Have you ever settled in to read something — perhaps a book or a lengthy email — and found yourself reading and re-reading the same few sentences over and over?
Your eyes glaze over as you stare blankly at the book or screen before you. You can’t seem to find your place on the page. You don’t even know why you started reading in the first place!
Sound familiar? No worries, staying focused is a common complaint a lot of people have. Our attention is a resource, and it’s one we must learn to wield with care.
But here’s the kicker; you need to stop fooling yourself that you are even trying to do anything about it. Once you realize that, you will already be at an advantage to kick this habit into high gear.
In this article, we hope you’ll learn not just how to hit and cross off your daily tasks, but you’ll be able to get super focused anytime, anywhere.
Work with this easy advice, commit to trying it, and you’ll see for yourself how you can get more done than you thought.
How To Focus And Concentrate Better: Tip #1
Everyone seems to keep asking that same question: “How can I concentrate and focus better?”
For a start, you need to take action on your environment.
Ask yourself, what usually distracts me? Really try to focus on that question and narrow down the topmost obvious things that usually distract you or can potentially distract you later.
For example, are you hungry now? Will you be hungry later?
Do people walking in and out of your room break your concentration?
Do you find yourself opening multiple tabs in your browser and end up surfing the internet for hours?
Take note of the most obvious things that you can easily fix and eliminate.
If you are hungry, then go eat. If you need to control your internet browsing habits, there are apps you can download that block websites you blacklist for a certain period of time.
Whatever it is, there is an easy fix for it, you just never bothered to pay attention to what specifically is distracting you, therefore you never know the solution.
How To Focus And Concentrate Better: Tip #2
One of the more major struggles is figuring out how to focus better while studying.
While we can be distracted at any point in time during our day, it comes more often when applying our minds to a specific task, like reading, that we find just how easily our attention can slip.
When you are trying to read and learn something, noise is an important factor to take into consideration.
Filtering excess external noise:
While you can’t control the bombardment of barking of a dog across the street or the kids hollering over their impromptu basketball game in the neighbor’s yard, what you can control is how you deal with the excess noise.
Excess noise can impair cognitive function, which contributes to an inability to focus.
Investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones can do wonders to filter out excessive external noise. When it comes to staying focused, blocking out needless stimuli is a great place to start.
Another counter-intuitive approach is to actually use noise to block out other noise…White noise to be precise.
What is white noise you say?
White noise sounds are usually set at certain frequencies to help achieve either, deep sleep, relaxation, lucid dream-like states, and full-on alertness.
One study showed that listening to white noise can increase dopamin in the brain and improve learning. It’s pretty amazing how specific sound frequencies can influence how your brain processes and stores information.
You’ll find many free “study” binaural frequency sounds on YouTube for just that purpose.
How To Focus And Concentrate Better: Tip #3
Use the “time block method”:
The first and foremost method to help you absolutely void multitasking is to use the “time block method” for working on tasks.
This time block method is used by some of the busiest people on earth including Elon Musk and Bill Gates. It works wonders if you implement it and commit to it.
Let’s assume you have 9 hours to work with…
Heres how to apply the time blocking method in 3 easy steps:
- Open your calendar and divide your day into 3:2:3 blocks of 90:60:30 minutes.
- Prioritize your days work by time slots and pick 3 high intensive tasks, 2 medium intensive tasks, and 3 quick win tasks. Dedicate the biggest time blocks to the tasks that are of the highest priority.
- Between each block of time add a 5-10 minute buffer to account for delays, unexpected disruptions, and of coarse short breaks in between.
This method is one of the best ways to stay laser focused and concentrate on one task at a time. You just have to commit to it even if the task you’re on wasn’t completed, you just move on to the next one.
You’ll realize you just ramped up your productivity and got much more done simply because you stayed committed on each task for longer. And that’s really about it, it really doesn’t get easier than that.
How To Focus And Concentrate Better: Tip #4
Get rid of your phone
No surprises here, right? Who can deny that our phones are simultaneously one of the greatest sources of entertainment and distraction combined into one super sleek, handheld package?
It’s news to no one that your phone is a major source of distraction, but here’s something you might not know: your phone has the potential to drain your ability to focus even if it’s not in your hand.
A recent study by The University of Chicago Press Journals discovered that even if a cell phone is lying prone on a nearby table, safely out of arms reach, it is still sapping your cognitive resources as you resist the urge to check it.
The solution? Staying focused might require you to turn your phone off. Or at least put it in airplane mode in another room.
Out of sight, out of mind, right?
What distractions do you struggle with while studying? Do you have any tips or tricks to share on staying focused? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!