If you’ve found yourself searching “How to focus” on the internet, you’re not alone. Many people around the world struggle with their ability to concentrate. The good news is that there is hope, and all you need is a little persistence and some willpower to keep a good routine. Here are 10 great ways that you can boost your focus so you can continue to take the world by storm:
1. Get enough sleep
The amount of sleep you get and the amount you can focus on daily go hand in hand. Imagine how crummy you would feel trying to study for a final exam after pulling back-to-back all-nighters in the library. Although your time studying has increased, your brain’s ability to retain the information it’s receiving goes significantly down when you’re sleep deprived. Instead of studying for 24 hours and being exhausted, consider getting a good night’s sleep and only studying for eight to ten hours per day. This way, you still get a good bit of studying in, but also give your brain the time it needs to rejuvenate.
2. Eat enough food
Suppose you’ve started a new diet recently where you’ve significantly reduced the number of calories you consume daily and are feeling quite sluggish and unable to focus. In that case, you might be pushing yourself too far beyond your limits. Consider making an appointment with your doctor or dietician to tell them how you’re feeling and if you should reevaluate your current food intake. You know your body best, so do yourself a favor and listen to it!
3. Have a balanced diet
Similar to not getting enough to eat, not eating the right things can also damage your ability to focus. It might sound obvious, but following the nutrition on the food, the pyramid is a good place to start if you’re struggling with low concentration levels. Meal planning can help if your busy schedule keeps you from a balanced diet. You can find a seemingly endless supply of recipes to try on Pinterest that include all the food groups you need to boost your ability to focus.
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Being stressed about anything – big or small – can make it hard for you to focus on your tasks. You should be aware and protective of your mental health to recognize when something is starting to get in your head and prevent it from causing additional and unnecessary stress. Things like getting upset in traffic, worrying about a problematic billboard you saw, overthinking an email you need to send, or even feeling antsy about an awkward interaction you had the other day can take up tons of space in your brain and make it difficult for you to concentrate. If you remind yourself not to sweat the small stuff, you’ll make much more room in your head to occupy important thoughts that help keep you focused.
5. Find a calm environment
One of the key components to being able to focus is putting yourself in an environment that will set you up for success. This kind of environment will generally be different from person to person but will have similar features like quiet, well-lit, and clean. It’s would be difficult to try and complete a difficult task in a busy area like a popular coffee shop, but someone with noise-canceling headphones might enjoy that scenario. Likewise, an empty room with a desk might not be great for one person but would be the ideal situation for another. Consider what kind of environments help you focus the best and seek those out when you’re looking to spend some time working, studying or focusing on a difficult project.
6. Work at a comfortable pace
A great rule of thumb is not to bite off more than you can chew. Taking on too many projects at once can make it hard for you to concentrate on your tasks and will certainly lead to burnout at an accelerated rate. Talk to your coworkers, classmates or teachers to discuss how you’re feeling and ask if you can come up with a process that allows you to get your work done without feeling too heavy of a burden. If you’re nervous about discussing that, remember that the worst someone can say is no. From there, you just need to do anything you can to protect yourself from getting overwhelmed and overworked.
7. See your doctor
If you’ve made it this far and haven’t found any relief, it might be time to take a trip to your doctor as some health issues might contribute to your inability to focus. This is nothing to be ashamed about and many people worldwide struggle with decreased focus. This is a normal feeling, and a doctor can help you get on the right path.