Poor concentration makes it difficult to focus on work and other tasks, reducing productivity and leading to avoidable mistakes. Problems with concentration can occur for many different reasons, with tiredness, stress and hunger being among the most common causes. Whatever the cause of flagging concentration levels, there are several things you can do to help maintain your focus and increase productivity.
Tailor Your Environment
Creating the right physical environment is essential for maintaining focus. Cluttered work and living spaces draw your attention in several directions at once, making it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Sterile or bland work and living spaces can appear unwelcoming and unpleasant, making it difficult to tolerate long periods of time in the same space. Consider the kind of environment that will make you feel comfortable and improve your performance.
Feed Your Brain
Good nutrition is important for the proper functioning of the brain. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of high-quality protein, complex carbohydrates and fresh vegetables is essential for helping to boost concentration levels. Oily fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, has been found to have a positive effect on brain function, making it ideal as a lunchtime snack. Alternatively, a handful of nuts can help to prevent brain fatigue, as nuts are packed with vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy body and mind.
Take Regular Breaks
Regular breaks are essential for maintaining concentration levels, as brain fatigue can set in when working on the same task for a long period of time. Brain fatigue can quickly lead to irritability, tiredness and mistakes. If you can’t take a complete break, try alternating difficult tasks with simpler ones, as this allows your brain time to switch perspectives and find new solutions to problems.
Physical activity has long been known to boost brain power, improve memory and increase concentration. For example, taking a walk in your lunch hour can help to revitalise the body and mind, allowing you to maintain mental clarity throughout the afternoon. If it’s not possible to exercise outdoors, try performing a few simple stretches at your desk or running up a flight of stairs during your break.
Consistently high-stress levels can leave you feeling physically and mentally fatigued, leading to problems with memory, concentration and mood control. Learning to relax can make a big difference to brain function. Mindful meditation is one of the best relaxation tools for improving concentration levels, as regular practice helps to increase your awareness of the world around you.
Poor concentration can be the result of many different factors, including fatigue, stress, dehydration and hunger. Fortunately, most people can improve their focus by taking a few simple steps, such as learning to relax, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.