Sign up to the health and fitness newsletter
Sign up for the ''Get Fit'' Newsletter
  • Tips on managing Stress
  • Ways to stay motivated
  • The benefits of resistance training
  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
Email:
Name:
Links
Sign up to the get fit newsletter
Sign up for the ''Get Fit'' Newsletter
  • Tips on managing Stress
  • Ways to stay motivated
  • The benefits of resistance training
  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
Email:
Name:
This Month In Life
  • Stressed Out Kids
    Stress is a normal part of life. However, a stressed child may cry easily, seem irritable, have trouble sleeping, act out, withdraw, have stomachaches or headaches, or lack self-confidence. Teach these skills to your kids to help them manage the stresses in their lives. Read >>
  • Honesty with Your Physician
    What you should tell your doctor but you’re probably not. Read >>
  • Need to Focus?
    So what can you do to improve your concentration? From making a plan to getting enough sleep, here are eight things you can do to stay focused when it matters most. Read >>
  • Fun (and Safety) in the Sun
    Swimming pools can provide endless hours of entertainment for kids during the hot summer months. Unfortunately, swimming pools also come with great risk. This summer, keep your family safe at the pool with these guidelines. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Need to Focus?

Try these eight ways to improve your concentration skills.

You’ve got a lot to do and not much time to get it done. There’s a looming project to finish at work and so many distractions. Homework, papers, and tests are due and you’re super stressed. No matter which of these scenarios you’re in, you need help with the same thing—focus. The ability to concentrate on the task at hand helps ensure you do your best work in the least amount of time.

So what can you do to improve your concentration? From making a plan to getting enough sleep, here are eight things you can do to stay focused when it matters most.

Set Priorities

What is most important to accomplish at this moment? Make a list with the most pressing task first and things that can wait last. Whatever is number one on the list is what you work on first. Get that job done, cross it off, and move on to the next. Doing so will keep you from being distracted by things further down the list.

Limit Distractions

How often are you working efficiently only to have your phone ring or a coworker stop by your desk to chat? A key to concentration is limiting distractions. You may live in a house full of people or work in a cubicle surrounded by noise, but there are still things you can do to cut back on distraction. Silence the ringer on your phone, set apps to curb Internet usage, and turn off the television.

Find an Ideal Environment

You may work best when it’s quiet or maybe a certain genre of music helps you focus. Some people focus best in solitude, others like a little background noise. Whatever environment helps you focus, get there. And keep in mind it’s best to consistently work in the same place as new locations offer new distractions.

De-Clutter

Clutter can be a big distractor. When your desk is covered in books, half-filled coffee mugs, trash, and papers, it’s no wonder you can’t focus on the task at hand. Plan to de-clutter before beginning a new project. That way you’re not focusing on cleaning while you should be working.

Get Enough Sleep

The amount of sleep you get each night directly affects your ability to concentrate the day after. A lack of delta sleep (the stage of deepest sleep that’s most refreshing and restorative for your cognitive function) can easily lead to trouble focusing. Aim to get an uninterrupted seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but especially before a big day.

Start the Day with Exercise

Are you in the habit of starting your day with multiple cups of coffee? You may want to swap a few of those cups for a cardio workout. Exercise stimulates your brain to sharpen focus, improve attention span, and release chemicals that improve learning and memory. Walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming are great options.

Drink More Water

Studies show that even mild dehydration affects your ability to concentrate. In fact, a lack of focus can be the first warning sign of dehydration. Keep a water bottle with you during the day to sip on whether you feel thirsty or not, and drink water or unsweetened tea at meals.

Eat the Right Foods

Your brain is affected by the foods you eat. Filling up on white sugar, refined carbs, chemical additives, and unhealthy fats deprive the brain of essential nutrients. A few of the best foods known to improve concentration include dark chocolate, avocados, leafy greens, fatty fish, blueberries, nuts, and green tea.