Focus and concentration are tricky for everyone. Even the best of us have moments where our focus becomes stretched as we try to complete everything we need to do in time.
In many cases, a lack of concentration can become an ever-worsening problem, with our inability to focus making it harder for us to complete tasks as more begins to pile up on our desks. As a result, our sense of motivation becomes even more challenging to capture as we become overwhelmed by the volume of what must be achieved to get back to normality.
In today’s blog, we’ll be covering the topic of concentration and focus and how we can recapture our ability to complete tasks when they need to be done. We’ll also be covering how breathing can help with concentration and the techniques we can use to maximize our focus.
What is Concentration?
It’s essential to consider what concentration is before we knuckle down on how to improve it.
For many, concentration centers around how easily and consistently we can direct our attention towards a singular task. However, it goes further than our minds needing to focus on one subject at a time, excluding all other thoughts simultaneously.
What Affects Our Ability to Focus
While it sounds relatively simple to focus our minds, the reality is that our daily lives are split between a range of different sources of distractions that make our ability to focus harder adequately. Knowing and acknowledging our distractions is key to understanding how we can overcome them:
Distractions: Electronic screens and devices that all equally petition for our attention. Messages, notifications, and emails all compete with each other for a slice of our time.
Insufficient Sleep: Not getting enough sleep can be one of the most debilitating conditions for sustaining our focus and concentration. Sleep deprivation is often linked with slower cognitive performance, lower alertness, and an inability to recall memories as easily.
Eating Habits: What we eat can be a significant factor in how we can effectively retain our focus and stave off distracting stimuli. High sugar foods and caffeinated beverages are the worst offenders for food that negatively affects concentration.
Environment: Choosing the right surroundings for your place of work can be a vital tool in retaining focus.
Breathing Through Distractions
One of the most effective ways to combat the troubles of distraction and procrastination is to try and directly engage with the task via an activity that focuses your attention, allowing you to pivot to the task at hand quickly.
Box Breathing is ideal for this, allowing you to focus on your breathing and clearing your mind of distractions that would otherwise pull you away from what needs to be done:
The square breathing method is as follows:
Breathe in for a count of 4
Hold the top of your breath for a count of 4
Gently exhale through your mouth for a count of 4
At the bottom of your breath, pause and hold for a count of 4.
For more information regarding how to manage your breathing for a more effective lifestyle, visit our other blogs here at The Exhale to get the latest tips and tricks. For free guided breathing exercises that you can take anywhere, try out the Breathwrk app here.
And remember: Breathe Better, Live Better.