Maintaining a healthy level of concentration throughout the day is essential. However, it’s also very challenging—especially in our modern world of distractions. From email and social media to phone calls and social interactions, it’s very easy to become distracted from work or whatever other tasks you’re trying to complete. However, there are also natural factors that can affect our levels of concentration and focus. Making sure that you are using mother nature to its advantage in this regard can yield meaningful results in day-to-day life. Let’s take a look at four natural habits that can help you to maintain better focus throughout each day.
get high-quality sleep. Arguably one of the biggest drivers of distraction from within is related to the amount of rest we are presently receiving. While everybody’s sleep cycles and circadian rhythms are different, there are a few helpful tricks for improving sleep quality in order to be better-focused during the day. First, invest in a premium mattress. Where you sleep—and on what—is just as important as how much you sleep. Some prefer soft mattresses (like one of these) while others prefer firmer options; both can be effective at improving sleep quality. However, choosing a new mattress that improves posture and offers cooling benefits can improve sleep and ensure greater focus the following day. Second, avoid rigorous activities prior to bedtime: being active is a healthy and normal part of life, but doing so within close proximity to bedtime can affect your sleep quality. As such, it is recommended not to be overly active within three hours of your usual bedtime to ensure your body gets the rest it needs.
avoid multitasking. While the notion of multitasking has become a popular concept in modern society, it is also a rather unnatural habit for many people—some evidence suggests multitasking is actually bad for us. We are at our best cognitively when we’re able to focus on a set problem, task or challenge: while workplaces sometimes make this difficult or even impossible, breaking down responsibilities into single tasks that can be completed from start to finish will help boost your focus. This natural way of handling problems shouldn’t be too surprising. Just like distractions such as social media can gradually siphon our attention spans and divert us from important tasks, the presence of multiple tasks being worked on simultaneously can reduce focus substantially. Whenever possible, stick to solving one problem at a time if a boost in focus is desired.
eat natural focus-boosting foods. There are actually a variety of healthy foods you can eat to improve your focus and concentration. Many of these options are not necessarily expensive or hard to find, making it easy to incorporate them into your daily diet. Salmon is one notable example: high in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential acids not found commonly, a serving size of salmon can be a great addition to any lunch or dinner. A variety of nuts and seeds can also be seamlessly integrated into your meals to boost focus. Many of these contain EFAs, a crucial component found in foods that boost focus. For a broader list of recommended focus-boosting foods, click here.
steer clear of controversy. Have you ever found yourself incapable of forgetting about an argument, article or some other interaction that upset you? Does the thought of it continue to bounce around in your head throughout the day? If so, then you’re completely normal! Thankfully, there are ways to minimize the likelihood of being distracted by these issues. In our modern world, the easiest way to avoid getting upset or distracted is to steer clear of social media. However, it’s also worth noting that you can reduce the chances of being involved in controversy by keeping the news at bay during work hours, delaying a response to a text or email that seems to be heading toward conflict, or avoiding select people in-person while working on a project. Once you’ve wrapped up the tasks for the day that require boosted focus, you can then indulge in these activities with fewer consequences.
Using your natural surroundings to boost focus is easier than you might think. In some cases, avoiding artificial distractions is the best bet. In others, eating right and resting properly can provide long-term benefits in concentration. You may find that even temporarily avoiding certain conversations can keep your head in the zone where it belongs. Take advantage of one or more of these natural habits and see how much you can boost your focus!