Hey you, procrastinator! Stop enjoying this useful, informative website and get back to work. Capitalism is calling. We see you.
If you’re still with us, then it’s okay to admit that you might have a concentration problem. And who can blame you? With notifications pinging constantly, deadlines of ever diverging diversity looming, Twitter to check, a parent to call, dinner to be planned, emails to…aaaahhhh. It’s the most modern of afflictions that none of us are able to hold our attention on one task anymore, for any serious amount of time or to any achievable end. But this constant flicking and flitting, scrolling and scurrying, is doing us no favours at all. It’s time to up the productivity, boost the focus and consider these; our 5 IDEAL hacks to help you improve concentration at work.
It’s been said for years that classical music playing in the background aids concentration. It’s also been posited, with sketchy scientific backing, that any soundtrack with a pace of between 50 and 80 BPM benefits a steely focus. Sure, they’re ok. But increasingly, people are citing the magical power of white (or pink, or blue) noise as a driving force in the fight against distraction. Initially cited as a soothing balm for babies, it now cuts across all age groups, and it’s recently been suggested that background white noise helps children with ADHD succeed academically, as well as boosting memory. You’ll find the low hum of brown noise playing at the IDEAL offices constantly. Or is our fridge on the blink again?
There’s a new tool in town in the fight against concentration issues, and you’ve probably already heard a little about it. But if you haven’t, here goes; CBD is a derivative of the mairjuana plant – most commonly taken as a drop of oil on the tongue or in tablet form – which contains no psychoactive elements (in other words, it won’t get you high) but has several other reported benefits. Some of these include the suggestion that it alleviates anxiety, can help with insomnia, reduces inflammation and clears up acne. The list goes on.
But fearing like we may sound like we’ve just got distracted, let’s go back to the issue of concentration. CBD oil is said to boost focus by allowing a readier flow of serotonin to the brain, reducing anxiety and improving attention in one foul swoop. As such, there is growing evidence that it can be used to help the symptoms of ADHD. So, when used in combination with our other suggestions for improving concentration, this multi-pronged, holistic approach to productivity may well bear fruit. Indeed, it may be one of our favourite hacks to help you improve concentration at work.
We’re fans of using CBD oral sprays designed especially for concentration when procrastination comes a-knocking. However, because the UK CBD market remains scarcely regulated, a little due diligence is required to avoid products of a lower quality. Best to seek positive reviews from trusted sources and independent third-party lab test results. Check out this useful list of the UK’s top CBD oil products by CBD Shopy for a useful overview on what’s on the market.
NO MORE MULTITASKING
When deadlines are hanging over you and things need getting done, the temptation is to have several tabs open at once, several screens shining simultaneously, and several conversations ongoing. But multitasking, we think, is concentration’s number one nemesis. Without wishing to be overly allegorical, this frantic rush to an imaginary finish line is best achieved run in a straight line, not deviating from side to side, backwards and the rest.
By completing every single daily task with care and respect for the process, and focus on the conclusion, minus the distractions both of other tasks and external stimuli (yep, we’re talking about Instagram), results are vastly improved. A major aspect of the much-lauded Japanese productivity focused philosophy of Kaizen is that by completing each and every daily task with rigour and to your full potential, you will incrementally – even unknowingly – become the best version of yourself. Harness this.
If you engage with the 21st century in any way – meaningful or inane – then we think it’s safe to assume you’ve read a little about the holistic, everyday life changing benefits of meditation. And if you’re concerned about your concentration levels during work or study, or rather your lack of them, then a dedicated ten minutes of mindful meditation each night is one of the best things you can do to help.
Think of it as a daily anti-virus sweep on your computer, or putting the washing machine on each night. The very act of devoting a short few moments each day to sitting still and clearing out your mind of the unnecessary items it’s accumulated throughout the day can do wonders for your focus during the next. Check out our 5 IDEAL steps to better mindful meditation here to find out more.
SHORT, REGULAR BREAKS
Though it might at first seem counterintuitive to productivity and focus, stepping away from your screen with fair regularity can actually boost your concentration big time. That rut you’re stuck in won’t get fixed by shopping on ASOS for an hour, that’s for sure. But a step back will help you realign and refresh. Science agrees; it’s said that the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for keeping you focused and undistracted, can suffer from ‘decision fatigue’ if overworked. A short walk, a stretch or even a cuppa can give it the downtime it needs.