An environment that has a lot of distractions will make it impossible for anyone to successfully complete their tasks on time. While external distractions can already be hard enough to deal with, things can quickly get a lot harder when internal distractions are also competing for your attention.
We seem to be working on a lot of stuff, yet why is it that we’re not accomplishing anything?
That’s because we are not focusing on the important stuff. We allow our constant need for rewards to override our willpower for staying with our tasks. Fortunately, there are little changes that we can do each day so that improving concentration levels and attention span becomes easier. Below you can find 7 tips on how to concentrate better.
1. Getting Rid of Obvious Distractions
Get rid of everything that has nothing to do with the task at hand. The most obvious ones that will be begging for your attention are your social media notifications, e-mails, chat boxes, etc. The need to check out those things will be strong, but if you exercise just enough willpower to ignore it, the desire for it will eventually go away.
Keep those distractions as far away as possible. You can place your phone where it will be out of reach, or you can turn it off if you really can’t help yourself.
2. Scheduling Your Worries
Distractions can also come in the form of needless or unurgent worries. You may have gotten rid of external distractions, but if your mind keeps on thinking about things that don’t require your immediate attention, then your ability to concentrate will still be hampered.
There are more important things to do right now, and you should give your full attention to them until your specified timeframe. After this, you can proceed to think about your worries. Additionally, putting your worries on a mind dump journal can make it easier for you to figure out how to deal with them later.
3. Eliminating Clutter from Your Workspace
Mental clutter can prevent you from harnessing the true power of your mind, and physical clutter can do the same. It may seem trivial, but if you can constantly see the mess around you, over time it will have an effect on your mental clarity.
Eliminating clutter can help your mind zoom in on your task because you are not constantly bothered by any messy visuals. You already have a lot to think about, so you should be in a place where you can think clearly.
To help you with keeping your workspace tidy we have created the Valet Tray Organizer. It was designed to serve as a solution for a cluttered tabletop. It’s a great product that will help you to store all your EverydayCarry in the right place. Your desk will be nice and tidy. You can find out more information about the product by clicking the link below:
4. Prioritizing Difficult Tasks
Maybe you’ve started creating to-do lists to visualize what you have to do for the day. However, if you are still dealing with unfinished tasks despite your lists, the problems could be:
- Your list is too long.
- You don’t know your priorities.
Oftentimes, we go for the easiest tasks on our list just to feel accomplished early in the day. As a result, the really important tasks are bumped off to a later schedule. Unfortunately, by the time we get to it, our mind is already too exhausted.
If we devote our mental energy to the most difficult tasks first, we will be able to concentrate better throughout the day, knowing that the priorities have already been dealt with.
5. Creating Blinders with Your Hands
Sometimes, tunnel vision is the way to go when you need extreme focus.
Horses have blinders so they can concentrate on where they’re going. In the same manner, we can also use our hands as blinders to help us get in the right mental zone.
When we literally limit our vision to the task that we’re trying to finish, it’s physically easier to remind ourselves of our goals. This helps us build a one-track mind every time we need to devote 110% of our attention to something. In the long run, hand blinders will end up boosting concentration.
6. Keeping Yourself Healthy
Good health involves being as stress-free as possible. This can be done by regularly exercising, eating a balanced diet, and sleeping adequately every night. Missing any of these components will just mess up your mood, thereby keeping you from functioning at your best.
You can also read the articles on our blog that will give you some tips on how to reduce stress and boost your energy at work:
7. Engaging in a 24-Hour Dopamine Fast
Dopamine is a chemical that releases pleasurable feelings. While it may not be a bad thing in itself, oftentimes people abuse it because it gives a high that is quite difficult to deny.
This is where the 24-hour dopamine fast comes in. Now, this tip involves a bit of planning ahead, because dopamine fast requires you to starve yourself of the following for a full 24 hours:
- Electronics (mobile phone, laptop, TV, etc.)
- Music and podcasts
- Reading materials (books, magazines, etc.)
- Food and drinks
- Masturbation and sex
- Smoking, alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs
- Human interactions, unless needed
The only things you can do are:
- Write and reflect
- Drink water
- Perform house chores
- Go for a walk
- Take a shower or bath
- Be one with nature
Depriving ourselves of the stimuli that we’re used to allows us to dig deeper within ourselves. This gives us that much needed mental reset.
Some phases of the 24-hour dopamine fast will feel really hard, especially when dopamine sources are just within reach. However, if we really want to clear up our minds, this is something that we all should do at least once a month.
If you want to increase your concentration and your productivity, you will see improvements when you apply small changes to the following things:
1. Distractions: Get rid of things that are not related to the task at hand.
2. Worries: Allot time for them after you’ve done your task.
3. Clutter: Maintain a tidy and peaceful-looking workspace.
4. Priorities: Go for the difficult tasks first.
5. View: Keep your eyes on the prize!
6. Health: Take care of your body to have a better mind.
7. Dopamine: Temporarily deprive yourself of pleasures to achieve mental clarity.
Our tendency to prefer distracting activities over important tasks can be a hard habit to break. However, with enough patience and the right concentration techniques, our improved ability to focus will eventually shine through.