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How to improve your concentration? 10 simple and effective tips

Do you have trouble keeping your mind focused for a long time? Are you distracted at the slightest opportunity? Does certain information go in one ear and out the other?

If by reading the beginning of this article you are already lost in your thoughts, it is possible that you tend to get distracted easily.

Faced with the multiple demands of our modern world, staying focused has become a challenge. Whether at work, at school or in daily activities, how can you control your mind and strengthen your attention?

Discover our tips for improving concentration and maximizing performance.

improve your concentration

I- How does our brain work when it concentrates?

Studies of the brain continue to unravel its mysteries and allow us to learn more about how it works. For example, we know today that when we concentrate, it is the region of the prefrontal cortex that is activated and which allows us to remain attentive to a specific task while filtering out distractions.

Concentration involves the use of at least two cognitive functions by our brain:

1/ Attention

Attention allows us to focus on a specific task despite distractions from the external environment. The brain uses a filtering mechanism called an “ attentional filter ” to select relevant information and eliminate distractions, such as external noise.

2/ Working memory

Working memory or “immediate memory” allows us to temporarily store and manipulate the information necessary to accomplish a task. Each individual has a limited working memory capacity, usually 7 to 9 items.

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Neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine also play a crucial role in regulating our level of attention and alertness. When dopamine and norepinephrine levels are optimal, our ability to concentrate and stay alert is improved.

II- What is deconcentration due to?

You start a task and, less than 5 minutes later, you find yourself on the internet watching a man build a swimming pool with pallets...

Your attention span doesn't seem to exceed a few minutes and you're wasting valuable time trying to stay focused.

Don't worry, you are neither alone nor responsible for this situation.

Several factors can contribute to deconcentration and difficulty maintaining our attention on a given task.

Cognitive overload

When our brains are bombarded with information or stimuli, it becomes difficult to maintain our focus on a single task. Multiple demands on our environment, such as incessant notifications on our phones or ambient noise, fragment our attention and reduce our ability to concentrate .

Our brain gradually gets used to being constantly solicited and to dividing our attention between several things simultaneously.

This trend is illustrated by the spirit of the times which favors speed: advertisements lasting a few seconds, accelerated and jerky videos, shortened real ones. Everything is designed to grab attention quickly, but for an extremely short duration.

Our society encourages speed and brevity, which makes it even more difficult to maintain sustained focus on a single task.

We must therefore succeed in changing our habits: excessive use of social networks, procrastination or multitasking are all behaviors that we must succeed in breaking to re-tame our concentration.

Emotional states

improve your concentration

Stress or fatigue can also affect our ability to maintain concentration. When we are preoccupied or exhausted, it is common to see a decrease in our attention and mental performance .

It is therefore essential to take into account our emotional and physical well-being to improve our concentration.

III- Attention disorders

Attention disorders affect the ability to concentrate normally and maintain sustained attention.

  • - some people may feel easily distracted, have difficulty following instructions, have difficulty staying focused, getting organized and completing tasks.

  • - others will have difficulty maintaining attention and concentration, without symptoms of hyperactivity.

If you suspect you may be suffering from an attention disorder, it is recommended to consult a doctor or specialist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate recommendations.

However, even without having an attention disorder, many people have difficulty concentrating in their daily lives. Fortunately, there are strategies and tips that can be implemented to improve concentration.

IV- 10 tips to improve your concentration

Now that we have clarified things and ruled out an attention disorder, it is time to take concrete action to improve concentration.

1. Create an environment conducive to concentration

improve your concentration

To improve your concentration , you must start by creating an environment conducive to concentration.

Optimize your work or study environment by reducing visual and audio distractions. It's time to put your phone in airplane mode or better yet, leave it with the screen turned upside down at the other end of the desk.

Clean up your desk, throw away unnecessary post-its, sort your documents, close your browser tabs, in short, organize your space in a way that promotes concentration and creates a clean, calm and reflective atmosphere.

A tidy desk for organized ideas ! 🤓

2: Adopt time management techniques

Time management plays a vital role in improving concentration.

  • - Do you know the Pomodoro method ? It consists of working on a single task in defined time intervals (25 minutes) followed by short breaks (5 minutes). This way, you work in short periods, but efficiently! No more long hours spent in front of the computer wandering on the Internet because your concentration has taken its coffee break!

  • - Plan your day using blocks of time dedicated to specific tasks and set priorities to focus on what matters. Eliminate non-essential or time-consuming tasks to free your mind.

3: Take regular breaks to recharge your concentration

Schedule breaks during periods of intense work .

Take advantage of these breaks to relax, stretch, have a snack or go outside for a few minutes (it's not just smokers and coffee drinkers who have the right to a break 🙃).

Providing quiet time for the brain improves the ability to concentrate.

When you feel that you are no longer moving forward and that you are being distracted by an ant on your desk, it is time to take a break.

4: Practice mindfulness to strengthen your concentration

improve your concentration

Mindfulness is a powerful practice for strengthening mental focus. It involves being fully present and aware of the present moment, without judgment or distraction. By cultivating mindfulness, you develop greater mental clarity and an increased ability to focus on a given task.

Simple breathing and meditation techniques can help cultivate this mental presence . By practicing mindfulness on a regular basis, it will become a habit that will help you strengthen your concentration and cultivate an attentive presence in all your activities.

5: Use tools and apps to improve your concentration

Yes, it’s true, we said no phone! But it's OK if used strategically!

  • - Many apps have specialized in time management, blocking distractions, and tracking productivity, which can greatly help in maintaining attention on a task. By using these apps, you can benefit from features like scheduling time, limiting access to distracting apps or websites, and even tracking your productivity to measure your progress.

  • - For some people, music or ambient noise can sometimes help them stay focused. Try different types of music or noises to find out what helps you stay focused best.

6: Cultivate Long-Term Focus Habits

  • - To strengthen your concentration in the long term, it is interesting to integrate activities that promote sustained attention into your daily routine, such as regular reading (even just 10 minutes), logic exercises or any other practice that requires concentration. prolonged concentration. Think of it as a workout for the brain, which can definitely be muscled and strengthened. 💪🏼

  • - Do you know the miracle morning? Increasingly recommended, a well-structured morning routine can boost your efficiency and productivity. The main thing is to create a routine that suits you and brings you pleasure, regardless of the elements that make it up.

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7: Adopt a healthy diet to improve concentration

The impact of diet on concentration is undeniable and for our brain to maintain optimal concentration, it needs quality nutrition :

  • - Omega-3 for concentration and memory;

  • - Antioxidants that protect brain cells;

  • - Foods with a low glycemic index that provide lasting energy for the brain;

  • -Magnesium which promotes the transmission of signals between neurons and has a positive impact on concentration and memory (in addition to acting on stress);

  • - Quality proteins: they regulate neurotransmitters for better mental clarity;

  • - Optimal hydration. Dehydration affects concentration and mental clarity.

🤔 “Is food enough?” Not always !

When you go through a period where your concentration is strained, your need for omega 3 and magnesium is increased. In addition to a balanced diet, it may be beneficial to take supplements to support your concentration. By integrating omega 3 and magnesium supplements into your routine, you can improve your concentration and optimize your mental abilities.

8: Adopt a healthy lifestyle to promote concentration

Not surprisingly, a healthy lifestyle is crucial for maintaining optimal concentration.

Two essential points:

  • - Exercise regularly: Physical activity promotes blood circulation to the brain, thereby boosting your mental clarity. Sport also allows you to clear your head: while the body moves, the brain can take a break!

  • - Manage your stress and make sure you sleep well: Excessive stress and lack of sleep compromise the ability to concentrate.

We always work better with a relaxed head ;)

If you don't know where to start to better manage your stress, don't worry! We have selected the best anti-stress remedies for you.

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9: Focus on one task at a time

To improve your concentration , focus on one task at a time. Dividing your attention between multiple activities reduces your ability to fully concentrate.

Imagine yourself in the car, answering your phone while driving and fixing your hair? No. Well at work it's the same thing, you must be fully focused on a single task to be effective: multitasking is starting to become a myth.

It is better to focus on one task at a time and complete it successfully rather than dispersing yourself into several unfinished actions. And as a bonus, you will see a reduction in mental load ;)

10: Be patient and kind to yourself

Developing sustained concentration takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself and cultivate a caring attitude.

In the frantic race for productivity , it is crucial to slow down and take the time you need.

Stay motivated, embrace the ups and downs, and celebrate every progress, no matter how small. For example, if you managed to read this entire article without getting lost in your thoughts, well done, that's good news for your concentration!

Improving your concentration takes time and perseverance.

And while we were writing this article, we resisted the temptation to get distracted by our phone... Well, almost!

Eloise Dubois-Gaché - Naturopath

Naturopath and FENA certified

Thanks to her solid experience in different herbalists, Eloïse includes, if necessary, complete and precise advice in phytotherapy, aromatherapy, gemmotherapy and micro-nutrition when setting up a personalized and adapted lifestyle program to everyone.

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