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Mastering Concentration: Pro Tips On How To Focus Better
Aug 10, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

Mastering Concentration: Pro Tips On How To Focus Better

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 16 min read
Mastering Concentration: Pro Tips On How To Focus Better

It's 3 PM. Your eyes are glued to the computer screen, but your brain? It's dancing to that catchy TikTok tune instead of diving into the report due tomorrow. 

Sound familiar? 

If you nodded (or let out a sheepish sigh), you're not alone. 

Let's face it: the digital age, for all its perks, is a minefield of distractions. Emails popping, messages buzzing, and, oh, look, another meme! 

Navigating this chaos can feel like taming a storm with a paper umbrella. But hang tight. What if we told you there's a way out? A method to reign in that wandering mind of yours? 

Dive in because we're rolling out a step-by-step blueprint to supercharge your focus today. Ready to trade those distractions for determination?

Tips on How to Improve Focus and Concentration Naturally

1. Finding Your 'Why': The Heart of Concentration

Finding Your 'Why': The Heart of Concentration

Ever wondered how to focus in a world that constantly tries to pull your attention in a million directions? The secret lies not just in techniques on how to improve focus but also in understanding the bigger picture of why you want to focus in the first place. When juggling multiple tasks, losing sight of your primary focus is easy.

Pause for a few minutes. Think about the one task that matters most right now—got it? Now, dive deeper. Why is this task essential? 

Pinning down your core motivation behind tasks can be a game-changer. When you allocate your mental resources to that singular goal, your cognitive abilities rise to the occasion, making it easier to stay focused.

Key Takeaway: Pinpointing your 'why' sharpens your focus, turning any task from a mere to-do to purpose-driven action.

2. The Golden Rule of 25

The Golden Rule of 25

We've all had those moments where hours fly by, and we're left wondering, "Where did the time go?" 

That's where the Golden Rule of 25 comes into play. Instead of getting lost in the abyss of endless work, break things down. 

Commit to 25 minutes of unadulterated, pure focus on one task. Wondering how to focus more during these precious minutes?

First, eliminate distractions. That buzzing phone? Put it on airplane mode or, better yet, in another room. Those noisy notifications? Silence them. 

It's surprising how much attention span we regain by simply cutting out the digital noise. Next, declutter your workspace. A clear desk mirrors a clear mind, making it easier for you to improve focus and complete tasks.

But it's not just about the external environment. Your brain health plays a pivotal role, too. Think of these 25 minutes as a gym session for your mental muscle. Every dedicated session is an exercise on how to increase concentration and how to stay focused.

Key Takeaway: Commit to 25 distraction-free minutes. It's a game-changer for your focus and a workout for your brain.

3. Your Productivity Oasis: Crafting the Ideal Workspace

Your Productivity Oasis: Crafting the Ideal Workspace

Imagine, just for a few minutes, walking into a space that instantly amplifies your mental energy in the morning. A place where every element beckons and shows you how to concentrate and magnify your focus. 

That's the power of your surroundings—they can either propel or deter your mental health and productivity. Organizing your workspace is a productivity hack

Crafting this oasis starts with the basics. First, personalize your space. Whether it's a cherished photo, a motivational quote, or a soothing color palette, these details can steer your mind toward a specific task. 

Then, maintain an organized desk. Just as clutter can muddle our thoughts, a neat workspace can drastically improve focus.

Want to kick it up a notch? 

Introduce scents known to enhance focus, like peppermint. Some people find nature sounds or certain background music to be the backdrop they need when planning how to improve focus and concentration. 

Key Takeaway: Your workspace is more than just a desk—it's your focus hub. Tailor it to amplify your concentration.

4. Mastering the Art of 'Do Not Disturb'

Mastering the Art of 'Do Not Disturb'

In today's hyper-connected world, finding ways on how to focus better at work isn't just nice—it's necessary. Surprisingly, about half of our distractions aren't external; they're internal. 

That momentary urge to check your phone during a meeting or the wandering mind during a crucial presentation—sound familiar?

This is where the art of 'Do Not Disturb' shines. It's about using tech to combat the downsides of, well, tech. 

Harnessing the power of specific apps can enhance your focus and concentration. They're like training (yes, you read that right!) for your brain, sharpening your brain's ability to zone in on single tasks and ignore other tasks that beckon.

But it's not just about ignoring phone calls or messages. It's about creating an environment where your mind feels no urge to drift, where you're fully in the present moment

This proactive approach reduces the constant stimulation hindering our problem-solving and task-completion abilities. And if there's a to-do list item that keeps poking your brain? Jot it down and return to your primary focus.

Key Takeaway: Harness tech to boost your ability to focus. Embrace 'Do Not Disturb' as a productivity mantra, not just a setting.

5. Harnessing the Power of 'Mini-Breaks'

Harnessing the Power of 'Mini-Breaks'

Here's an irony: One of the best ways on how to focus might just be to... stop focusing. Briefly, at least. 

In a world teeming with constant distractions, pushing ourselves relentlessly can hamper our ability to focus. That's where the magic of 'mini-breaks' comes into play.

Think about it. If you've ever hit a wall with a single task, a 5-minute walk can spark your problem-solving skills. Or perhaps, after hours of demanding brain training, some quick stretches reinvigorate your mind, preparing you on how to improve focus once more.

But mindfulness meditation is another tool in the arsenal of improving focus. Practicing mindfulness offers a break from the digital buzz, anchoring you in the present, even if it's just for a few minutes. 

It's a technique scientifically backed to improve concentration and strengthen your focus muscles. Moreover, meditation helps you increase energy and handle tasks more efficiently.

Regularly stepping back for a short, intentional pause isn't a sign of inefficiency. Instead, it's a powerful strategy on how to increase focus by rejuvenating both mind and body.

Key Takeaway: 'Mini-breaks' aren't a luxury but necessary to improve focus. Embrace them to supercharge your concentration.

6. Your Focus Fuel: Eat and Drink Your Way to Clarity

Your Focus Fuel: Eat and Drink Your Way to Clarity

Have you ever wondered how what's on your plate might be the key to focusing more? It's not just about chugging a cup of mushroom coffee or reaching for that energy bar; it's about embracing foods that nurture our brains and sustain our energy.

For starters, hydration is an unsung hero in the quest to improve your focus. According to research(1), a mere 2% drop in hydration can significantly affect our memory capacity and ability to boost concentration. 

That sudden urge to take a short break or the onset of a mental fog? It might just be your body asking for water.

Beyond liquids, there's a banquet of foods known to elevate cognitive functions, making it easier to stay focused. From blueberries loaded with antioxidants to omega-rich fish that support brain health, these choices play a pivotal role in eliminating distraction and boosting your energy in the morning and beyond.

Oh, and while you're at it, pair your meal with some deep breathing exercises. It's a fantastic combo on how to increase concentration—fueling both your brain and your lungs.

Key Takeaway: Nourishing your body with the right foods and hydration is a cornerstone in the pursuit to improve your focus. Your diet can be a game-changer.

7. The Mind-Body Connection: Movement to Kickstart Concentration

The Mind-Body Connection: Movement to Kickstart Concentration

It's not just a saying; there's genuine science(2) behind the claim that movement is an integral part of how to concentrate better. While we often associate work with staying put, the body thrives on movement to revitalize the mind.

Ever found your attention waning after spending time on a task for a certain time? A simple stretch or a few desk exercises can act like a fresh gust of wind, clearing away the cobwebs and allowing you to focus better at work. It's this incredible mind-body connection that enhances our ability to concentrate.

But the benefits don't stop there. Incorporating regular aerobic exercise into your routine is proven to improve concentration significantly. From boosting brain health to releasing endorphins that elevate mood, these activities are a magic potion for staying focused.

You don't need to be a gym buff, either. From short walks to seated leg lifts, these small changes can make a big difference in how to improve focus and concentration.

Key Takeaway: Movement isn't just for fitness; it's a catalyst in sharpening your focus. Integrate simple exercises to supercharge your productivity.

8. Dreaming Your Way to Laser Focus: The Power of Sleep

Dreaming Your Way to Laser Focus: The Power of Sleep

You might be scouring books and blogs to learn how to focus, but here's a twist: The secret might just lie beneath your sheets. A good night's sleep is the unsung hero of cognitive excellence, and understanding its importance is the cornerstone of genuine productivity.

Did you know there are different stages of sleep, each serving a unique purpose? While some deepen your rest, others play a pivotal role in brain rejuvenation. In these cycles, our brains process the day, making sense of new information and restoring their ability to concentrate on a certain task the next day.

But how do you ensure you get enough sleep and not just lie in bed counting the minutes or checking social media notifications? 

The answer lies in crafting a sleep-friendly environment and routine. This means eliminating distractions, optimizing air quality, and truly understanding what your body needs. 

And the dividends are grand! Apart from skyrocketing workplace satisfaction, adequate sleep shields you from numerous health issues, including sleep deprivation and its cascade of consequences like high blood pressure.

Key Takeaway: Prioritize sleep, not just for your well-being, but as an elite strategy on how to improve focus and ramp up your daily productivity.

9. The Myth of Multitasking: Focus's Greatest Adversary

The Myth of Multitasking: Focus's Greatest Adversary

Remember when multitasking was all the rage? Many believed it was the key on how to focus more efficiently. But recent studies bring a fresh perspective: trying to juggle multiple tasks doesn't necessarily mean you're more productive.

In reality, there's a switching cost each time you switch between tasks. This isn't about money but the mental price your brain pays. 

This constant flip-flopping exhausts cognitive resources, leading to more difficulty in maintaining quality work. Instead of enhancing attention spans, multitasking shatters them.

But fear not! There are proven ways on how to stay focused when you have multiple tasks at hand. 

First, embrace single-tasking. Dive into one task and give it your undivided attention. It's called focused work, and it's where magic happens. 

The power of time blocking can also supercharge productivity. Designate specific times for specific tasks and take a break when that time ends. This could be a short physical activity, a few deep breaths, or anything to reduce stress and reset.

So, if you're looking for ways on how to increase concentration, the answer might be simpler than you think. Prioritize, block your time, and focus solely on one task.

Key Takeaway: Ditch the multitasking myth. Embrace single-tasking to improve your concentration and maximize output.

FAQs About How to Focus Better

How Can I Create A Distraction-Free Workspace At Home Or In The Office?

Creating a distraction-free workspace boils down to a few essentials. First, pick a quiet spot, whether at home or the office. Keep your desk clutter-free—a tidy space equals a focused mind. Silence those tech notifications; they're focus-breakers. 

Opt for natural light when possible, but ensure you've got good lighting overall. If noise gets to you, consider noise-canceling headphones. Finish by adding a personal touch, like a plant, but keep it minimal. 

Is Multitasking An Effective Way To Get More Done?

No, multitasking is often a misconception when it comes to productivity. While it might seem like you're achieving more by juggling multiple tasks, you're often draining your cognitive resources, leading to more mistakes and longer task completion times. 

Research indicates that our brains aren't designed for multiple attention-diverting tasks. Instead of multitasking, focusing on one task at a time—single-tasking—can improve accuracy, reduce stress, and enhance overall productivity. In essence, doing one thing well is more effective than doing many things subpar.

Do I Have ADHD Or Lack Focus?

Determining if you have ADHD or a temporary lack of focus isn't always straightforward. ADHD is a consistent pattern of inattention or hyperactivity that's been present since childhood. On the other hand, occasional distractions can stem from stress, sleep deprivation, or environmental factors. 

While everyone has off days where concentration is elusive, it's worth consulting a professional if these moments feel persistent and overwhelming. They can differentiate between a potential ADHD diagnosis and typical, everyday distractions. Remember, a diagnosis isn't a label but a guide to better understanding and managing your unique brain.

Key Takeaways

In this digital age, mastering the art of focus is more than a skill—it's a superpower. Each strategy we've explored isn't just about ticking tasks off a list; it's about reclaiming your time and mind. 

Whether battling tech distractions or discerning between ADHD and fleeting inattentiveness, remember that the path to laser-sharp focus is a journey, not a destination. Armed with these tools, you're well on your way to transforming fleeting moments of concentration into lasting, impactful productivity.

Now, we want to hear from you! Which strategy resonated the most? Are there any focus hacks you swear by? Drop a comment below and join the conversation. Your insights could be the golden nugget someone else needs to harness their focus. Let's learn and grow together!🔍💡👇🏼

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  1. Narrative Review of Hydration and Selected Health Outcomes in the General Population, (1) 
  2. Health Benefits of Exercise, (2)

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