Concentration takes a huge amount of time and effort. We’ve all been in the situation where our minds just can’t focus on the job at hand, and something that should be a quick task gets strung out for hours due to our inability to concentrate.
There are many short-term fixes for concentration issues which can help improve your focus to get a task done. Improving long-term concentration is a much harder task, but an extremely beneficial one as a long-term solution is clearly much better than a short-term fix.
Here are five long-term solutions to begin to help you start improving your concentration.
Studies have shown that the biggest factor affecting concentration is rest. When we concentrate, it requires our minds to be calm, which is virtually impossible when we are tired, and they are scattered all over the place. Getting the right amount of sleep (between 7-9 hours for adults aged 26-64) and having a regular bedtime to ensure your mind gets into a routine of knowing when it is going to be shutting down can improve concentration hugely.
Given that our ability to concentrate depends a lot on our physical wellbeing, getting and staying fit is one sure fire way to improve concentration. You don’t have to be in the gym pumping iron for hours on end or running marathons every other weekend – just two nights a week of light jogging or riding a bicycle instead of driving is enough. So drop those excuses about not having time to fit running into your schedule or worrying about picking up a puncture – you can carry out EASY tyre puncture repairs on the tracks! after all – and get exercising.
Find a place of concentration
When you know you are undertaking a task that is going to require concentration, take yourself to a place where you know you will be able to concentrate. For some people, this could be a room in their home such as a study with a calm atmosphere away from the distractions of everyday life, or it could be a building like a public library which has been designed to allow for concentration. Everyone will have their personal preference for the environment in where they can best concentrate and once you’ve found yours, use it.
Having a controlled and balanced diet can help with concentration. If you overeat, then you are asking your body to do a lot digesting and that can make you feel both uncomfortable and sleepy – two states of mind that aren’t good for concentrating. Eating light and healthy meals to keep hunger at bay but at the same time not overburden the body can maximize our ability to concentrate.
Become a planner! Write down the stages of the task you need to complete in the order you are going to complete them. By having a clearly laid out list of what needs to be done, our minds can work their way through the task from stage one right through to stage seven. It means we are less likely to be distracted by finishing one part of the task and, not completely sure on what to do next, getting distracted by checking our emails or getting on WhatsApp. Fewer distractions equals more concentration.