If you can't focus on one thing long enough and are always being pulled in different directions, follow these tips to concentrate
Take a technology break
Cutting down on gadgets will give your brain a rest. Try to limit your time online, watching TV and using email and your mobile phone.
Too much technology overloads your brain and competes for attention – the more multi-tasking you do, the harder it is to focus on a specific task.
Why not try… banning TV from the bedroom and have gadget-free times at certain points of the day
Get more sleep
Never getting enough sleep? That’s bound to be affecting your concentration levels. Most of us need 7-8 hours to make sure our body works properly – if we don’t get it, we feel irritable and struggle to complete even the most basic tasks.
Why not try… having a hot bath before you go to bed and make sure your room is completely black at night.
Make your job more interesting
Most of us who work have days where we wish we hadn’t bothered going in, but if you always feel as if you’re not focussing on tasks, always looking for excuses to waste time or are always late, then it could be a much bigger problem.
Why not try… talking to your boss about how you feel. They might be able to think of a specific project that might interest you.
Cut your stress levels
Stress really affects concentration and usually stops you making decisions and doing things, making you even more stressed!
Why not try… meditating, which has been shown to cut stress levels. Try a meditation CD that should help to relax you and stop you thinking – at least for a short time – about all your worries.
Do more exercise
Most of us don’t do enough exercise, which is a shame because a regular workout can help to sharpen your mind and improve your memory. If you always feel fidgety and want to get up and walk around, exercise will help to burn off that extra energy.
Why not try… ditching the car for a short journey twice a week and walk or cycle instead – you don’t have to start running marathons to get some from exercise.
Break tasks down
One of the things that stops people concentrating is the feeling of being overwhelmed. Whether you have one massive project or 10 small things to do, it will help you a lot to separate everything out and only work on one thing at once.
Why not try? Writing a list may not be your thing, but the satisfaction of crossing things off once you’ve done them can work wonders.
Stop putting things off
Not being able to concentrate is often a result of not wanting to do a particular task or project. We put things off because we think the job is too difficult or will take too long, but you may be surprised at how easy it is once you put your mind to it.
Why not try… asking yourself these questions. ‘Do I have to do it? Is it playing on my mind? Will it get easier if I wait?’ They should help you to face up to the fact that you need to get on with the job in hand.