Need Help Focusing? Try This!
Have you been wondering how to focus more effectively? Take a look at our extensive guide on creating habits and routines to improve your mental focus.
Do you feel like have trouble focusing on your day-to-day tasks at work or home? We know how you feel, girl! Many of us ladies struggle with our concentration and mental focus, and it’s little wonder why. We have so many different things on our minds. Today’s fast-paced environment can be overwhelming and full of distractions. Whether you’re building your career or raising a family (or both), maintaining your concentration can be a challenging thing.
Fortunately, it is possible to learn how to focus and increase daily productivity. To begin, you just need to learn the right techniques and concentration skills. Let’s take a deep dive into what causes a wandering mind and how to avoid external distractions so you can focus on tackling your daily work, personal, and study goals.
Why Can’t I Focus?
Before we can fix a problem, we need to understand the cause of it. For those of us who don’t know why we struggle with staying focused, here are some common underlying causes.
- Anxiety: When we’re anxious, we waste a lot of our brainpower worrying about things that are happening or could happen. When our brains are distracted by fear and anxiety, we can’t focus on specific tasks very well.
- ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder doesn’t just affect young children. This mental health condition can also cause problems in adults, such as mood swings, impulsiveness, trouble focusing, and poor time management.
- Thyroid Problems: A large number of adults (especially women) have thyroid problems. The thyroid is an endocrine gland that is shaped like a butterfly and sits along the front of the windpipe. Despite its small size, the thyroid is remarkably powerful and has an impact on practically every organ in the body. When the thyroid produces too much or too little thyroid hormone, it can cause changes in weight and mental health. It can also lead to difficulties with concentration.
- Depression: Like anxiety, depression can make the affected person more susceptible to concentration and productivity issues. It is hard to focus on tasks when the mind is preoccupied with feelings of deep sadness and low self-worth.
- Stress: Stress is one of the common culprits behind some of our biggest health issues. When we’re stressed out, our body diverts energy from the brain regions that control attention and cognitive function to the parts of the brain that are responsible for survival. Stress keeps our bodies in a “fight or flight” response, which can be extremely fatiguing.
- Medication: Some drugs can change our brain chemicals and negatively impact our attention span. These include drugs commonly used for depression, sleep, allergies, muscle spasms, and incontinence.
- Diet: Most of us don’t want to hear that our diet could be to blame for our inability to achieve deep focus at work, school, or home. But even though it’s unpleasant to hear, it’s true. If we regularly consume foods high in sugar and saturated fat, we can trigger systemic inflammation in our bodies. In addition to causing bloating, joint pain, and other uncomfortable physical issues, inflammation can also lead to decreased mental function.
- Juggling Too Much: There’s a pervasive myth that multitasking is a desirable trait. While it’s nice to be able to get multiple things done at once, working on too many projects simultaneously can backfire. According to research, our brains are not designed to rapidly switch focus from one task to another. To achieve laser focus and increase productivity at work, it’s best to avoid multitasking and get one thing done at a time.
- Insufficient Sleep: Sleep is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. Our bodies and minds can’t physically function without sufficient sleep. Remember, it is during sleep that our brain cells rest and recharge so they can function optimally the next day. Research reveals that getting too little sleep makes it harder to block out distractions and keep our attention on the most important things we need to do (such as professional tasks and homework).
- Hunger: If your stomach is growling and your body is telling you it needs fuel, it can be hard to think about anything else. Remember, food provides fuel to both your body and your mind. If your attention span is suffering and you’re unable to focus on deep work that requires a lot of brainpower, try taking a break, eating, then returning to work when you’re no longer hungry.
These are some of the most common things that can take your attention away from pressing tasks at work, school, or home. Take a minute to analyze your personal situation and determine which of the factors from the above list are likely causing you to struggle with your attention span.
How Can I Focus More Quickly and Deeply?
If you need help improving focus at work, here are some things you can try.
- Set up a structured break schedule at work. This will help you avoid mental burnout from working too long without periods of recovery. Short breaks are not a waste of time. They’re necessary to help you perform focused work and ramp up your productivity.
- Take a time-out from all nonessential technology. Digital distractions are huge time-wasters and can hamper your ability to focus on your daily tasks. To avoid distraction, turn off all phone alerts and close out all non-essential apps. You can turn these things back on once you’ve earned a longer break, but not before.
- Deal with distractions. Besides electronics, many other things can become distractions. If you work from home, your pets could distract you from the important tasks you need to complete. Even sitting by a window can become a distraction if you have a problem with your mind wandering every time someone drives or walks past. It’s best to deal with distractions when they first arise so you can get back to focusing on the task at hand.
- Wear headphones as needed. If your focus sessions are easily derailed by noises, try investing in a pair of quality noise-blocking headphones. They’ll help you achieve a level of focus you didn’t think possible by getting rid of all the extra noises vying for your attention.
These helpful tools and productivity tips can make a huge difference at work, in the classroom, and at home.
What Do Successful People Do That I’m Not Doing?
Have you ever wondered how successful people maintain their laser-sharp focus even when they have a lot going on? Usually, successful people work hard to develop healthy habits that boost their physical and mental health and function.
Many successful people utilize the power of mindfulness meditation to keep their brains sharp. Meditation and mindfulness are both ways of training your brain to let go of unnecessary thoughts and achieve a state of intense focus. Meditation doesn’t have to take up much of your time, but those short focus sessions can have a huge impact on your attention span.
Regular exercise is another habit of successful people. Physical activity helps to get the blood flowing and sends increased oxygen to all the cells in the body—including those in the brain. Oxygenated blood is invigorating and can improve mental function so we’re ready to tackle any work project or study session.
Many successful people also take nootropic supplements. These supplements contain ingredients known to improve cognitive function without the use of stimulants. Nootropic supplements such as Herpower not only improve focus, but mood and sense of well-being as well! Learn more about this product and other products that can improve your overall health at Mixhers Resources.