Five Ways to Improve Your Mental Focus

Some say that the ability to maintain mental focus is important. In this sense, improving your concentration, and knowing what to do with it, will help you in many aspects of your life.
Five Ways to Improve Your Mental Focus

Last update: 25 September, 2020

Concentration and mental focus minimize distractions and improve performance. With a little practice and insight, you can improve these abilities.

Just as your muscles, your mind requires exercise. The more you work it out, the stronger it becomes. As you can see, improving your mental focus is both possible and important to your mental well-being. However, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily fast and easy to do so. Still, you can achieve this by making a conscious effort and carefully analyzing the habits that you should keep, change, eliminate, or add.

Evaluate your mental focus

The first step to improving your mental focus is assessing your current mental state. In order to do this, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you often daydream while working on important tasks?
  • Is your life currently full of unfinished projects because you lost track of what you were working on?
  • Finally, do you find it difficult to avoid distractions?

If you answer yes’ to any of these questions, then you’re a candidate for mental focus improvement.

In addition, you should also ask yourself questions about the degree of concentration you achieve when you face tasks that put your abilities to the test, such as:

  • Do you often set goals and divide tasks into manageable segments?
  • If your mind wanders off, do you take a short break and then go back to what you were doing?
  • Do you tend to solve the most complicated challenges in the time frame you’re the most active in?
A man thinking.

Eliminate distractions

Although it may seem obvious, eliminating distractions is the key to improving your mental focus. However, the problem is that many times you’re not aware of the many distractions that surround you.

For this purpose, begin by identifying your sources of distraction and minimize them. While it’s true that it sounds a lot easier said than done and that it may seem like a waste of your time, some studies tell us that it’s very helpful.

In this regard, you need to remember that not all distractions are external; environmental disruptions are often easier to control than the problems you mull over. On the other hand, exhaustion, worry, anxiety, lack of motivation, and other internal disturbances can be particularly annoying and persistent.

In order to minimize internal distractions, it’s important to dedicate yourself to letting go of the baggage that you carry along. Moreover, using positive thoughts and affirmations is also a good strategy, especially when you’re dealing with anxiety and worry.

Focus on one thing at a time

Multitasking is not an effective strategy to improve your mental focus. It reduces productivity and makes it a lot more difficult to sift through the details required to separate what’s relevant from what isn’t. This is mainly because your attention is limited.

Part of improving your mental focus is making the most of the resources you have at hand. That being said, stop multitasking and, instead, pay all of your attention to a single activity or problem.

Take brief breaks

Keep in mind that, as time goes on, the new source of stimulation will get old and your mental focus will begin to acquire bad habits. As a result, your performance will suffer.

Although some psychology experts suggest that this is due to the depletion of attention resources, some researchers believe it has more to do with the brain’s tendency for novelty.

A woman soaking up the sun.

In this sense, researchers discovered that you can improve your mental focus by taking brief breaks and diverting attention elsewhere. Furthermore, taking a break between activities that require a lot of concentration is also helpful.

Keep practicing your mental focus

By changing your mental focus and following the strategies listed above, you’ll discover that your level of attention will increase over time. In addition, elements such as following an adequate diet and getting good sleep can help improve your mental focus.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.