We all love to procrastinate. But, with the rise of smartphones, scrolling at our fingertips, videos to watch, and memes to share, it’s harder than ever to focus on work or hold your concentration on a task at hand. So, feeling your blue-light pain, we thought we’d help you out.
So, how to improve focus and concentration? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to this time-wasting 21st Century problem. It’s natural to try and find a way to put off challenging work or periods of study, and it’s essential to take breaks. Still, it’s also incredibly frustrating when your distracted mind goes into overdrive, and your ability to focus goes out the window. Open a new tab, read the news, order that birthday present, or check your Insta one too many times and end up with nothing done – piling the pressure on.
Sound just like you? Well, we’re here to help you avoid any unwanted stress by staying on task. We’ve compiled a number of research-backed methods and natural cognition boosters to help you curb focus loss and improve your ability to concentrate and stay focused throughout the day.
- Train your brain
Playing various types of brain-training games and puzzles can boost concentration – it’s a fact. In 2015, a study of 4,715 adults found that spending 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week, on brain-training activities can have a significant impact on your ability to concentrate. These include:
- Word searches and scrambles
- Memory tests
These brain-training games can also help develop your working and short-term memory, as well as developing your problem-solving skills. Win-win!
- Try natural brain boosting supplements
We all know sugary energy drinks are bad for us, right? Yes, filling your body with caffeine is proven to boost alertness and focus for a short time, but then comes the dreaded crash. But there are a few options out there that can give you a natural boost and help make a long-term difference.
Choosing a supplement with a multi-vitamin complex can help naturally boost concentration while promoting overall brain health. Plus, think drinks such as Cognifuel are created with active botanicals scientifically proven to enhance cognition and combat fatigue. Giving you a hydrating boost for both your body and mind in a single juicy shake. Give it a try.
- Get your game on
Brain games aren’t the only type of game here to improve attention and focus. Exciting research around video games suggests that sticking yourself in front of the TV for a Call of Duty marathon isn’t the childish, reality-escaping exercise that many better halves believe it to be – instead, it can actually be beneficial for boosting brain activity.
While 8-hour sessions every day are likely to be detrimental (you’d get no work done for a start), a 2017 review into 100 studies examining the effects of video games on cognitive function found that playing these games may lead to various changes in the brain, including increased concentration and focus. Well, if it’s scientifically proven…
- Improve sleep habits
We know this goes without saying, but it’s so essential it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Not getting enough sleep can wreak all sorts of havoc when it comes to focus and concentration. It disrupts your attention span and can crash other essential cognitive functions, including memory. This leads to even the simplest of daily tasks becoming a chore, so anything challenging or requiring higher levels of concentration go out of the window the minute your alarm clock goes off.
A busy schedule can make getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours difficult, but it’s important to give yourself a fighting chance by improving your sleep habits:
- Stay away from screens at least an hour before bed
- Relax your mind with a book or hot bath
- Exercise at least three times per week
- Go to bed and wake-up at regular times, even at the weekend
- Zone out!
We know this sounds counter-intuitive but actually letting your mind wander for a short time is a great (albeit surprising) approach if you’re struggling to improve focus and concentration. It’s been proven we spend almost 50% of our time daydreaming – and for a good reason.
Concentration requires a network of brain regions, and this network requires lots of energy to function. Ever feel like you literally run out of steam? That’s why. So, while unintentional mind-wandering won’t result in increased performance, scheduling time in to let your brain off the hook from time to time will take the guilt out of those little breaks while helping you reap the benefits of a fully charged mind.
How To Improve Concentration Quickly
Incorporating the above life hacks above is a great way to improve your focus and concentration and pay attention to that looming deadline. Combining the benefits of vitamins and proven botanicals of a think drink with a good night’s sleep and a little fun gaming is a sure-fire way to escape the depths of procrastination hell and start ticking away tasks on your hefty to-do list.