29 Tips to Greatly Improve Your Focus and Concentration Abilities

Article by: David Gracey
focus and concentration tips

When trying to improve focus and concentration, there is a lot more to it than most people realize.

The fact is, that you actively give more power to the things that you focus and concentrate on.

In other words, the more attention you give to something, the stronger it grows!

What you focus on most can become your reality. This is why it’s so important to focus on things that are positive, productive, and can enhance cognitive abilities.

In this article, I will share 29 different focus and concentration tips that you can use to stay on track no matter what task you have in front of you.

So, let’s jump right in!

First things first. It is important to set realistic goals for yourself so that you can be successful in completing the task at hand.

If your goal is too lofty or unrealistic, you are likely to become discouraged and give up before you even start.

On the other hand, if your goal is too easy or not challenging enough, you will not feel a sense of satisfaction once you reach it.

Find a balance between the two extremes and set a goal that is challenging but achievable.

2. Find your Optimal Level of Stimulation

According to the arousal theory of motivation, (or the James-Lange theory of emotion) by William James and Carl Lange, there is an optimal level of stimulation that leads to peak performance.

This means that you are not motivated to work harder when you are feeling bored or uninterested, and you are also not motivated to work harder when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

Instead, you are most motivated when you are feeling a moderate level of stimulation.

This is the sweet spot that you should aim for to be the most productive.

Environmental factors play a big role in this theory, as it tends to have a direct effect on mood and motivation.

3. Get Rid of Distractions

One of the best ways to improve your focus is to get rid of external distractions.

This means turning off the TV, putting away your phone, and silencing any other potential sources of distraction.

You might even want to consider working in a place where there are no distractions, such as a library or coffee shop.

If you can’t seem to get rid of distractions, then try to minimize them as much as possible.

This is also true for internal distractions such as fear, worry, daydreams, or anxiety. you need to find a way to shut those off as well.

4. Train your Attention Span Regularly

A lot of the tips in this article will help you improve your attention span.

However, simply “paying attention” to the fact that you need to improve it in itself does wonders!

By bringing this idea to the forefront of your mind, you’re already using a passive form of cognitive training that will help.

So, always be thinking about how you can improve it, along with following these tips, and you’ll notice a big difference in your overall cognitive abilities, including focus and concentration when you need it the most.

If you want to beef jup yoour attention span through nootropic supplements, I would definitely suggest you take a look at NitroVit by Project NooYou.

It’s creator formulated NitroVit specifically for his own ADHD  issues, because he wanted to avoid expensive and potentially dangerous prescription medications. 

And as it turns out, it’s a darn good pre-formulated nootropic supplement that helps out a lot with attention span as well as staying focused.

You can read my Full NitroVit review if you want to learn more about it. 

nitrovit bottle image

5. Be Patient with Yourself

Patience is a virtue, and it’s even more true when it comes to focus and concentration.

If you are too quick to get frustrated with yourself when trying to complete tasks, you will only make the problem worse.

Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is what you’re working on!

6. Make Sure you Get Enough Sleep

man asleep

A tired mind is a scattered mind. Sleep deprivation makes it hard for anyone to maintain concentration throughout the day.

On the other hand… When you’re well-rested, you’ll be able to significantly boost concentration levels and focus much better.

It helps to have a set time to go to bed and wake up each day so that your body gets into a regular sleep pattern.

A good night’s sleep plays a significant role in your ability to concentrate throughout the day and has a direct impact on problem solving skills.

For nights where you feel a bit too wound up, I would recommend trying a calming supplement like Onnit’s New Mood Instant.

It’s an affordable and tasty way to help relax your mind after a stressful day to get ready for the next.

>> You can read my full Onnit New Mood Instant Review here.

7. Get Organized

A cluttered environment can be very distracting.

Take some time to declutter your workspace and organize your thoughts before beginning any task that requires focus and concentration.

Decluttering your office area doesn’t have to be difficult. You can start with something as simple as putting away any loose papers and organizing your desk drawers.

Then try to clear up some surface area on your desk so that you have a designated space to work on.

If your desk is still cluttered after taking these steps, then you might need to invest in some storage solutions like boxes or bins.

8. Take Breaks

Working for long periods of time without a short break can lead to mental fatigue. Make sure to take breaks throughout the day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Get up and stretch, or take a quick walk around the block to restore cognitive ability and preserve your mental resources.

It sounds simple, but many people simply don’t take full advantage of it.

9. Eat Healthy “Brain Foods”

What you eat affects your energy levels and overall well-being.

Eating junk food or drinking too much coffee will make you feel sluggish and unfocused, while eating healthy foods will give you the nourishment your brain needs to function at its best.

You should focus on natural foods and those with healthy fats.

You can check out my article on “Brain Fuel” to learn more.

10. Exercise & Physical Activity

Aerobic exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it can also improve cognitive function.

A study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that just 20 minutes of moderate exercise can increase focus and attention span.

Plus, science aside, exercise just makes you feel good and is the ultimate natural mood lifter!

11. Limit Alcohol Intake for Better Brain Health

alcoholic beverage

Drinking too much alcohol can cause problems with memory and concentration. If you’re going to drink, do so in moderation.

It has been close to a decade since I had my last sip of alcohol, and I still feel like my memory and concentration skills are getting better and better because of it’s absence.

It’s one of the wisest decisions I ever made, as I appreciate the ability to stay focused.

12. Meditate

Mindfulness meditation is a form of mindfulness that has been shown to improve focus and attention span.

In another study published in Frontiers in Psychology, participants who underwent eight weeks of mindfulness meditation training showed significant improvements in their ability to focus and pay attention.

There are also physical EEG devices like the Muse 2 Headband that can help youmeditate through real time biofeedback.

I wrote a review on the Muse 2 Headband if you want to learn more about what it is and how it works.  You can check it out here.

13. Practice Controlled Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing is a simple but effective relaxation technique that can help to improve focus and increase concentration.

Controlled breathing helps to slow down the heart rate and clear the mind, making it easier to focus on the task at hand.

Mastering the controlled breathing technique and being able to practice mindfulness will also help you with meditation exercises.

Try to find a quiet private room or a nice outdoor spot with good air quality where you can completely relax while ignoring distractions.

Be sure that you’re also practicing mindfulness while focusing on deep breaths to get the most out of each session.

14. Use Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used for centuries to help with the ability to focus.

Some of the best essential oils to improve concentration include rosemary, peppermint, and lemon.

Luckily there are plenty of quality essential oils sets you can purchase at affordable prices where you can try out different scents to see which one works best for you.

15. Chew Gum

chewing gum

Chewing gum has been shown to help if you’re having difficulty trying to focus.

It also works well for attention span training which I mentioned briefly earlier.

Research published in 2018 demonstrated that participants who chewed gum while studying for tests in both math and psychology showed significantly better performance than those who did not chew gum.

If you’re having trouble concentrating, try out your favorite gum, and see if you can notice a difference.

16. Take Power Naps for Recharging Your Brain Function

Power naps are short but impactful periods of sleep that can help to improve alertness and cognitive function.

They can be helpful brain development tools for those with hectic schedules.

Back when I was in college, I would head to the library most days to take a quick power nap between classes.

This almost always got me fully recharged and ready to go for the next class in a short timeframe, and should have you ready for focused work in the same way.

17. Use a White Noise Machine

White noise is a sound that can help to mask other distracting noises and boost mental focus.

In a study published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, participants who worked in an office with white noise background noise showed improved performance on a task requiring attention and increased concentration.

If you’re working on your computer, you can also search for white noise videos on YouTube and just play one of them in a separate browser tab while you work.

The same goes for nature sounds, although I am not a big fan of them myself.

18. Dim the Lights to Improve Focus

Bright lights can be very stimulating and make it difficult to focus. If you’re having trouble concentrating, try working in a dimmer environment.

I like to change my lighting often, as I tend to do better in the early morning with brighter light, but in the afternoon I prefer a dimmer light.

Just like with supplement stacks, what works for one person may or may not work for another.

So, if you’re having trouble concentrating and staying focused, try dimming the lights a bit more than you’re used to.

You can also try some LED strip lights like these to put around your office.

You can control the color and intensity from the convenience of your smartphone!

19. Quit Trying to Multi-Task So Much!

Trying to do too many things at once can lead to mental fatigue and make it difficult to focus on any one task.

If you want to improve your focus and concentration, try to focus on one thing at a time.

Sounds obvious, but it is easy to get sucked into the multi-tasking trap!

When this happens, you can fall down the rabbit hole of working on everything except the thing you were supposed to be focusing on in the first place.

20. Get Some Fresh Air… Mother Nature is Your Friend!

We often take for granted the power of fresh air and being in nature.

Studies have shown that taking a break to go outside and enjoy the present moment, even if it’s just for a few minutes, can help improve concentration.

So next time you’re feeling stuck, instead of reaching for another cup of coffee, try going for a walk outside!

21. Work in Timed Intervals or Set Blocks

timer clock

This goes hand in hand with limiting your multi-tasking, but setting timers can help increase your focus by giving you set intervals to work on a task.

This way, you’re not working on one thing for hours on end and getting burnt out.

And if you find that you still can’t focus after a few minutes, take a break! Get up, walk around, and come back refreshed.

Also, if you have a large project that seems overwhelming, break it up into smaller tasks.

This will make it seem more manageable and will help you focus on each step of the process.

You can also set deadlines for each task to keep yourself on track.

Starting to notice how many of these focus and concentration tips work well together?

Well, that’s because they do!

22. Keep a Journal or Log

Whether it’s a daily to-do list or just jotting down thoughts as they come to you, having some sort of system to organize your thoughts can help improve focus.

By getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper (or even just into a digital document), you’re freeing up space in your mind to focus on the task at hand thus improving your cognitive performance.

23. Take Brain Breaks to Boost Concentration

This goes along with the previous two tips, but taking breaks is crucial for maintaining mental focus throughout the day.

Our brains are not meant to focus on one thing for hours on end, so it’s important to give yourself time to relax and rejuvenate.

Whether it’s a few minutes every hour or a longer break every couple of hours, taking some time for yourself will help you stay focused and productive.

24. Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is important for overall health, but it can also help improve focus.

When we’re dehydrated, our brains don’t function as well as they could be.

So next time you’re feeling foggy, drink a glass of water and see if that doesn’t help clear your head!

Or you can do what I do and keep a gallon of water with you at all times.

It helps me remember to drink enough water throughout the day, and might work well for you too.

If this interests you, I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself one of these!

Gallon Gear 1 Gallon Large Water Bottle.

It is much sturdier than a milk jug or store-bought gallon, and it is BPA free as well.

25. Clean Up and Organize Your Workspace

A cluttered workspace can be a major distraction.

If you find yourself getting sidetracked by mess, take some time to tidy up.

This will help your mind feel more relaxed and focused, and you may be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.

26. Put Your Phone Away

This one can be tough, but it’s important to limit distractions when trying to focus on important tasks.

Our phones are a huge source of distraction, so it’s best to put them away when we need to concentrate on something.

If you can’t bear to part with your phone, try putting it on silent or in another room while you work.

Constant stimulation from outside distractions like your phone can help you lose sight of your primary focus.

Most phone calls and text messages can wait, however, there are ways to set up an emergency bypass for most smartphones (iphone / Android) in case of an actual emergency and your phone is on a silent setting.

Each device is different, so you may have to look it up further online or in your phone’s manual.

27. Work on Something Else for a While & Come Back to it Later

Sometimes the best way to improve focus is to take a break from what you’re working on and tackle other tasks on your list instead.

If you’ve been staring at the same thing for hours without making much (if any) progress, try working on something else for a while.

Come back to it later with fresh eyes, and you may find that you can focus much better.

28. Listen to Focus Music

headphones listen to music

Listening to music is a great brain training tool that helps quite a bit!  This is especially true if the music is soothing and has no lyrics.

Many different types of music can help improve focus, depending on your preferences.

Classical music is often cited as being beneficial for concentration, particularly baroque classical music.  (baroque is a style of classical music from the around the years 1600 – 1750 in Western Europe)  but many other genres can be helpful as well.

Experiment with different types of music to see what helps you concentrate the best.

YouTube is my best friend in these cases!

My personal favorite is to search YouTube for “study hertz” or “Brain alpha waves”.

There you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands of mental focus and concentration sounds to listen to while you work. (Plus tons more in the related content sidebar!)

I keep the volume pretty low, but enough to where I can still hear it.  I have a few of these bookmarked, but I will share the 2 that I use most often below:

These concentration vibrations/music have helped me have a much deeper focus when working on things.

I am listening to the first one I listed (#1) right now as I write this.

29. Write a Daily To-Do List

This is a great way to increase productivity and focus.

By having a list of things that need to be accomplished, you can better direct your attention to the tasks at hand and eliminate distractions.

This will help prevent you from getting sidetracked by other ideas or thoughts throughout the day.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for ways to improve your ability to concentrate, these 29 mental focus tips should help.

I’ve listed a variety of methods, ranging from organizing your workspace to listening to focus music.

“I highly recommend that you experiment with different techniques and find the ones that work best for you.”

And don’t forget to take breaks when needed – too much focus can lead to burnout.

When it comes to increasing mental focus and concentration, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Find what works best for you and stick with it.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to improving your overall focus and concentration capabilities.

With practice, you’ll be more laser-focused than you ever thought possible, and be able to get more done in less time while better-eliminating distractions that can slow you down.

I hope this post will help spark some ideas for you! 

Also, be sure to check out my related blog post on prefrontal cortex exercises you can use to strengthen your brain!

About David:

Hey! I’m so glad you’re here. My name is David Gracey. I am a cognitive brain function researcher, avid biohacker, and self-proclaimed nootropic junkie of sorts! (And, yes, a bit of a nerd as well...) I created this website as an outlet to share my passion for self improvement and cognitive brain enhancement. Got questions? Shoot me a message!

 

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