3 Tips to Improve Concentration (And Get More Done!)
Whether you’re studying for exams or building a business – I think most of us could benefit from a little more concentration, am I right? This is especially true in our modern day, given the number of things competing for our attention. Even with the most streamlined to-do list we can easily become overwhelmed and distracted by emails, texts and notifications. The end result: we feel foggy, we procrastinate and we just don’t get much done!
Luckily, I’ve come across some simple tips that can improve concentration. In short, these are strategies that help me get into a mental ‘flow state’. If you haven’t heard of ‘flow state’ before you’ve probably felt it – that mental place where ideas and words just seem to come easily. It’s often when we are our most productive, and where we produce our best work!
Here are a few tips to improve concentration and get into your ‘flow state’:
#1 Switch Off Your Devices, Especially in the Morning
I know just how tempting it can be to start the day glued to your phone. If I’m not careful I can find myself mindlessly refreshing my email and social media before I’ve even left my bed! Don’t get me wrong, I love technology – but there’s a time and place, and by being smart with the way we use technology we can really get more done!
So why can’t we get enough of our phones? It’s likely because we’re addicted to our devices.
One way that we may become addicted to our devices is through triggering dopamine. You’ve probably heard of dopamine – a neurotransmitter that is associated with the pleasure centres of the brain. Essentially, we can become addicted to dopamine and the activities that stimulate its release (1). In this case, defeating level 10 of candy crush. ? By constantly seeking our next dopamine hit, it can feel almost impossible to concentrate on subjects that (while they may be interesting) deliver less instant gratification… Such as reading a chapter of your nutritional biochemistry textbook.
Personally, if I start my morning on my phone I feel scattered and all over the place! Instead, start your morning right and improve your concentration by avoiding your phone for at least the first half hour of waking up!
#2 Meditate for 10 Minutes
Before we can start learning new info, we need to declutter the mind.
One way to do this is through meditation. Meditation essentially helps us to step back from unhelpful thoughts, and to find stillness. From this place of clarity we are able to bring our full attention to each task. Now I’m not gunna lie – taking time to meditate can be hard, especially when we want to get a start on our to-do list! But by taking the time to first meditate, we can increase our focus and productivity… ultimately saving time!
Get started by taking 10 minutes out on the Headspace App (Check it out and try their Take10 program!). In just 10 minutes, I find that I feel more relaxed, centred and clear-headed – and ready to accept new information!
Don’t dig guided meditation? You can start by just sitting outside for five or ten minutes. Sitting in nature and absorbing sounds is a great way to create a sense of calm and balance.
#3 Eat the Right Food
When it comes to improving concentration, it’s important that we are fuelling our bodies and brains right. For the longest time I suffered from afternoon fatigue. Three o’clock would hit and I would feel as though I had to take a nap. People around me would always comment on why I looked so tired!
By taking a more paleo approach (cutting out crappy processed carbs and grains, and eating plenty of healthy fats and moderate protein) I’ve found my energy to be much more stable throughout the day. This is because by following a paleo approach your body depends less on carbohydrate sources of energy and shifts your energy metabolism from sugar burning to fat burning. This is a much more stable and even burning fuel source, and prevents blood sugar spikes and crashes that sap energy and performance. The key here is loading up on sources of healthy fats such as avocados, eggs, fish and nuts, especially at breakfast.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t forget to sign up for access to our 3 step nutrition guide. You’ll also get access to a bunch of free recipes and resources to help you start living healthy everyday! 🙂
Do you have any tips on how to improve concentration and focus? We’d love to hear them below!