6 Useful Tips for Staying Focused
In today’s always-connected world, staying focused can be quite challenging.
Distraction is only a click away and it is so easy to find yourself mindlessly scrolling social media or getting off task.
The ability to concentrate takes mental effort. It is like a muscle, the more you work at it, the stronger your focus gets. Being able to focus better may not happen overnight and will most likely consist of changes to your daily habits.
Here are some tips for developing your focus.
1. Get rid of distractions
For starters, it’s important to eliminate distractions to focus. While it’s almost impossible to avoid them completely, start with a few simple things to reduce their presence:
• Move to a quiet space
• Turn off notifications on your phone or set it to do-not-disturb mode
• Set expectations with your coworkers or classmates - let them know you're trying to focus
• Close your door if you are in an office (1).
2. Put limits on social media
If you constantly find yourself picking up your phone to scroll through social media every 10 minutes, you may want to think about setting up time limits in your social media apps. For iPhone users, you can set app limits in your phone’s settings under “screen time”. There are also popular apps that work for your phone, tablet and computer that help set limits on social media. The most common are Freedom, AppBlock, FocusMe, and Focus (1).
3. Fuel your body
Maintaining focus and concentration throughout the day is key to productivity and one of the most important contributors to that is the food we fuel our bodies with. The brain is made up of 2% of an adult’s weight, but it uses 20% of the energy produced by the body. If you don’t fuel your brain with the proper nutrients, you will start to feel a variety of symptoms, including memory problems, fatigue and concentration problems (4).
Foods that optimize your brain and concentration include:
• Healthy Fats like salmon, nuts and avocados
• Berries like blueberries and blackberries
• Water water water!
• Leafy greens like spinach and broccoli
4. Get enough sleep
Sleep, learning, and memory all go hand in hand. Research suggests that sleep helps learning and memory in two clear ways. First, a sleep-deprived person cannot focus attention optimally and therefore cannot learn efficiently. Second, sleep itself has a role in memory, which is essential for learning new information (2).
The CDC recommends that adults ages 16-60 get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. They offer the following habits that can help you improve your sleep health (3):
• Set a consistent bedtime. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends
• Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature
• Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom
• Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
• Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night. Whether you're in the club or exercising outside, Snap Fitness has the support you crave to keep your body moving! Find a club near your to get started! www.snapfitness.com/us/gyms
5. Make a to-do list
Life is busy and it’s easy for tasks to pile up, making it sometimes overwhelming to know where to start.
The good news? Studies suggest that the simple act of writing out your daily tasks can increase productivity (1). After you write out your list, put the most important tasks at the top and rank the following from priority. And yes - it's perfectly okay to add something to your to-do list just so you can cross it out!
6. Get Moving!
Try to get up and move your body. Even if it is sneaking in a 10-minute walk between meetings or daily tasks. All movement is valid! Moving your body helps to relieve stress and keeps you refreshed so you can stay motivated for the demands of the day.
So next time you find yourself overwhelmed with all your priorities or just simply feel unmotivated, you can practice these tips and tricks to help you stay on track and crush your day!
To help you stay on track we also created a focus-themed playlist. Check it out! https://spoti.fi/3sThhxV
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