A recent study from Microsoft claims that human beings these days have an average attention span comparable to that of a goldfish’s. Does this resonate with you? Do you feel like you have lots of difficulty focusing? Fortunately, learning how to focus is a skill you can practice, and there are plenty of things you can do to improve your concentration. Here are a few:
Work in a Comfortable Environment
It can be extremely difficult to focus when you feel uncomfortable. Whether it’s because the temperature is too high or too low, or you’re working in a noisy environment full of distractions, or you just don’t have a comfortable desk or chair, these seemingly minor factors can seriously impede your ability to concentrate and be productive.
Consider taking your work to a coworking space for the day, and you might be surprised at how much work you can get done. A great coworking space with excellent facilities and amenities is the Common Desk. Their office buildings look, feel and operate more like cutting edge boutique hotels than offices. The Common Desk is unparalleled when it comes to hospitality in coworking spaces.
The Common Desk offers shared tables or private desks and meeting rooms, so you can choose the setup that works best for you. Some people prefer to work in complete silence and isolation, while others draw energy by being surrounded with people. Whatever your working style, the Common Desk has a solution for you. They have office rental space in Fort Worth, Plano or Dallas, TX, as well as several other locations, so you can try the facility closest to you.
This might seem counterproductive to you, especially if you have a huge workload to get through, but taking regular breaks can actually boost your productivity. Your mind is not a machine, and working relentlessly and nonstop for long periods of time can lead to mental fatigue. Taking just a ten minute break every hour or so helps your brain recharge, and you can get back to your work with a renewed energy and a sharper mind. You may even be able to spot mistakes and solve problems more quickly when your brain isn’t exhausted.
Caffeine has been found to be directly linked to cognition. It doesn’t necessarily improve your memory or learning capabilities, but it does increase your physiological arousal so you are less prone to be distracted and can better concentrate on the task at hand. Choose your caffeine source wisely. Sodas and energy drinks are often high in calories and full of sugar, which may not only lead to weight gain, but also make you feel sluggish and unhealthy.
Stick to freshly brewed coffee or tea instead. These have the added benefit of being full of antioxidants, which can help sharpen your focus and improve your memory with adequate intake.
Listen to Music
Listening to soothing, instrumental music while you work can help you concentrate and focus, and get into a steady rhythm of work. Be sure not to listen to catchy pop songs with lyrics, these can be distracting and you may not be able to resist the urge to sing along. If you do listen to music while you work, have the courtesy to wear earphones instead of playing your music on speakers, so as not to distract other people working around you.
Your body needs enough energy to work efficiently, even if you are only slaving away at your desk and not doing any manual labor. Don’t skip meals, and eat healthy, balanced meals to make your body feel good and boost your ability to focus. Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens are packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients that can sharpen your mind and improve your memory.
With a combination of the right mindset and the proper tools, you can definitely improve your focus, and as a result, boost your productivity.