We live in a fast-paced world where we try to do too much in too little time. Technology, among other things, dominates life and fills it with distractions. This makes concentration a distant thought, delaying pretty much every task you wish to complete. Looking for ways to resolve this problem and concentrate better? Here are 5 simple tips that can help you.
1. Turn Off The Notifications On Your Phone
You are likely to take your mobile phone with you wherever you go. There’s no denying that it is the first thing in the way of your ability to concentrate. While it may be hard to ditch your phone completely, turning off the notifications may help.
A study on the impact of such notifications on a group of people noted that when the alerts on their phones were turned off, they were less distracted and more productive.1 This is likely because when you check your notifications often, you tend to respond to a few and, probably, even see a few that cause you unwanted stress. All of this is bound to distract you from the task at hand. So, turn off the notifications on your phone for a while and you’ll surely be able to concentrate and do your work better.
2. Meditate For A Few Minutes Every Now And Then
One of the best-known, research-backed methods to improve concentration is meditation. While long-term training and practice of meditation are guaranteed to provide results, short-term training and practice can help too. A study comprising a 20-minute, 5-day schedule of meditation techniques showed that there was a significant improvement in the participants’ attention span, concentration, and control of stress. Reduction in anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue, as well as improved moods, was also observed.2
If you want to meditate to improve your concentration, here are simple steps to get you started. Remember not to practice this on a full stomach and focus only on your breathing while doing it.
- Find a peaceful, convenient spot to meditate.
- Sit comfortably either on the floor or on a chair, resting your palms on your knees.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath slowly.
- Then, slowly release the breath.
- Repeat a few times and then open your eyes.
3. Take A Power Nap
Power naps can quite effectively recharge your brain whenever you feel drowsy and are unable to concentrate. Research suggests that a power nap can improve concentration, performance, and alertness. A 20-minute nap is ideal for this. Sleeping for longer is likely to make you groggy and less productive and cause difficulty in sleeping at night.3 So, when you feel like you’re losing focus, get that power nap and breeze through the rest of the day.
4. Practice Yoga
If your inability to concentrate is bringing down your productivity levels, it’s probably time to turn to yoga. Yoga, an ancient Indian form of wellness therapy, improves not only your physical health but also your mental abilities including concentration. Practicing yoga and pranayama (breathing regulation techniques in yoga) regularly reduces your stress levels and shuts you off from distractions, allowing you to concentrate better.4 Some of the poses that might help are the diamond pose, eagle pose, shoulder stand, and the plow.
5. Stay Hydrated
Yes. Water, the elixir of life, can help you concentrate better. Research suggests that even a case of mild dehydration – as low as 2% – could result in the inability to concentrate well.5 So, don’t drink water only when you start feeling thirsty. Every time you find yourself unable to concentrate, take a few sips of water and feel better instantly.
Try these simple tips and you’ll certainly see a difference in your ability to concentrate.
|↑1||Pielot, Martin, and Luz Rello. “Productive, Anxious, Lonely-24 Hours Without Push Notifications.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1612.02314 (2016).|
|↑2||Tang, Yi-Yuan, Yinghua Ma, Junhong Wang, Yaxin Fan, Shigang Feng, Qilin Lu, Qingbao Yu et al. “Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104, no. 43 (2007): 17152-17156.|
|↑3||Colbert, Don. The Ultimate Sleep Guide: 21 Days to the Best Night of Your Life. Charisma Media. 2015.|
|↑4||Hagen, Ingunn, and Usha S. Nayar. “Yoga for children and young people’s mental health and well-being: research review and reflections on the mental health potentials of yoga.” Frontiers in Psychiatry 5 (2014).|
|↑5||Armstrong, Lawrence E., Matthew S. Ganio, Douglas J. Casa, Elaine C. Lee, Brendon P. McDermott, Jennifer F. Klau, Liliana Jimenez, Laurent Le Bellego, Emmanuel Chevillotte, and Harris R. Lieberman. “Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women.” The Journal of nutrition 142, no. 2 (2012): 382-388.|