Spend more time in nature
A dose of nature could be just what the doctor ordered when trying to improve your attention span and ability to focus. Research Trusted Source suggests that exposure to the natural environment, including green spaces, may be beneficial for children's brain development.
The study found that children who are exposed to nature are more likely to be able to concentrate and pay attention.
In one study, children aged 4-5 to 7 years with more green space around their homes performed better on attention tests. These findings highlight the importance of expanding green spaces in cities to support children's brain health and development.
The research showed that children with more green spaces around their homes had better attention scores on tests of attention.
Research has shown that taking a look at greenery can also significantly increase concentration levels and productivity at university and at work. Students were asked to perform a mundane task and given a 40-second break halfway through to see either a bare concrete roof or a green roof of flowering meadow. Individuals who glanced at the meadow scene made significantly fewer errors and showed higher levels of concentration on the remaining half of the task than those who observed the concrete scene.
Another study found that enriching a bare office with plants increased worker productivity by 15%. The presence of greenery increased job satisfaction, perceived air quality, and reported concentration levels.
The study also found that the presence of greenery was associated with an increase in work satisfaction.
The researcher's analysis details that plants can be beneficial because a green office promotes employee work engagement by making them more cognitively, emotionally and physically involved in their work.
If you have a great memory capacity at work, you will have no trouble ignoring the distractions around you and focusing only on your tasks. But for the rest of us, eliminating background distractions can be difficult.
Evidence suggests that taking a break from the following distractions may improve your ability to focus:
Controlling the times you log on to email - work or personal - and grouping messages, among other strategies, could help increase productivity at work.
A study found that people who read email throughout the day switched screens twice as often and were in a high state of alertness with a constant heart rate. When these people's emails were deleted for 5 days, their heart rate returned to a natural, variable rate.
Mobile phone notifications
Whether you are alerted to an incoming text message or call by an alarm, vibration or ringtone, a mobile phone notification can distract you enough to impair your ability to focus on a task.
In fact, the distraction caused by a notification is just as off-putting as using your mobile phone to make calls or send a text message, research has found. One team found that even if notifications are short-lived, they tend to trigger task-irrelevant thoughts or mind wandering that impairs task performance.
The curiosity to check personal social media accounts can often be overwhelming, but research indicates that there are negative consequences when using social media during office hours.
About 2.8 billion people worldwide use social media, and many use social media for personal purposes at work. Social media use during working hours has been shown to have a negative effect on self-reported work performance and concentration, as well as organisational well-being.
Think about your environment
Our environment plays a very important and especially complex role in our ability to focus. We know that by decluttering your home or tidying up your desk, your mind also feels more ordered, free and able to think more clearly.
Design your own workspace. Whether you have total control over the design of your workspace or can spruce up your office with just a few personal items, control over our work environment can help improve productivity.
The study found that the most important thing to do is to design your own workspace.
A study compared people who performed a series of tasks in a bare, functional office space, an office decorated with plants and pictures, and an office in which the individual designed the space.
People in a space with plants and pictures were 17% more productive than those in a bare office, while those who designed their own spaces were 32% more productive than workers at a functional office.
Try brain training
Problem-solving exercises, brain training methods and even video games can all have a positive, negative or no effect on concentration, depending on which study you read. Recent research has indicated that people who frequently do word puzzles, such as crossword puzzles, have better brain function later in life.
Researchers found direct relationships between the frequency with which people used word puzzles and the speed and accuracy of performance on tasks assessing reasoning, memory and attention.
A study has highlighted that it is important to know what kind of brain training you are doing to improve memory and attention. Researchers compared two brain training methods called "dual n-back" and "complex span."
Participants who practiced dual n-back showed a 30% improvement in working memory, nearly double the gains made by the complex span group. Double n-back is a memory sequence test in which individuals must remember a sequence of auditory and visual stimuli that are continuously updated.
Consuming CBD can also help you improve your concentration skills as well as your memory. CBD interacts with the master regulatory network known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). From there, it acts on more than 65 molecular pathways, ensuring the balanced functioning of the ECS and the maintenance of homeostasis. Homeostasis is a biological term describing the harmony between all biological functions in the human body. The interaction between CBD and the central nervous system (CNS) is where the cannabinoid manifests its benefits for memory.