Having trouble concentrating at school or work? A wandering mind can affect work efficiency and our ability to take in new information. Here are just a few ways that you can sharpen up your concentration for the day.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is very important for our brains. It’s the time in which we develop our memory, storing information from the previous day. By not getting enough sleep, you could be stopping your brain from soaking up as much information. That’s why it’s vital to get enough sleep after a training course or after a night of revising before an exam. The healthy amount of slumber for adults is 7 to 9 hours. Apps such as Sleep Cycle can help you to get a better night’s sleep by reading your sleep cycles and only waking you up when you’re not in a deep cycle.
Feed your focus
Various foods are very good for our brain and sense of concentration. These include avocado, fatty fish, nuts, blueberries and dark chocolate. Supplements such as Neuro Clarity can further feed our focus and can be useful during an exam season or when working towards the deadline of a project. Drinks such as green tea are also very good for our concentration.
Pay attention to plants
If you work at a desk, having a plant on your desk could improve your concentration and productivity according to research. This may be something to do with the fresh source of oxygen that a plant provides, also supplying the brain with fresh oxygen and therefore improving brain function. Buy yourself a shrub, or work outside if you have the option.
Exercise your mind
When we go for a physical workout, it’s not just our body that reaps the benefits – our mind does too. Exercise has also been shown to be good for the brain. This is because when we exercise, breathing and blood pressure increase and all the old oxygen in our blood is flushed out and replaced by fresh oxygen. This fresh oxygen helps the brain perform better. It can therefore be beneficial to exercise in the morning before work or even during our lunch break.
Be careful with caffeine
That morning coffee will make you feel more awake and will temporarily boost your concentration. In fact, caffeine is recommended in small doses for those periods in which you need a sudden boost of motivation. However, drinking too much caffeine – whether it be in coffee or energy drinks – can have adverse effects, making you permanently jittery and making it impossible to concentrate by making you too alert to everything around you. Too much caffeine can also lead to sleep disorders such as insomnia in the long run – and as already stated sleep is very important for our concentration and our ability to take in information. No more than two cups of coffee a day is recommended. Rather than making these your go-to drink, try to save them as treats for the morning and the 3 pm crash.