In today’s hectic, super-fast world, staying focused and avoiding distraction may seem impossible. Wait, did you just look away to check the weather? See, even when we’re talking about focus, we can’t focus.
Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to a simpler time when there was no social media, smartphones, long commutes, massive To Do lists, extra work responsibilities and streaming TV? Who wouldn’t love a simpler life (just as long as we can still order food from anywhere to our home, thank you.) Pining for the simpler days of yore is not going to solve our distraction problem. But staying focused is easier than you think. Here are three proven ways to improve mental flexibility, memory and focus.
A cup of joe a day can keep the fuzziness away
Energy drinks, coffee, and green tea are all different, but they have one thing in common – caffeine – a quick way to add a jolt of energy and improve mental focus. Numerous studies have shown that caffeine improves attention and alertness. And it tastes so good! Venti, double shot macchiato anyone? Just limit your intake to about two caffeinated drinks a day (and never before bedtime) to keep your buzz at bay.
Breathe in to stay alert
You might think that your senses are causing overstimulation and distraction, but your sense of smell can actually help you perk up and stay focused. Aromatherapy, the use of plant oils with pleasant aromas to promote relaxation, a sense of well-being, and healing, can help improve alertness, memory and mental clarity. If you have a job in the construction, emergency services, healthcare or military sector you know how important it is to be aware and alert. Consider using a room diffuser, rubbing some menthol or eucalyptus oil on wrists (both shown to increase focus) or indulging in an essential oil massage to help sharpen your focus.
Get your heart rate up and your focus will follow
If you want to increase your overall focus long-term, down that java then grab a skipping rope. A recent study found that regular aerobic exercise can help memory and thinking skills. Choose moderate-intensity activities like walking, swimming, tennis, or dancing. Even chores like mopping the floor or raking leaves count because they get your heart pumping.
Simplifying your life and improving mental focus is not an impossible task. Get a good sleep, grab a cup of coffee, add some walking to your commute, breathe in some refreshing scents and you’ll soon find that distractions aren’t as, well, distracting.