Most of us would like to be able to focus better and concentrate more, but with so many things constantly demanding our attention, it can sometimes be difficult to stay on task without being distracted. Like most things, it is possible to improve your attention span by training your concentration through things like meditation; however, before doing those kinds of improvement exercises, it is important to be sure that you already have good habits that will allow you to concentrate at your current best. Here are a few ways you can improve your ability to remain focused on something you’re working on, which you can start implementing straight away.

Make Sure You’re Well Rested

Being tired not only makes concentrating harder, but not having enough sleep regularly is a distraction in and of itself. If you are finding it hard to work or study as it is, it can be a lot more difficult if you are constantly thinking about the time and whether or not you are going to get enough chance to sleep. Managing your tasks so that you are doing the things that require the most concentration at the time of day when you feel most well rested is one thing to consider, and this is different for different people.

Some people naturally have the clearest focus when they haven’t been awake for long, others find later in the day a better time for more in-depth tasks that require their best mental focus. This isn’t always possible though, depending on the demands of your job or lifestyle, but you can still work on your sleep habits so that you’re making things easier on yourself.

Have a good evening routine that makes you feel ready for sleep, and ensure you are fitting time for a good eight hours of sleep into your daily schedule. If you find getting to sleep hard sometimes, then work on what you do before bed. Don’t work immediately before trying to sleep, but allow some time to unwind and prepare, perhaps some time spent reading or watching TV. You can find some good tips for how to prepare for a good night’s rest here.

Hydration and Nutrition

As well as sleep, hydration and nutrition play a bigger part in your concentration than you might expect. Just like if you are tired, hunger can distract you, but equally, you will find it harder to focus if your body is busy digesting a heavy meal. Eat healthy, nutritious snacks if you need them between meals, such as fruit, nuts or seeds, and stick to lighter meals during the day when you need to keep your mind sharp. Drinking enough water is vital to your brain’s functions, and an easy way to improve your general wellbeing as well as your focus. Keep a full water bottle on your desk and make it a habit to drink from it regularly while you are working.

Breaks and Exercise

Taking breaks at the right time can recharge your batteries and get you ready to go back into a focused state, but be sure to use these breaks to step away from the thing you are focusing on. You won’t mentally feel like you’ve had a break from the task you are doing if you are working on your computer and just take breaks to look at a different tab. Take time to take a quick walk, get something to drink, and if you need to check messages or other things online, at least do it on your phone away from your desk so you are getting a change of environment from the things you are concentrating on before and after the break.

These are three areas of your life and habits that you can look at improving if you want to get better at maintaining your concentration and improving your attention span.

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