How many things are needing your attention right now? Your phone? Email? Instagram? Your boss? The endless list of things to do nowadays can cause more stress rather than us being known as ‘productive people’. Before smartphones, we were only accessible for a certain amount of time. Now, learning to be readily available can take its toll on our ability to concentrate. Here are 4 common reasons that make it hard for us to concentrate and 4 effective ways to help!
Being tired and fatigued is concentrations worst enemy. Research has indicated that even if we stay up just one hour later than normal, this will significantly decrease our focusing capability the next day. Our brains are developed to work best when it’s focused and not when it is tired or fatigued.
Solution:Turn Your Phone Off One Hour Before Bed
By turning your phone off an hour before bed, you can help to relax your brain from phone overload. For an effective night sleep, both your body and mind needs to be relaxed.
When we are feeling stressed, we find it particularly hard to concentrate. Stress increases cortisol in our bodies which can create anxiety and irritability.
Solution: Try Meditation
Meditating just five minutes every morning and before bed can help to decrease cortisol levels in our bodies, reduce stress and help us to handle the day a lot better. YouTube have some great guided meditations you can follow if you are a beginner to this as well as meditation mobile apps. Headspace and 10 Percent Happier are good ones to try:
10 Percent Happier: http://www.10percenthappier.com/
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is NOT a good thing. We are continually pushed to do more things at work and to do them faster. However new scientific research has proven that this approach is bad for the task at hand (for example spelling mistakes, careless errors), and is also bad for your brain.
Solution: Prioritise and Unitask
Before you start your day, try to write a list of the most important tasks you need to complete and work on them in that order. Multi-tasking does not speed up your productivity, it actually slows it down. Also, Instead of letting texts and emails distract you, turn off notifications on your phone so you can concentrate effectively on the task at hand.
Boredom and Lack of Challenge
Doing the same task over and over again can lead to us becoming bored and lose our concentration. It is important for us to be stimulated by new challenges regularly so that we do not fall into this cycle.
Solution: Try New Things , Ask Your Boss For a Challenge
Incorporating new activities into your day can encourage us to become mentally stimulated. A new hobby or a trip can be something to get you out of the norm. At work, ask your boss for a new challenge or for a new task you can do everyday so you can be more productive!