Top Tips to Improve Concentration

Top Tips to Improve Concentration

Many of us are familiar with paying more attention to the clock than the work in front of us – or maybe it’s those little background noises ruining our train of thought every few minutes. Whether we’re working at home or in the office, all these distractions add up throughout the day. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic potion that we can take to solve these problems, however, there are small changes that we can make to improve concentration and boost productivity. Read on for our top tips on enhancing your mental focus.
Ditch the distractions

Many of us keep our phones close to hand at all times - while this is great for ensuring you never miss important calls; how often do you find yourself procrastinating, scrolling mindlessly when you’re meant to be doing something else? One of the simplest things we can do to ensure our focus remains on what we’re supposed to be doing is to remove distractions – including our phones! Keeping it out of reach (better still in another room) will stop you from instinctively reaching for it at a moment of boredom. If being unreachable isn’t an option, then set time aside throughout the day to check and reply to any important messages or calls.

Keep a clear workspace

As the old saying goes – a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind. It’s worth spending the time to ensure you have a clean and organised area before starting your work, as this will allow you to have a more focussed mindset and put you in a better mood to tackle the tasks on your to do list. What’s more, with the rise in hybrid working, distinguishing between work life and recreational life is becoming increasingly hard. However, keeping these environments as separate as possible can help you to switch off when you don’t have to concentrate and help you to have more energy when you do need to focus.

Workout to work better

There’s no denying that regular exercise is great for our health, but did you know it’s great for improving our concentration too? In fact, research shows that a short burst of physical activity (even just a 20 minute walk) can enhance our ability to concentrate for an hour afterwards[i]. Other studies are in agreement, finding that workers who take breaks during the day to do something active not only have improved concentration but a better mood to – both of which are great for boosting productivity. What’s more, another study discovered that those with higher fitness levels demonstrated superior concentration compared to those that were less fit[ii] – even more reason to get moving!

Feed your mind

We all know that a healthy, balanced diet is important in almost every aspect of our life - but many people underestimate just how vital the right nutrition is for our brain and cognitive function. For example, oily fish are abundant in brain boosting omega-3 fatty acids (otherwise known as DHA). These fatty acids are vital for the function of the synapses between our neurons[iii] - essentially, they play a key role in how efficiently we respond to our surroundings. As the main omega-3 fat in your brain, there’s no denying that regular intake of DHA is important for focus, concentration and general brain health. With the main dietary source coming from oily fish, you might be wondering how you can ensure you’re getting enough omega-3 to keep your brain powered up.

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References -
[i] Chang, Y.K., Labban, J.D., Gapin, J.I and Etnier, J.L. (2012) The effects of acute exercise on cognitive performance: a meta-analysis. Brain Research.
[ii] Williams, R.A., Cooper, S.B., Dring, K.J., Hatch, L., Morris, J.G., Sunderland, C and Nevill, M.E. (2020) Effect of football activity and physical fitness on information processing, inhibitory control and working memory in adolescents. BMC Public Health.
[iii] Gómez-Pinilla, F. (2008). Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 9(7), 568–578.
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