9 tips for improving focus (backed by science)

According to the Royal Academy of Spanish Language, concentration is “the action and effect of intensely focusing attention on something”.

For our daily life, it is important to learn to concentrate. Having a good ability to concentrate greatly helps us to be more efficient in carrying out any task. The advantages of having a good concentration are numerous: they increase our memory, our efficiency in decision-making, our precision and our agility in the challenge that we have at hand.

Improve concentration with 9 simple techniques

Having good concentration is closely related to the ability to remember and remember much better.. In this sense, concentration is a good virtue for having a fluid memory. If we manage to develop our concentration, our memory will also improve.

The basic strategies of concentration are linked to two fundamental aspects: avoid external distractors and on the other hand have a state of mind with an adequate level of activation to be able to stay focused on the task for a while.

In order to clarify the aspects and circumstances that allow us to improve our concentration, in today’s article we have compiled at 9:00 a.m. strategies and techniques that can help you improve these skills that are so useful for life. daily.

    1. Get enough rest

    A fundamental point: to concentrate well, you have to rest. Getting enough sleep gives us the brain and the cognitive recovery we need to be able to function perfectly the next day. Sleeping well gives us a state of lucidity when we wake up.

    This is common advice for students: the day before an exam, you must sleep well. Because if we do not rest enough, at the time of the examination, we will be dispersed and we will have less memory. During sleep hours, the brain performs a “reset” of certain functions, preparing us for the next day to be able to process information and stimuli better. In addition, eight hours of sleep is also very good for our long-term memory.

    It is essential that we sleep the necessary hours, so that our mental state is clear enough to maintain attention. When we are tired or have slept poorly, the brain suffers and the mental processes associated with memory and concentration cannot function 100%. Additionally, lack of sleep can cause eye discomfort and temporarily blurry vision, which is a major drawback. So, as the basis for everything, a good rest.

    2. Chewing gum mask

    It might sound a little strange, but chewing gum is good for our concentration. This is indicated by different scientific studies: chewing gum helps us remember information in the short term.

    In addition, it can be an element that allows us to focus better on the task at hand, especially in exams and tests that require our auditory and visual memory.

    3. Write with paper and pen

    We are very used to typing things on the computer keyboard. It is an automatic writing method that allows us a lot of positive things, but it is not the best for our concentration or for our memory.

    If we write by hand, our brain will make a greater effort to concentrate. and will more easily remember data and notes that come to us with our own hand, as Lizette Borreli explained to The Medical Daily. Better concentration when writing ideas will support our long-term memory. you will be able to recover this data days and even weeks later.

    4. Manage stress

    Are you very prone to stress? When we are in a state of tension, we see our ability to focus on something greatly reduced.

    In order for our mind to be able to perform cognitively demanding activity for a period of time, we need to enjoy a mental state that is neither too relaxed (which would lead us to sleep and poor data retention) nor too active (in in this case, we would be nervous that we just couldn’t focus on a single task).

    Some stress management tips are as simple as clenching your fist, or a stress ball, for a minute. This act will release our tensions for a long time. But, if you are suffering from more permanent stress, it will be better to put a thread in the needle to solve the problem. It is also important to have good physical health: stay well hydrated, play sports often …

    5. Play chess

    If we’re talking about increasing our focus, chess is the king of sport. This game requires a great capacity of concentration to analyze each situation that occurs on the board, to make wise decisions and to anticipate the movements of the rival. This was confirmed by a study published in Science Direct.

    It is a perfect activity to develop both abilities, in addition to our logical and strategic reasoning ability.

    6. Avoid distractions and find a suitable place

    It’s a bit obvious, isn’t it? When we try to focus on a task, it is a very good idea that we try to prevent external and unwanted stimuli from distracting us. For example, if you are studying, it is best to do so in silence, with adequate light, and of course without television or other similar background distractions.

    Ambient noise has been shown to affect our performance if we perform a task that requires concentration (eg, an exam). The noisier the environment, the healthier your cognitive abilities will be.

    If you want to focus 100% on a task, it’s a good idea to find a comfortable space without distractions.. It is also interesting to note that the temperature of the space in question is neither too cold nor too hot. Around 20º-23º is a temperature that almost everyone feels comfortable with. As for noise, there are people who can maintain their concentration while being exposed to it, as long as it is not very loud and monotonous, but it is not usual.

    7. Draw while you are in class

    This advice is quite counterintuitive. When we are attending a master class or conference, it is a good idea to draw little scribbles on a notepad or notebook. This is stated in a study published in the journal Time.

    No need to draw concrete figures, everything is worth it. This will lead us to fight boredom and better remember what the teacher says..

    8. Background music: good or bad idea?

    Listening to background music when we are focused on a task can be a good idea. But it depends on several factors.

    Music has the ability to stimulate our brain and our cognitive activity. It’s pretty positive that right before we start studying, we listen to music to stimulate the brain and start making it work. However, during the task it is better to keep quiet, as the music can alter the quality with which we keep the information. This negative effect of music on our ability to pay attention and concentrate has been reported in several scientific studies.

    9. Plan your routine

    There is nothing that affects concentration so negatively as a disorganized and chaotic routine.. It’s the ninth item on the list, but it’s probably the most important.

    Daily priorities need to be planned and ordered. Without having the time to devote to each task, we will avoid the stress, haste, and inconvenience that can arise, and we will be better able to devote intelligent and productive effort to the task. If we know exactly what to do and how, the task becomes easier, And our state of concentration is more appropriate when it comes to tackling each subtask successfully.

    Do these strategies work for children and the elderly?

    Children, Adults and Seniors: Are the Tips the Same for Everyone? Generically, these strategies and tips for improving focus can be applied to anyone of any age. Although it is so It is also true that each stage of life has certain elements to consider..

    Concentration in childhood

    During childhood our attention is more dispersedSo instead of focusing on the tip mentioned above, children will have to be accustomed to acquiring the habit (which is worth the redundancy) of attending, listening and thinking. This means that as children they maintain higher activation than adults, so it can be difficult for them to sit in front of a book or perform a cognitively demanding task for a considerable period of time.

    Gradually, we need to stimulate them with suggestive tasks so that their mind can adapt to these requests, without this leading to bad feelings (it can be very counterproductive for the child to feel ‘forced’ or “Forced” to concentrate. Being on a task). To promote this childcare capacity, professionals such as educational psychologists, educational psychologists or others can design intervention programs, group or individual, to meet these needs.

    Seniors: several specific tips to improve your care

    With regard to the elderly, in this case, it should be noted that, occasionally, there may be signs of senile dementia or cognitive impairment associated with certain problems with concentration, Especially in terms of the ability to retain data. At these ages, memory is a faculty that begins to show weaknesses, so it is worth stimulating adults with games and playful activities that, in turn, involve exercising their attention and memory.

    In this way, the well-known domino game, card games and the like are a highly recommended option. There are also specific programs designed for these people, with the specific aim of strengthening their cognitive abilities. In this case it will be necessary for a professional of psychogerontology or similar to conceive and to accompany the grandparents in the therapeutic sessions.

    Additional tips and conclusions

    Our ability to focus on a single task is limited. However, there are people who are able to stay focused for several hours without feeling tired, while others, through lack of training or for other reasons, cannot stay longer than a few minutes while maintaining a good level of attention. This ability is known as the attention interval, the Yada person has their own threshold.

    Several studies show that when we are working on a task or studying, we need to take regular breaks, of around 10 minutes, to clear our minds and “recharge” our concentration batteries. There is no single threshold, each person has their own skills and it is up to them to define exactly what their maximum time can be spent on a task.

    Regarding the organization of the task, it is important to select few well-defined tasks, So that our brain is able to respond adequately to the requirement. Avoiding multitasking and exercising muscles every half hour can also keep us in an optimal state of activation for longer.

    Do you have any other tips for increasing concentration? You can send them to us via the comments section or on our social networks.

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