For those of you who always talk about how bad your ADHD is, this list is for you. The good news is that focus and concentration can be learned. The bad news is that it’s not easy. These are 25 ways to improve your concentration and focus on getting things done.
Write things down
Especially when you are in meetings. That way you can focus without trying to remember what you need to do later.
Map things out
Basically this means to plan your day. It will give you an idea of what you need to focus on and when.
Find the right environment
If you are studying for the SAT it might not be wise to do it in a noisy environment. The key is to figure out where you focus best.
Now that you’ve written down what you need to do today, rank everything according to priority and put your maximum focus on the most important things. Even if they are not fun to do.
Take a breather
This doesn’t mean to go off and siesta for 2 hours but just getting up and going to the water fountain can give your brain a much needed break.
Part of focus is knowing what to focus on. Try setting timers that will constantly remind you off what you should be doing. This works well for those of you who have trouble changing tasks or arriving at places on time.
Spontaneity can be a good thing, but the older you get the more you realize that planning can actually make your downtime even funner because you don’t have to worry that you are missing something work related.
You don’t need to do everything. Learn to ask for help.
This goes along with delegation and planning your fun time. The goal here is to streamline what you are doing and maximize your ability to focus. The most successful people know when to decline an invitation because they have to focus on the important tasks. This doesn’t mean you neglect your friends, it just means you pay attention to them responsibly.
No, we don’t mean Facebook. That has its place but what we are talking about here is what we have already discussed somewhat. Timers, organizers, notepads…today they can all be synced between your devices to keep you organized like never before. Make use of that.
Set aside time for emails
This includes things like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Viber as well. Check these only at prescheduled times. You don’t need to be connected to your phone constantly. Make the technology work for you.
This could mean any number of things but you know what distracts you. Get rid of it.
If you find something that works for you, whether it’s working on your back porch or sitting in Starbucks for a few hours, make use of that. Consistency can be valuable.
Find a quiet place
By now this can seem obvious, but we still tend to underestimate the impact of our environment on our ability to work effectively.
Declutter your workspace
This is another thing we tend to underestimate. Keeping your workplace clean can have a very powerful subconscious effect on your work habits.
It’s important to give yourself a break. We’ve already discussed the mini breaks that you take during work but don’t forget the big breaks. This means don’t take work home. When you’re with family turn your phone off. Spend time with friends and loved ones. And take at least one day completely off from work per week.
Maintain a routine
We are creatures of habit. Capitalize on that. Wake up at the same time everyday. Go to bed at the same time. It will improve your focus drastically.
Keep the right people around you
Although you should respect everyone, sometimes the wisest thing to do is not to spend time with certain people. Try to surround yourself with friends who share your drive to work and study well. Avoid those that have no ambition or prevent you from focusing on things that are important.
Don't try to multitask
This means to put your phone away. The text messages can wait. If you are driving, focus on that. If you are eating with people, focus on that. As much as you think you can multitask, you can’t. Human brains are not capable of focusing on multiple things at once but they are excellent at convincing themselves that they can.
You don’t need to start training for the Olympics but try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Regular exercise boosts your metabolism and gives your body energy.
Don't work in bed
You sleep there and your body knows it. It will not work effectively. Leave your work in your “work spot”. Don’t mix work with down time.
Bonus tip: turn off your screen at least 2 hours before bed. The blue wavelengths from your phone/computer screen stimulate your body and prevent you from falling asleep. Alternatively, you can download an app that dims those wavelengths (makes your screen more orange).
Use the 5 more rule
Whenever you feel like quitting before the scheduled time just tell your self to do 5 more of whatever you are doing.
Along with exercise, this will make a huge difference in your level of concentration. Your brain and body need the right nutrients to function properly so make use of that food pyramid.
Know when to stop
If it is late and you are still trying to get things done, stop. You are not being effective. It would be better for you to sleep a bit and wake up early to complete what you were working on.
Practice makes perfect
We are all human and we all only have 24 hours per day. Part of life is learning to manage the time you have been given. Learn from your mistakes, make changes, and do better next time. Focus can be learned.