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Improve your concentration skills

Improve your concentration skills

How many times have you been in front of your desk and tried to focus on a task? Despite your best intentions, you just can’t concentrate and it can be a frustrating situation. It is undermining your performance. Here are some tips to improve your concentration.

First of all, you have to take into account that your personal work environment plays an important role in your ability to concentrate. The cosier your environment is, the easier it will be to stay focused. So it is important to make yourself comfortable: Start by making sure that your chair and desk are at the right height. Get away from distractions as much as possible. Listening to instrumental music or “white noise” apps (steady, non-distracting sound like ocean waves or falling rain) can help. This will help you to focus better and ignore distractions.

Secondly, I would like to give you some nutrition tips. You have to drink water. Dehydration can
make us feel tired, irritable, slow, or give you a headache. It is also important to eat a healthy and consistent breakfast. It’s much harder to concentrate when you’re hungry. You can also keep healthy snacks at your working place : almonds, wholegrain crackers, fresh fruit and vegetables are good choices. Take a break and move around : research has shown that regular walking can help increasing your focus during the day.

Besides, you have to improve your mindset every day. Constant distractions, associated to low productivity, have become commonplace in today’s offices. Doctors call this phenomenon “Attention Deficit Trait” or “ADT”.

To help sharpen your mind, you have to set aside time to deal with worries. Everybody has their problems: it could be a deadline for a project, problems with colleagues, or just the amount of work you have. If you do not schedule time to deal with these issues, you will be distracted by worries.

It is productive to focus on one task at a time. You have to take short breaks. Our mind can struggle to focus intensely on tasks for eight hours a day. That’s the reason why you should divide your work.

Everybody knows, nobody does it. It is important to mention again that closing your email box and chat can be useful. Switch between high and low-attention tasks. It is important to recharge your energy by working on a low-attention task. Finally, prioritize your tasks : having too much to do will make you feel worried, and this may cause procrastination. Moreover, you may quickly jump from task to task, creating the illusion of work. Feel free to take 10 or 15 minutes to write down your “To-do List”.

It is obvious, but we often forget: do your hardest tasks when you’re most alert. This will help you maximize your concentration.

Finally, the most important and motivating trick for me is to promise myself a reward. For instance, make a rule that if you focus intensively for 45 minutes on one task, you can take a break to get a cup of coffee, or better, a chocolate bar. Little “self-rewards” can often be great motivators.

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