Having trouble concentrating while working or studying? Below are just a few things you can do to boost your concentration.
A good night’s sleep
Being well rested can help us to concentrate better by improving our ability to store short-term memories. When we are sleep-deprived, many of us become more forgetful causing us to lose our trail of thought and make more mistakes. A lack of sleep can also lead to increased stress levels, which can make us more fidgety and more alert to distractions. By getting 7 hours of sleep per night, you could find that you’re able to concentrate much more effectively during the day.
It’s hard to concentrate when you’re not sitting comfortably. If you often find yourself getting cramps because your desk is too low or your chair is too firm, it could be time to upgrade your furniture. Whether you choose purpose-built educational furniture or an ergonomic office chair, it’s important that you choose the right furniture to help you focus.
Studies have found that indoor plants can effectively boost concentration. Why is this the case? It’s likely due to the fact that plants produce a fresh source of oxygen. Indoor environments typically have higher levels of carbon dioxide and lower levels of oxygen. As a result our brain doesn’t get the oxygen supply it needs to function at full capacity. By adding a plant to your desk, you could find that you’re able to think more clearly because your brain is getting more oxygen.
Just enough caffeine
Caffeine boosts our production of dopamine, which can help us to focus more clearly. This is why a cup of coffee can be a great option when you need to knuckle down and write an essay or complete a work task. Just be wary that too much caffeine could have the opposite effect – it can make us restless and can bring on headaches. For most people, less than three cups of coffee per day is enough.
The right music
Music can block out distracting noises and help aid concentration, but it has to be the right type of music. Music that is too upbeat, noisy or wordy could be a distraction. This is why many people stick to chilled-out instrumental music such as classical, film scores, lo-fi hip hop beats or ambient music.
How long can we concentrate on a single task before losing our focus? On average, about 45 minutes. This is why it can be beneficial to take a 5 minute break every 45 minutes when having to focus on a repetitive task – without these breaks you could find that your productivity is reduced. Use your break to get away from the task at hand so that you can reset your brain. Going outside for 5 minutes can be particularly effective at restoring concentration levels.
Turning off distractions
In some cases, you may be able to physically turn off distractions. This could include turning off the TV, muting notifications on your phone or even turning off your phone. Just make sure that you’re not cutting yourself off from any potential emergency calls of messages for too long.