Let’s face it, managing all of your projects, assignments, and responsibilities at school, work or life – can be overwhelming! You may feel like you’re trying your best. However, there’s still just too much to do and not enough time to do it all.
Sometimes your mind just doesn’t want to cooperate, and no matter how hard you try… All you get is a fuzzy kind of brain fog.
Worry not. With a few simple tips, you can clear out the fogginess and develop the skills to concentrate on tasks like you were meant to.
Below are some ways to make the most of your mind’s natural abilities and to help you focus like a pro.
These tips can help you with how to concentrate on homework, work, or any task at time!
1. Schedule your time
Are you a night owl? Maybe a morning lark? Do you feel energized in mid-afternoon after lunch, or do you have more focus in the evenings once the sun has set? Most of us have our own specific time of day during which we feel the most “in the zone.”
Setting aside a specific time frame each day to focus on work is a great way to harness your brain’s natural potential. Identify at what times you feel most alert throughout the day, and then decide to carve out a few hours during that time when you can really grasp how to concentrate. If this is impossible to do on a daily basis because of other responsibilities you may have during those times, then try to at least schedule a few hours – consistently – that will be dedicated only to your work.
Creating a set schedule is extremely helpful when it comes to managing time. It helps you feel more in control. It’s an exercise in discipline, which is a great mind-training tool. If done like suggested, it may even help you work at your most alert and energized state.
2. Mix up your level of difficulty
When tackling a to-do list, some people like to get the most difficult tasks out of the way first. Others leave those to the end, giving in to gentle procrastination and focusing on the easy assignments before anything else. Both have their pros and cons, but we suggest that you try out a third, blended approach.
Start by doing an easy task. This will give you a quick sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, and it should add just enough of a motivation boost to keep you going into more difficult projects. Think of it as a warm up for the brain. Once your mind’s juices are flowing, so to speak, you’re ready to tackle more difficult assignments. Alternate between hard and simple tasks to avoid burnout and to keep your energy levels up.
3. Take breaks
Taking breaks is essential to being productive and keeping concentration levels up while doing work. Think of it like running a marathon. You don’t just run for hours and miles on end without taking a sip of water – your body would collapse to the ground in no time! You need to hydrate every now then to make sure you stay in optimal shape throughout the entire race.
Work or to-do list tasks can definitely feel like a mental marathon at times. This is why having at least 5-10 minutes of time to unwind, grab a snack or chat with someone is important to making sure that you have the mental endurance to get everything done. Allow yourself to indulge in a short break every hour or so. What should you do while on a break? If possible, get up and move around, have a healthy snack like nuts, some fruit or dark chocolate, and try to turn your mind off of the task at hand.
Don’t feel guilty if you feel like you need to take one earlier or if it needs to be a little longer. Try not to take more than 15 minutes, though, because then it may be more difficult to refocus. Listen to your body and mind and remember that regular breaks help reduce stress, increase your brain’s ability to focus, and can actually allow you to better absorb the information that you’re learning by giving the brain time to let it all sink in. Studies show that taking short breaks during long hours of work help us to concentrate better on what we’re doing and to remember more of what we learn in the process.
4. Take care of yourself
Making sure that your body and mind are healthy and cared for will do wonders to your concentration abilities. You’ve probably been in a situation where your stomach is grumbling, you’re finding it hard to keep your eyes open, and you’re slowly beginning to feel a tension headache coming on.
These, unfortunately, are all too common symptoms of an overwhelmed person. They aren’t exactly the best conditions for getting quality work done, either. How can you concentrate on a project when the image of a bowl of nachos, a nice warm bed, and a scalp massage is all that your mind can focus on at the moment?!
This is why taking proper care of yourself, both mentally and physically, is so important to making sure you’re able to fully concentrate on tasks. So, how exactly do you take care of yourself in a way that assures your mind is as sharp as a steel trap? Here are a few ways:
Don’t overdo it with sugar or caffeine – these will give you a quick, temporary burst of energy, which may be useful on some occasions, but can quickly make you feel even more tired than before. Water, milk (plain or chocolate), fruit and vegetable juices and teas are all great ways to stay hydrated and get the added nutrients that coffee and soft drinks lack. As for foods, try to switch out chips and cookies for veggies with hummus, granola bars, trail mix or healthy sandwiches. These choices will make you physically feel better and more energized than options that are high in saturated fats and sugars.
There’s no harm in giving your brain a little extra boost with vitamins and supplements. It’s not always easy to get all of the vital nutrients that your brain needs to function at optimal levels while you’re navigating a busy student lifestyle. To help you better concentrate, try taking some vitamin b12, magnesium, zinc or fish oil. There are also a number of supplements you can take that are made specifically for helping you concentrate. Try out Tranquility Labs’ Focusene, which is an all-natural nootropic supplement that will help you pay better attention to your work and focus your mind with much greater ease. Another great option is CogniDHA, which harnesses the power of DHA Omega-3 fish oil to help your brain function to its fullest capacity.
Get your zzz’s.
We can’t emphasize enough how powerful a good night’s sleep can be to proper brain function. You’re probably all too familiar with the feeling of exhaustion and lack of focus that comes with too little sleep. In fact, a study shows that getting less than five hours of sleep is equivalent to being intoxicated! Can you imagine doing well on a math exam while drunk? Not a great idea. To make sure that you’re alert enough to concentrate, it’s vital that you are well rested. If you can’t manage a full eight hours per night, aim for a power nap throughout the day to help you replenish.
5. Remember why you’re doing this
Work can be exhausting! You may feel yourself wanting to give up at times and just go join the circus. While that may sound appealing at 2 a.m. while you’re in between a research paper and a lab report, remember that your dream does not, in fact, include becoming a traveling trapeze artist. Focus on why these grades or accolades are important to you and what they can help you accomplish and become in the future.
Take care of your dreams and aspirations, and tend to them daily. Just knowing that it’s all worth it in the end will help you awaken the motivation necessary to focus on work with renewed energy.
What has helped you learn how to concentrate on homework, work, or any other tasks at hand? Have you tried any of the tips we suggested? Did any of them help you?
Please feel free to leave your thoughts below.
Make sure you check out our supplements especially made to help you increase focus, attention, and memory: