Concentration Quandaries

Got a lot on your mind? Jumping from one thought to another? Going in circles instead of making progress? Concentration issues affect everyone — a wandering mind can be caused by multitasking, boredom, distractions, interruptions, fatigue, drug side effects, or medical issues. Use these tips to stay focused, and talk with your health professional if needed:

  • Practice yoga and meditation. Followers acclaim the benefits of better concentration and disposition.
  • Get enough good sleep. A sound slumber (7–9 hours) sharpens your mind and clears the cobwebs.
  • Claim your right to concentrate. Don’t hesitate to let coworkers know that you can’t be interrupted for a certain time.
  • Take a power nap. Studies show a short nap increases information processing abilities.
  • Eat healthy. Consistently getting a balanced diet — with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein — will help boost concentration and memory.
  • Stick to single tasks. Multitasking proves ineffective. Instead, set aside intervals of time for each assignment. For example, try checking emails or voicemails only at certain times each day.
  • Set goals. Know exactly what you want to accomplish before beginning a job.
  • Write it down. If something pressing pops in your head as you’re trying to focus, capture it, let it go for now, and revisit it later.
  • Reward yourself. Boredom can sap your focus and make you vulnerable to distractions. To stay on task, give yourself small prizes when you reach a milestone.

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