scattered thoughts. When your mind is clear, focusing on tasks becomes easier automatically. Regular meditation can also teach you how to control your mind better.  

A 2011 review of studies suggested that mindfulness, a meditative method, can increase an individual's focus and attention span.  

Read the article here https://www.iamears.com/blog/Breathing-Exercises-to-Reduce-Stress-and-Anxiety-33e75ff09dd601bb to learn about a variety of breathing techniques that you can practice while meditating.  

Practice Progressive Goal Setting  

Just like you can't do 100 push-ups on your first day at the gym, your brain will not be able to take hours' worth of work suddenly if it's not in the habit of doing so.  

Set small and realistic goals each day and build up to your desired number of work hours. Begin by focusing just for 15-20 minutes on the task at hand and taking a short break after. Progressively increase this number to 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and eventually up to several hours as per your preference. It'll feel easier to you once you get used to it.    

Avoid Multitasking 

Due to a shortage of time and excessive workload, you might be enticed to tackle multiple duties at one, but contrary to popular belief, multitasking is more of a bane than a boon for most people. Direct your energy at a singular goal at a time and try to do it in the most efficient way possible. This will make sure that your work excels in terms of both quality and quantity.  

Stay Away From Social Media  

Social Media provides all of us with a lot of perks when it comes to building social circles and widening our awareness, but it can be detrimental to productivity and concentration. During your work/study time, use apps that can block you from accessing your social media or just turn all notifications off. In case you do not need your phone or laptop to work, then get rid of them altogether for a few hours. This will limit your distractions and boost your focus.  

Have a Healthy Diet  

Just as your diet controls every other aspect of your life, it's also partly responsible for your concentration power. During high-pressure phases, people often binge eat and consume junk food to alleviate some stress, but it has pernicious effects on your capacity to focus. 

Eat a healthy and fulfilling diet rich in vitamins and minerals that keeps your mind and body alert through the busy days. You can also try eating foods that are known to enhance brain function such as :

  1. Blueberries
  2. Fatty Fish
  3. Broccoli
  4. Turmeric
  5. Eggs
  6. Nuts  

Exercise 

Exercise has countless benefits for people of all ages, but it's also known to increase focus and concentration amongst individuals. Regular exercise improves your reflexes and makes your brain more alert. It also rids you of lethargy and induces productivity.    

A study on children with ADHD even proves the positive impact that physical exertion can have on one's ability to concentrate. Hence, its efficacy for the general populace is guaranteed. Even if you don't have the time to work out due to other engagements, try to walk or take the stairs whenever you can. A healthy body is a home to a healthy mind.  

Read More  

Reading stimulates your brain and slows cognitive decline. It also builds up your patience and awakens your intellect. Thus, if practiced over time, it can have a great pay-off for your concentration power. Your brain is a muscle that performs better as you exercise it more. The more you read, the better you'll be able to stay focused while scanning through texts that are not the most exciting for you. 

Organize Your Work Space  

Working amidst clutter is going to make your mind wander onto other things. Minimalistic and clean work areas leave you with no option but to devote all your attention to your job.  

Also, avoid working on your bed. Even if you can't find a table to set your things on, create a little station for yourself in the corner of your room. Our brains are wired to associate the bed with sleep, hence you might end up falling asleep instead of working.

Take Productive Breaks  

When you're trying to get work done, taking a break might feel counterintuitive, but it helps you sustain your concentration throughout the day. The key here is to take breaks that do not curb the progress you've made so far.     

Instead of just jumping into swiping through your social media accounts or calling your friends, spend your break just evaluating what you've done so far or taking a short walk. You can also use this time to get a snack. This way, you're going to stay in focus mode even after you come back from a break.  

  

A lack of focus or concentration can often indicate underlying troubles. If something is bothering you that's hampering your work, visit iAmEars to seek a solution. You can post your thoughts, feelings, and mental health concerns on the forum anonymously. You can interact with people going through the same issues as you and support each other to set out on a journey of revival. Our panel of experts and healthcare professionals can provide you advice regarding your problems. You can also sign up for online counseling sessions with skilled counselors and psychiatrists to receive medical guidance. iAmEars will stand by you through all the good and bad times.      

Conclusion

People's concentration patterns are innate to a significant degree so find a method to work or study that fits your needs. Taking quick breaks might not work for everybody and similarly, a lot of people don't enjoy any sounds at all while they work. You need to go through a process of trial and error to figure out what's best for you.  

Talk to your doctor if you're having persistent difficulty in focusing on everything altogether. This could be a symptom of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety disorder.    

Reference

  1. The relative benefits of green versus lean office space: three field experiments - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25068481/   
  2. Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21183265/ 
  3. Measurement of the Effect of Physical Exercise on the Concentration of Individuals with ADHD - https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122119