If I made a magic potion that made helped with concentration, I'm sure I'd be a millionaire (or billionaire) by now. But unfortunately, I haven't. It can be tough to focus on the task at hand when there are so many distractions surrounding us. From background noise to notifications from our phones, it seems like everyone and everything is trying to pull our attention in different directions. In this blog post, I will discuss 8 tips & tricks that will help you improve your concentration and, hopefully, get things done!
Pick The Right Type of Music
Music can be a great way to improve concentration. However, not all music is created equal when it comes to improving your focus. It's important that you choose the right type of music! I've found the best types of music are instrumental tracks with a consistent tempo and no lyrics - especially when I need deep concentration. Classical or jazz pieces tend to work well here because they don't have any words that might distract you from what you're trying. Over the past year, I've really enjoyed listening to brown noise when I need really deep concentration. Conversely, sometimes I love listening to country music when I'm happily typing away - I mean who doesn't love a bit of Dolly? But if I'm trying to focus or work on something important, it's not my go-to.
Why not check out one of my posts discussing the best Spotify Playlists for Studying and Concentration....
Block Out Distractions
When I'm trying to get things done while you're surrounded by noise and activity it's near impossible. If possible, try to find a quiet and comfy place where you won't be disturbed - let's say for at least an hour. This could mean finding an empty room in your workplace, a quiet corner of the library, or even just working from home. If you can't get away from the noise, try using headphones to block it out.
Set Time Limits
It's easy to get stuck on one task when you don't have a deadline - it seems like ages away, right? By setting a timer for yourself and knowing that you only have so much time to work on a task, you'll be more likely to stay focused. Working for hours on end without any type of break can actually be counterproductive - don't torture yourself like that!
It's very important to take regular breaks while working. This helps your brain relax and refocus, which will make it easier for you to concentrate when you go back to work. Breaks can be as short as five minutes or as long as half an hour, it's up to you. To get the most of your breaks, move from the area you are working, enter a different environment, and actually feel like you are taking a break. I like to make a cup of tea on my breaks, it gets me out of my chair, into a different room, and completing another task. Just make sure that you take a break at least every two hours.
Switching tasks can also be helpful for improving concentration. If you feel like you've been stuck on the same task for a while and aren't making any progress, try switching to something else entirely. Try to tick off another item on your list! This change of scenery can help you to come back to the original task with fresh eyes.
Make a List (and tick them off)
For me, there's nothing better than ticking off items on a list. I love it. Try making a detailed list of all the tasks you need to do and prioritise them by importance. This helps you stay focused on what's important and makes finishing that task feel much more satisfying when it happens!
Turn Off Notifications
Your phone is like a little pocket distraction, we are constantly being pulled away from our work by notifications. If you can't turn your phone off completely, try turning off notifications for specific apps while you're working. This way, you'll only be interrupted if it's an emergency. If you've got an iPhone, Apple have recently released the 'Focus' feature, check it out!
I love using candles when I'm revising or reading. The smell and overall environment that the candle can provide help to clear my mind and concentrate on the task at hand. I'm a big fan of the IKEA Sinnlig candles, I usually go for their vanilla or cherry scents. They are really affordable and the jars can be used for storage afterwards.
So there you have it! Eight tips and tricks to improve concentration and get things done! Implementing even just a few of these into your daily routine will make a big difference. And don't forget to celebrate your little wins!