Studies have shown that at least 2.8% of adults worldwide struggle with ADHD. In the U.S., that figure is 0.96% — double what it was over the previous decade.
The takeaway? More people are having trouble staying focused. This can be especially challenging as more and more jobs and schools pivot to remote working.
Whether you suspect you have an attention deficit disorder or you’re just finding it difficult to stay focused, here are some easy ways you can improve your concentration.
- Cut the Distractions
This could look like answering emails, handling unexpected problems, fulfilling spontaneous requests from colleagues, attending meetings, and — admittedly — watching YouTube.
To avoid this, block notifications on your phone by using the “do not disturb” mode. Find a clean, quiet workspace, close the door, and ask any other members of the household to keep interruptions to a minimum.
Then, focus on one task at a time, rather than multitasking. This will improve the quality of your work, and it’ll cut back on the time needed to complete each task.
- Plan Your Day the Night Before
Start your day on the right foot by eliminating some of the most time-consuming choices you’ll have to make. This goes beyond planning what you’ll do for the day. It also includes what you’ll wear, what you’ll eat for lunch, and how you’ll get to work.
Spend less time rifling through your closet and Googling commute times and restaurants. Instead, use the time to knock out your smaller, easier, and shorter tasks before moving onto the more intensive ones.
- Fuel Your Body (the Right Way)
Hunger zaps both your energy and your emotions, which is why it’s so important not to work through your lunch breaks.
Try including the following “brain foods” in your diet every day:
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Fatty fish
Caffeine from coffee or tea can also help you stay focused — but only if consumed in moderation. Too much caffeine, and you might find yourself feeling anxious and jittery.
And if you’re looking for an added boost, consider adding healthy supplements, like this product, to your routine.
- Prioritize Sleep
Remember that the average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to properly function. Too little sleep, and you’ll find yourself struggling to concentrate and remember things.
To ensure a better night’s sleep, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after lunchtime. “Unplug” from your electronic devices and screens, as the blue light can keep you awake longer.
Then, unwind with a book or a warm bath to help get your body into “relaxation” mode.
Also, make sure your room is cool and quiet to your preferences. You may need white noise in the background to sleep, or you may prefer colder temperatures to avoid waking up in a puddle of sweat.
- Chunk Your Time
Some people work in 90-minute intervals. Others use the Pomodoro Technique, working in 25-minute intervals punctuated by short breaks. But maybe your focus lasts more like 30 or 45 minutes.
Whatever the case may be, pay attention to how often you get distracted, and tailor your breaks to your needs. Use those breaks to stretch and get some fresh air to improve blood circulation.
If you commit yourself to specific, realistic goals every day, you’ll find that your to-do list is much more manageable when divided into chunks.
Stay Focused Wherever You Are
Whether you’re a full-time student or a remote employee, identifying your distractions and how to address them is one of the best ways to stay focused.
Devoting more attention to your surroundings, diet, and routine will not only help you stay on track during the day, but it will also improve your mental and physical wellbeing.
Did you find this article helpful? Be sure to check out our health and fitness section for more ways to improve your lifestyle.