Improve Your Focus and Attention with These Science-backed Facts
Do you often get sidetracked with a lot of things that you cannot focus on your work? Does it take you hours to get something you used to do in minutes done? While technology has given us a lot of things, it also made us more distracted than ever. Think about it. Our grandparents surely weren’t as distracted as we are right now. Even our parents have a different experience growing up because technology wasn’t as prevalent as before.
The loss of attention and focus stops people from achieving their goals. It prevents medical scientists, for example, from performing well in medical research clinics. Distractions keep people preoccupied that they fail to finish their master’s and doctorate degrees on time. Employees are usually harassed by their bosses to finish projects before the deadline. Yet, many people find it hard to finish their work within the eight hours allotted to them. Why? Because sometimes, they spend an enormous amount of time texting, calling, and socializing over the internet.
Focus is influenced by mental muscle. The more you get distracted every day, the more that will happen if you don’t stop it. On the contrary, if you practice your mental muscle to concentrate on your work, you’ll have an easier time building it up. Do you know what basketball superstar Stephen Curry said about his incredible shooting skills? He said that it’s all about muscle memory. Constant practice allows his muscles to remember the right shooting form, angle, and release. Memory is what made him shoot those thousands of long-range three-pointers.
Train Your Brain
A study back in 2015 found out that 15 minutes of brain-training activity at least five days a week will improve your concentration. Some effective examples of brain-training activities are Sudoku, crossword puzzles, memory games, chess, word searches, and jigsaw puzzles. These activities can also help develop your short-term memory and problem-solving skills.
In today’s hyper-connected world, people feel the need to multitask more than ever. Far too many of them believe that multitasking is being productive. It’s not. The results suffer. You might have finished three tasks at once, but are they the best quality that you can produce? People should stop making multitasking the new norm. In the quest for quantity, quality is often compromised. The best thing to do is prioritize more important tasks and then, work your way from those.
Take a Break
If you’re using your lunch and snack breaks to do more work, then you’re making your work suffer more. Do you think you’re finishing more by working during your breaks? Think about it. Aren’t you more distracted and less productive when you haven’t had a break in five hours? So, take a break. Walk outside for a while. Grab a cup of coffee. You will come back to the task with renewed energy and focus. You’ll get your creative juices flowing if you know how to take care of yourself.
As much as technology helped people become more productive, they can also be a huge cause of distraction. Too many people underestimate the importance of removing distractions. Try to put your phone in your bag so you don’t constantly need to check it. Find a quiet place to work so your co-workers can’t drop in your cubicle to chat. Turn off the television and radio at home. That will help you focus better.
You shouldn’t just take care of your mind. You should take care of your body, too. Book that gym class. Sweat it out. You’ll realize that you can focus better after only an hour of stretching and running. Exercising improves your cognitive function. It will lower your stress levels and as a result, your mind will be less chaotic.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The easiest way to improve your memory and focus is to sleep better. Getting a full eight hours of sleep at night will make a huge difference in your ability to concentrate. People who get the right amount of sleep are 60% more likely to perform better at work. The secret to a quicker and sharper mind is just sleep. If you can’t do anything else for yourself, the least you can do is get six to eight hours of sleep a day.
There are no apps or devices in the world that can help you concentrate better than doing these things. Focus and attention are about your mental health. The more you take care of your mental health, the more you can improve your mind to focus on your work.