Are you having trouble focusing on even the simplest tasks? Here are eight suggestions to help you maintain focus.
Your brain is a three-pound supercomputer with a virtually limitless capacity for learning, memory, and problem-solving. However, it eventually slows with age, just like any other body part. Certain cognitive abilities, particularly the capacity for concentration and focus, may become more difficult for people to use with time.
Since we are less likely to routinely partake in mentally stimulating activities like working and socialising, older people's brains can also get "rusty."
Fortunately, there are techniques for maintaining focus. Here are a few tactics:
Try the following when you find your focus waning or need to prepare your brain for circumstances that call for intense concentration:
Avoid multitasking. Don't act like a mental superhuman; "Work on one task at a time until it is finished before moving on to the next." Your mind won't have to compete with outside stimuli in this way. "
Work in time blocks. Find the time that works best for you to think. When performing normal mental tasks, such as reading a paragraph from a book, keep track of how long it takes for your attention to wander. "You should be able to locate a range where your attention is at its peak." Work within this time limit (remind yourself when it expires), take a break and then repeat the exercise.
Take away any distractions. To avoid being tempted by the Internet, turn off your TV and install website blockers. Place your smartphone in a drawer, another room, or anywhere else where you can't see it or hear it while you're trying to concentrate if it distracts you from staying focused. Additionally, you can change the settings on your phone to prevent calls at specific times. (If you're concerned that you'll miss an important call, make a list of the people who are permitted to ring you.)
Listen to relaxing ambient noises, such as nature sounds or white noise, if you discover that some background noise actually improves your ability to concentrate.
Go for a brief run. The prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for executive function abilities like maintaining focus on a task until completion, benefits from just 10 minutes of moderate-intensity jogging, according to a study published online on Nov. 22, 2021, by Scientific Reports. Not an athlete? Try going for a quick walk or doing anything else that will get your heart beating and your body moving.
Improve your brainpower
These lifestyle choices support mental wellness and keen cognitive abilities.
Maintain mental focus. To achieve and sustain optimal performance, your brain requires regular "training," just like your muscles do. There are numerous ways to exercise your mind and cognitive abilities. Do crosswords and jigsaw puzzles; join a reading club; enrol in a class; volunteer; or obtain a part-time job, for instance.
Take time to rest. Every night, try to get seven to nine hours of sleep. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine and go to sleep at roughly the same hour every night. Any medical conditions that can disrupt sleep, such as obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, numerous overnight bathroom visits (typically brought on by an enlarged prostate), or joint pain, should be discussed with your doctor.
Check your medication. You can get drowsy and less attentive when using many prescription medications and even certain over-the-counter medical medicines. Your doctor can discuss changing medications or lowering doses if necessary once your pharmacist has reviewed your prescriptions for these side effects.
Watch your caffeine intake. Caffeine can briefly improve focus, according to studies, but too much of it can cause jitteriness and anxiety and cause you to become distracted. The FDA considers 400 milligrams per day, or about four to five cups of coffee, to be a safe quantity for healthy adults. However, you should experiment to determine the exact amount that gives you a mental boost without making you jittery.
Be open to mindfulness.
Another method to increase focus is through the practice of mindfulness. Open awareness is a useful activity. The objective is to prevent your attention from straying when performing everyday activities like eating, taking a shower, cooking a meal, or cleaning the house. This is how you do it:
Draw your attention to the emotional and physical sensations you are experiencing in your body.
Allow the air to fill your lungs as you inhale through your nose. Allow your abdomen to fully expand. Then slowly exhale through your mouth.
Carry on with the task at hand slowly and deliberately.
Focus on what you can see, hear, feel, smell, and taste while using all of your senses.
Try "single-tasking," which involves focusing all of your attention on the one thing you're doing at any given time.
If your thoughts stray from what you're doing, gently bring them back to the current feeling.