No doubt! We are currently living in a world that is full of distractions. From the noise-filled traffic jams we experience on a daily basis to our indispensable gadgets. Not to forget, how these gadgets keep bringing up notifications that are constantly vying for our attention or our next-door neighbor that blasts music 24/7.
This rate of distractions is unknowingly affecting our health and productivity. This is because, the ability to concentrate on something in our environment is critical for learning new things, setting and achieving goals, as well as performing well across a wide variety of situations.
Therefore, there is every need for us to master the ways through which we can quickly take charge of our mind and develop a laser-like focus to ensure success.
In this article, we are going to take a look at what focus is all about and different ways we can improve our focus.
What Is Focus?
Focus can be simply explained as an act of concentrating, thinking, discussing, or dealing with something and abandoning any other thing not pertaining to that thing.
To make it more understandable, it can also be seen as a mental state that happens after we have said yes to one option and no to all other options.
Ways of improving focus
Maintaining self-awareness, engaging in self-reflective exercise and practicing different brain-training exercises are ways through which you could develop laser-like mental focus and concentration. Here are a few tricks you can try to improve your focus.
1. Select important goals and plan towards it
From amongst the challenges we all pass through is the inability to separate the high priority goals from the second class ones. And this is the most common reason for why we struggle to maintain focus, because we lack clarity in our decision of choosing what to do next from our endless list of objectives.
Taking keto dieting as an example, this is a lifestyle that requires proper planning of what to eat, how to eat, when to eat it, and what extracurricular activities to engage in in order to reach your goal of attaining ketosis. If you fail to plan on all these, you increase your chances of staggering the progress and end up not achieving your goal of reaching ketosis.
Ensuring proper planning for the next line of action by working on developing enough detail knowledge and clarity until you feel confident that you have enough resources to take the steps will also help in keeping you focused on your set goals.
2. Reconfigure your environment to eliminate distractions
Although you might not have taken note of this, so many environmental factors affect our focusing intensity. Minimizing these sources of distraction is not always as easy as it sounds. While it might be easy for you to pause or stop the music you are playing on your phone, you might find it difficult to deal with a noisy next-door neighbor or roommate, child or co-worker.
Temperature is also an important environmental factor you have to take cognizance of when you are trying to focus on the current task at hand. It was reported that atmospheric temperature slightly-above-ambient temperatures increase creativity because you feel more relaxed and your productivity increases. Conversely, lower temperatures have also been found to more positively influence decision-making ability and alertness.
Air quality and good lighting are also essential factors you need to consider when trying to reconfigure your environment. Studies have shown that the wavelength of blue light emitted from neon lights and most electronic devices generally ignites human serotonin levels and keeps us awake.
Another important environmental factor to consider is accessibility to electronic gadgets. Although all these gadgets were developed to increase our productivity, their negative impact on our focusing ability can not be overlooked. You must have also noticed that when you are trying to keep focus you get a social media notification or text message which distracts from the assignment you are about to do or in the process of doing. It is therefore advisable that you switch off your phone, silence all communication applications, or keep your phone far away from your working area to maximize your focus on the ongoing task.
3. Prioritize one task at a time
While the human brain is configured to think it can process much information at a time, neuroscience has proven this wrong as the human brain is only wired to handle a single activity requiring cognitive function at a time.
A good analogy to this is a man that was given the task of catching 10 pigeons from a kit of pigeons. If the man decides to catch the 10 at once, there is every possibility that he would not catch any but if he is to target one at a time he will be able to achieve his goal and move to the next one.
Multitasking may seem like a great way to get a lot done quickly, it turns out that it is a hindering factor in reaching your goals on time and can cut down productivity. However, by dedicating a certain amount of time to one task before switching to another will increase efficiency, save your energy and time and relieve yourself of stressing out your brain.
4. Consume foods that are rich in good fats
I know you must have been on the lookout for this, but I deliberately make it the last point to discuss.
Yes! As a keto dieter, our lifestyle is still one of the best ways to improve cognitive function and focusing ability. You might have noticed too that after your keto flu phase you become more productive at work and you find it easier to keep the focus on your target.
The reason for this is that a low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet helps you avoid spikes in blood sugar, which can help with improved mental focus and concentration. And since the human brain is made up of roughly 60% fat (which means your brain needs a lot of good fats to function properly), ketone becomes a good source of energy for the brain. And this is why people on low-fat diets find it difficult to maintain focus.
One of the best ways to quickly improve cognitive function and thereby your focus is to get more fats in your diet by consuming keto-friendly foods and veggies such as; nuts, avocados, eggs, and coconut oil which are all great sources of healthy fats and can help your brain run more smoothly.