Have you ever had a hard deadline or something you really needed to get done for work but you just weren’t able to focus? If this is something that’s happened to you, you’re definitely not alone! Achieving mental focus is something that can be difficult to master, especially if you’re feeling overworked or uninspired.
While it might feel nearly impossible at times, mental focus is something that’s incredibly important. It can make or break your overall success in the workplace as it helps you to work both efficiently and accurately.
We’re here to discuss some of the best mental focus techniques you can use to improve your ability to focus when you’re at work. First, let’s take a look at why you might use mental focus techniques and some of the benefits that go along with them!
Why Use Mental Focus Techniques?
Of course, the easy answer to the question of why you should use mental focus techniques is to improve your focus at work. But what other reasons are important to take note of?
When you practice mental focus techniques, you increase your ability to focus on certain tasks for longer periods of time. That means better productivity at work as you get things done free from distractions or breaks. You end up getting more work done in a shorter amount of time.
Using mental focus techniques can also help you with resisting the distractions that may get thrown your way such as text messages or incoming emails. These things simply slow you down. And this isn’t what you need when it comes to getting important tasks done.
You also learn how to control your focus and direct it towards the things you need to concentrate on. Mastering how to direct your focus is helpful not only in the workplace, but in tons of different areas of your life.
Proven Tips for Improving Your Mental Focus
It’s evident that just about everyone can benefit from improving their mental focus. So, what are the best techniques to use to help you achieve it? We’ve put together these proven tips for improving your mental focus so you can take on your work day and be a productivity machine.
Get Your Exercise in the Morning
Rise and shine! You may or may not be surprised to know that exercising in the morning can have a big impact on your mental focus. That’s because getting your blood flowing means your brain becomes activated. An activated brain in the morning is more likely to stay active during the day.
Your morning workout doesn’t even need to be an intense, cardio pumping, set of exercises! Just 20 minutes of movement can be enough to do the trick. It’s always best to get up and get moving for your mental focus to be at its best.
Include Healthy Fats in Your Diet
The foods you put into your body can have a big impact on whether or not you can focus throughout your work day. In fact, the brain is made up of about 60% fat itself.
Those who have low fat diets are less likely to have a fully functioning brain as it helps with cognitive function and mental focus. It could be nuts, avocados, eggs, or even coconut oil! Whichever fats suit you best, be sure to include them in your diet and help your brain function at its best.
Take a Late Breakfast
It might be a newer discovery, but eating your breakfast later in the day has been known to come with a few benefits. The concept is called intermittent fasting and it includes fasting for 16 hours of the day, followed by 8 hours of eating in your “eating window”.
Intermittent fasting can help you to focus better in the mornings as your body does not waste its energy digesting the foods you would have put into it. Instead, you can use that energy to focus on your work tasks.
Write Out Your To-Do’s
Some people are natural list writers. Regardless of if you are or aren’t, writing out your tasks for each hour of the day can be incredibly helpful for your focus.
Write down what you want to complete in the next hour and how long you think it will take to complete the task. Doing so can help to refocus your brain and think about the things you need to get done. You might even time yourself to help put a little extra pep in your step.
Get Rid of Distractions When Possible
This one might seem like a given but it’s definitely important. Distractions are just about everywhere these days, whether it’s an email popping up or your device buzzing with a phone call.
In order to focus, it’s imperative that you get rid of whatever distractions you can. That means turning off your phone entirely, or putting it on airplane mode.
You might even let your colleagues know you’ll only be answering emails at a certain time of day in order to get your tasks done.
Keep a Good Sleep Schedule
Are you getting enough sleep? And keeping on a consistent schedule for when you go to bed and wake up each day? These factors can have a big impact on your ability to focus during the day.
Be sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night so your brain can function properly. A tired body means a tired brain.
Set Your Goals Each Day
Just like setting your goals for each hour is important, setting your goals for the day can also be incredibly helpful. Try setting smaller daily goals so you can stay focused on completing things one step at a time.
You may be tempted to focus entirely on the bigger picture, but the reality is the only way to get there is by completing small tasks that eventually lead to a bigger one. Set yourself up for success and make sure your daily goals are reasonable and achievable.
Evaluate Your Current Level of Mental Focus
When you’re having troubles getting things done have you ever stopped to consider what your current mental focus looks like? It could be that determining your current state is the answer to being able to focus better.
It’s also a great idea to do this at the start of your journey in improving your focus so you can measure your progress as you go. Try timing yourself to see how long you can focus for without getting distracted and see if that time improves.
Set Up Your Environment
If you’re sitting at a cluttered desk or in a messy room, you’re going to be a lot less likely to be able to concentrate. Try cleaning up your environment and setting it up so you’re as comfortable as possible.
That means taking the time to do things like file papers and throw away the items you don’t need. The less things you have surrounding you the less likely you are to become distracted by them. Ensure you’re set up to work comfortably as well. That may mean adjusting your chair or monitor depending on your situation.
Take Baby Steps
It’s not likely you’ll decide to improve your mental focus and then see results overnight. Take things slow and increase your focus gradually in order to take on your challenges with a reasonable approach.
Be sure to set the most realistic goals possible and start small. You might start with just five minutes of straight concentration and then increase it next time to seven minutes. Baby steps always add up to bigger steps completed!
Set Your Breaks
Being go, go, go isn’t always the best way to get everything done. Sometimes breaks are necessary in order to recharge and reset your mind. That way you can come back to the task at hand fresh and ready to go.
Be sure to schedule small breaks throughout your day in order to give your brain a break. Set your timer so you know when it’s time to go back and use the time to stretch your legs or get some fresh air.
Use Focus Enhancing Technology
Improving your mental focus is made easy with vagus nerve stimulation using Xen. The vagus nerve is the longest in the autonomic nervous system. It extends to nearly every major system in the body. It's also the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system. That's why vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) can be a great way to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system to help you focus and be more productive.
Xen by Neuvana can be used to help stimulate the vagus nerve. It delivers gentle micropulses directly to the vagus nerve located in your ear. It pairs seamlessly to your Neuvana app, where you can customize your sessions. This ultimately helps you to relax and focus on whatever task you may need to get done.
You might be amazed at what a little meditation can do for your mind. It comes with many incredible benefits and one of those benefits happens to be enhanced focus.
Take the time out of your day to sit down and practice meditation. Whether it be first thing in the morning, mid-day, or at night. Even just 20 minutes of meditation can do wonders for improving your concentration.
You might try one of the many free programs or apps out there to help get started.
Use Concentration Exercises
Similar to meditation, concentration exercises can help to reset and stimulate your brain. They’re easy to incorporate into your everyday routine and make a habit out of.
It could be something as simple as watching the seconds hand on the clock for 5 minutes to calm your mind and improve your focus. Breathing exercises are another great way to relax and refocus. You can learn more about breathing and how it can be used to get in touch with the sympathetic nervous system here.
Write Down Your Distractions
Writing on its own can be helpful for your mental focus, and so can writing down your distractions.
If you find yourself becoming distracted by certain things, try writing them down. Even though these may seem like basic things that anyone could become distracted by, creating a list of them helps you to understand what is affecting your focus negatively.
When you’re sitting down to complete a work task, keep a pen and paper nearby. Every time you feel like you are about to become distracted by something that isn’t important, write it down.
Once you have a list of items you can later go through and decide what is and isn’t important to actually go through with.
Your Next Step
Now that you have these incredible tips at your side, your next step is to try them out. Improving your mental focus is an incredible journey to embark on. It will be a major help when it comes to your work life and your ability to get tasks done.
You’re sure to discover a new way of life where work duties don’t seem as daunting and enjoying your free time feels a lot more relaxing! What you do now to implement change is sure to make a big difference in the long run. You'll adapt to deadlines and be better able to work towards your goals in the office.
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