Why Can’t I Focus? The Truth Behind Poor Concentration

trouble focusing

“If only I could stay on task.”

“Why am I so easily distracted?”

“I have the attention span of a goldfish!”

Sound familiar? Staying focused these days seems to be a bigger and more problematic task than it was before the digital era. There’s just so much vying for our attention, whether it be digital billboard ads on the way to work or ads interrupting our binge-watching of cat videos on Facebook.

“Why can’t I focus?”

The culprits that underpin your lack of concentration may surprise you.

3 Primary Reasons You Can’t Concentrate

When it comes to staying dedicated to the task at hand, you may find your attention subverted a few times too many.

So, why are you having trouble focusing? Here are 3 powerful distractions many of us face on a routine basis.

1. Sleep Deprivation

You may be suffering from this common health conundrum without realizing it. So many of us are chronically sleep deprived, and sadly, we’ve come to believe that functioning on less rest is the norm.

But it isn’t.

Your body needs time to rest and reset after a long day of work. Here are some quick tips on getting a better night’s sleep:

  • Invest in blackout curtains that filter light pollution from the room.
  • Use a sleep app to track your circadian rhythms.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene and follow a nightly bedtime routine.
  • Practice mindful breathing to help ease yourself to sleep.

can't concentrate

2. Anxiety

Being overstimulated often leads to a perpetuated state of anxiety that can be difficult to shake.

If you suffer from chronic anxiety or frequent bouts of debilitating stress, this will definitely affect your ability to stay on task.

If you often ask yourself: why can’t I focus? The answer may lie in your everyday responsibilities that contribute to a chronic state of stress and anxiety.

Work to scale back the to-do list items for the day. Take five minutes to practice deep breathing. Do a little yoga in your pajamas before the day begins.

You can recapture your ability to stay focused by practicing self-care.

3. Too Many Electronic Devices

This one is a biggie, and it’s one we all struggle with. There is a lot of pressure for us to be plugged into the online world on a daily basis. And you know what that means.

It means you can’t leave your house without your cell phone, tablet, laptop, wireless headphones, charging cablesthe list goes on. And on. And on.

Trying to juggle too many devices is a surefire way to zap your ability to focus.

If you’re wondering why you can’t concentrate while you’ve got a tablet in one hand and your smartphone in the other, it’s time to step away from the electronic devices. That’s right. Nice and easy now. Turn your Wi-Fi off, take the earbuds out, and take a breath.

Numerous studies have documented the ways in which smartphones have the potential to totally kill our productivity. If you want to answer the question: why can’t I focus? Your smartphone could be one of the underlying culprits.

Read our complete article for more tips on how to focus.


Discover how to unlock your superbrain from Jim Kwik, expert on memory improvement and brain performance. Sign up for his FREE Masterclass below:


Which of the above affect your ability to focus the most? Tell us in the comments below!

Shannon Terrell

Shannon Terrell is a writer based in Toronto, Canada. She revels in the thrill of exploration, whether it be new cultures, new landscapes, or new ways to bring on the happy. If she’s not hiking or practicing yoga, she probably has her nose in a book.

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