Whether you are working from home, in the office, or are studying at the library, in today’s world we are constantly surrounded by constant in person and digital distractions. Do you have a hard time focusing on important tasks for prolength periods of time? No matter your age everyone is affected by outside distractions while trying to get work done. Once the distraction has passed, do you still have a hard time getting back on track and concentrating? Concentration takes serious mental effort and power. Anyone at any age can struggle with sitting still for long stretches of time. If you put in the work, over time you can strengthen your concentration. To get started, here are a list of tips and tricks on how to push away distractions and complete your work.
Tip Number One: Eliminate notifications
In 2022 people of all ages are glued to their phones, tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, etc. All of these devices send you notifications. Pop ups that your friend is playing your favorite video game and to go join them or someone commented on your instagram post or you have your email inbox notifications on. There are endless ways to make your phone ding. It is extremely tempting to check your devices every time you hear it buzz.
This first tip will probably be the most difficult to master. You must eliminate notifications on your devices when you set aside time to focus on a high priority task. Our mobile devices and applications on them are engineered to keep you on them for as long as possible. In the documentary The Social Dilemma released in 2020 software engineers discuss how email applications and social media platforms are designed to keep you on them for as long as possible. Some applications even send you new notifications when the app detects you have not been active in a while just to get you on your device. We have all fallen victim to scrolling on our phones unaware of how much time has passed. Do not let your device win and distract you!
One basic tip is physically removing your phone from your workspace. Simply flipping it over and placing it next to your keyboard will not cut it since it is just too tempting. Turn your phone off if you have to and put it in a drawer. Simply take 30 minutes to focus solely on your work with your phone off and watch just how much you can achieve.
Another tip is to suspend your email notifications on your phone. Research shows that constantly checking your email can actually worsen your overall productivity because the brain is not very good at multitasking. Complete your task first then you can reward yourself by checking your inbox or text messages.
Tip Number Two: Try Essential Oils
If you have turned off your phone and notifications and are still having a hard time concentrating you can try a natural remedy. Essential oils for concentration are a great way to assist your body in gaining better focus. You can try using lemon, atlas cedarwood, bergamot, and peppermint. Each essential oil has its own benefits. For example, a 2013 study shows that peppermint essential oil is effective for preventing fatigue. Another study conducted in 2008 shows that lemon essential oil can enhance a positive mood. Trying aromatherapy can help soothe you and help alleviate stress allowing you to focus on your work in a calm manner.
Tip Number Three: Practice Mindfulness
Concentration is all about the power of your mind. Having a clear head allows you to focus. One way to achieve this kind of clarity is through practicing mindfulness. Daily meditation is shown to have many benefits. In a 2012 study conducted by professors at the University of Washington Seattle, showed that employees who meditated in high stress environments over eight weeks displayed progress with having sharper focus and better concentration throughout the workday.
Tip Number Four: Brain Training
Another tip is implentinging brain training outside of work. Just like how we exercise other parts of our bodies we can also train our brain. The results found in a study conducted in 2015 suggests that one can see improvement in concentration if one commits to an average of 15 minutes a day on brain training exercises. Brain training activities include chess, crossword puzzles, memory games, and sudoku.
Tip Number Five: Improve Sleep
Our final tip is improving your overall sleep health. Not enough sleep can negatively impact multiple aspects of your life. Sleep deprivation can hinder your overall mood and even slow down your reflexes. You can feel more physically tired but also mentally drained when sleep deprived. It is important to get the right amount of sleep for your body. The general rule of thumb is to get around eight hours of sleep every night. A proper sleep schedule can help your overall performance at work and in other aspects of your life.