Four strategies for improving concentration and productivity during this weird year

Are you struggling to stay focused this year? Here are four strategies to help improve your concentration.

It can be difficult to stay focused all day under normal circumstances. But with all the disruption and change in the last year, it’s understandable if you’re really struggling to feel engaged and motivated at the moment, especially if you’re working from home. 

Here are four strategies for improving your concentration and productivity through the rest of 2021. 

1) Set yourself goals for each day

Get yourself organized each day by setting out key goals that you need to achieve – whether it’s finishing off a piece of work or clearing off some small admin tasks. With these in mind, put together a to-do list of all the tasks and actions you need to do to complete the goals.

Prioritize your list based on your day’s plans and how long each task will take. Try to tackle the tasks that you think will be most difficult first thing in the morning, rather than putting it off. It’s probably when you’re most alert, and ticking it off your list will give you a boost to get the rest of your tasks completed.

And don’t be tempted to try and multi-task. Instead, try to work on one thing at a time, otherwise, you’ll end up making little progress with anything. 

Setting yourself goals and writing an organized to-do list will give you something to work towards and help you to stay focused throughout the day. 

2) Adjust your schedule 

Not everyone’s body clock is the same, some of us work best first thing in the morning and some of us suddenly find a burst of inspiration in the evenings. Pay attention to when you feel like you’re at your most productive each day and, if possible, adjust your schedule to maximize those times. 

If you find the early hours of the morning when most people are still asleep the perfect time to get on with things then embrace that. Start getting up an hour or two earlier and kick start your day with a productive morning.

Or if you find that your concentration starts to slip in the afternoons but you get more focused later on then switch up your schedule to take a break when you’re least productive. 

3) Look after yourself 

With everything that’s been going on over the last 12 months, it’s understandable if you’ve slipped into some bad habits or your fitness has dropped. But to improve concentration and productivity it’s important that you look after yourself.

Eating well and exercising regularly can make a huge difference to your physical and mental health, which will help you to feel more engaged and focused. 

Try to cut back on the number of coffees you have each day – caffeine can give you a short-term boost in energy but afterward, it leaves you feeling worse.

Instead focus on improving your diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, protein, and fiber to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. If you don’t feel like you’re getting enough vitamins from your diet then consider taking something like liposomal vitamin C (available from places such as Seeking Health), which can help to boost your immune system. 

It’s also important to exercise on a regular basis. It will improve your fitness levels but also working out releases hormones that can make you feel more positive and reduce stress levels.

If you struggle to stick to a routine when you’re exercising then try downloading a fitness app (something like All Out Studio offers a range of programs) or agree to work out with a friend so you’re less likely to skip a session. 

4) Improve your sleeping pattern

Getting a good night’s rest is also important for improving your concentration and productivity. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to let yourself get into a bad pattern of staying up late binge-watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram. But getting into a better nighttime routine will help you fall asleep faster and sleep better. 

When you don’t get enough sleep it impacts your judgment, makes it more difficult to focus, and you’re more likely to be stressed and anxious. Stick to a regular bedtime and set your alarm for the same time every morning, making sure you’re getting around eight hours of sleep each night. 

Try turning off the TV and putting your phone down before bed — read a book instead to help you unwind. If you still find your thoughts are racing when you try to drift off, use guided meditations (such as ones provided by Mindful) so that you can clear your mind.

By improving your sleeping habits you’ll feel more energized and focused during the daytime so it’s easier for you to concentrate. 

Following these four strategies, you should be able to keep yourself focused, take each day at a time with achievable goals, and boost your productivity. 

Photo by Ava Sol