How to Improve Concentration

Having trouble concentrating and focusing on what you are doing?

The first step would be to identify what is causing your lack of concentration, are you distracted? Worrying about something else? Or are you just tired?

There could be many reasons and food or sleep alone can’t help you concentrate better.

Perhaps you are doing an assignment and at the same time constantly refreshing your inbox or checking your news feed. You are not single-mindedly focusing on the assignment because you are thinking about checking on other work first. Eliminate such distractions and prioritize tasks. Tackle the complex ones first and if needed take regular breaks but after you have done some work. This way less time will be wasted in switching tasks and improve your concentration.

Another thing that is a concentration killer is our old friend worry. Worrying about what didn’t go right or about the future or what could have turned out differently will not let you concentrate on any task and can make it very difficult to get work done. You can write these nagging thoughts down and set aside some time to deal with them later. Meditating can also help reduce worrying.

Check out your environment. Are you comfortable or is it too noisy or dim? The place you are in plays a big role in how concentrated and focused you are. Make sure you are comfortable at your desk and chair, that the chair isn’t too high or low. And make sure the room is brightly lit. You can try putting up pictures of landscapes or nature nearby or around the room, this can help you focus.

If you have been working on a task for some time and you are getting restless and can’t get your head around the task, take a break. Get up, relax, walk around or just read something interesting or maybe eat. This will help you clear your head and once you get back to your task it won’t look too daunting or hopeless. Taking regular short breaks between tasks have been found to help increase concentration.

Make sure you eat. No matter how important the task is or how fast it needs to be get done you need to eat.

Here are some food which helps to concentrate:

  • Don’t skip breakfast. Research has shown that eating breakfast improves short-term memory and concentration.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish is great for brain health.
  • Dark chocolate (yes, chocolate!) has antioxidant properties and caffeine which helps focusing.
  • Blueberries are nutritious and help slow age-related conditions of the brain.

It’s important to have a balanced diet. If you have too little you will not get enough nutrients or energy to concentrate, too much food and you will feel tired and drowsy. Lastly, drink plenty of water so you won’t be dehydrated and your brain can perform best when hydrated. Also, make sure you get plenty of sleep and are well rested.