11 tips on how to focus better

Read on to learn the basics of what factors can affect your focus, plus eleven tips that might help you focus more effectively.
11 tips on how to focus better
minute read

From work projects and social media to personal commitments and the ever-present buzzing of our phones, constant stimuli can feel like they’re battling for our attention. Maintaining sharp focus in the middle of today’s chaos can feel tricky.

Many of us struggle with issues related to focus and concentration, and our attention spans can be hindered by multitasking and digital distractions. 

This article aims to give you actionable tips and insights designed to boost your focus and help transform your day-to-day productivity.

What to know about focus and attention span

When it comes to improving our focus, it's crucial to understand the cognitive abilities that underpin it. Focus is essentially the brain's ability to zero in on a specific task or piece of information while simultaneously filtering out irrelevant stimuli. This ability to concentrate is a complex process involving various regions of the brain and playing a pivotal role in our cognitive functioning.

Mental health, too, is deeply intertwined with our ability to focus. Stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges can significantly hamper our concentration, underscoring the importance of maintaining our mental well-being. Just as we exercise to maintain physical health, nurturing our mental health can go a long way in bolstering our focus and productivity.

The state of our brain health also plays a critical role in our ability to concentrate. Activities like brain training can help to enhance cognitive abilities, including focus. Brain training exercises, which range from memory games to problem-solving tasks, are designed to improve the brain's cognitive functions.

By understanding the mechanisms of focus and the factors that influence it, we can take proactive steps to improve our concentration and, by extension, our overall productivity and quality of life.

What factors can affect focus?

Various factors can influence our ability to concentrate — and you may be familiar with at least a few of them.

Let's consider multitasking, for instance. While it might seem efficient to juggle multiple tasks at once, research suggests that multitasking can decrease productivity and hinder our focus. Our brains are not designed to handle multiple attention-demanding tasks simultaneously, and trying to do so can lead to mistakes and decreased efficiency.

Phone notifications and social media can also hinder our ability to focus productively. These digital interruptions, whether they're from text messages, phone calls, or social media platforms, can significantly distract our attention. Each time we divert our attention to these notifications, it takes time and mental energy to refocus on the task at hand, leading to fragmented focus and reduced productivity.

Sleep also plays a crucial role in our cognitive abilities, including focus. Lack of sleep can impair various cognitive functions, such as attention, decision-making, and memory. It's no surprise that a good night's sleep is essential for optimal focus and productivity.

Improper workday and time management can also lead to burnout — a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion. Burnout can drastically affect our ability to focus and perform tasks efficiently.

It's also important to note that some people may experience more persistent difficulties with focus due to conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While learning and practicing different strategies can help manage these symptoms, if you think you have ADHD, it is best to speak to a medical professional to discuss appropriate treatment options.

11 ways to enhance focus

Understanding the factors that impact focus is just one side of the coin. The other side involves learning and implementing strategies to enhance our concentration. Let’s dive into some strategies you can use to help yourself stay focused.

1. Single-tasking

In a world that often praises multitasking, it's important to recognize the value of single-tasking. 

Focusing on one task at a time allows you to give your full attention to the task at hand, leading to increased productivity and quality of work. So, whether you're working on a project, having a conversation, or even reading a book, try to form the habit of single-tasking. 

It might feel strange at first, especially if you're used to juggling multiple tasks, but over time, you'll likely notice an improvement in your focus and productivity.

2. Workspace optimization

The environment where you work or study can significantly influence your ability to focus. A cluttered workspace can be distracting and may subconsciously affect your mood and productivity. Taking the time to create an organized, clean workspace can help set the stage for improved focus. 

Consider incorporating elements that promote concentration, like plants, natural light, and comfortable furniture. Sound also plays a crucial role in focus. 

For some, a quiet environment is essential, and for others, some background music can help. Consider using noise-canceling headphones if you're in a noisy environment like a coffee shop or shared office space. They can help block out distracting sounds and create a quieter space for you to work.

3. Time management techniques

Effective time management can be a game-changer for improving focus. Techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for a set amount of time (like 25 minutes), followed by a short break (5 minutes), can help maintain high levels of focus. 

Similarly, maintaining a to-do list can help keep you organized and ensure that you're focusing on the right tasks at the right time.

4. Physical activity and regular exercise

Regular physical activity and exercise play a significant role in maintaining mental energy and focus. 

Engaging in consistent exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can help enhance cognitive function and focus. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural mood elevators. This aids in improving mood, reducing stress, and enhancing overall mental clarity, which can significantly boost your focus.

Regular physical activity fosters better sleep, which is essential for memory consolidation and overall cognitive function. Better sleep quality can also improve focus and concentration during the day.

So, whether it's a brisk walk in the park, a restorative yoga session, or a high-intensity interval training workout, find a physical activity you enjoy and make it a part of your daily routine. The key is consistency. Commit to incorporating regular physical activity into your lifestyle and experience the myriad benefits it can bring to your mental focus and cognitive health.

5. Practice mindfulness and deep breathing

The practice of mindfulness, which involves focusing on the present moment without judgment, can significantly improve focus. Deep breathing exercises, which are often part of mindfulness practice, can also help reduce stress, clear the mind, and improve focus. 

By training your mind to focus on your breath or a single thought at a time, you can reduce mind wandering and enhance your ability to concentrate. Whether you set aside specific time for mindfulness practice or simply take a few moments throughout the day to focus on your breath, these techniques can significantly benefit your overall focus.

6. Consider your diet and nutrition

Paying attention to your diet and nutrition is crucial for improving focus. The food we consume significantly influences our brain function and our ability to concentrate. 

A diet abundant in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can provide the necessary nutrients for optimal brain functioning. Whole grains are particularly beneficial as they offer complex carbohydrates, which provide a steady energy stream for the brain, enhancing sustained focus and concentration.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like salmon and walnuts, can also enhance mood and memory while protecting against brain aging. B Vitamins, particularly B6, B9, and B12, found in lean meats and whole grains, contribute to improved concentration and cognitive performance. Iron, found in lean meats and whole grains, is crucial for cognitive function and development.

Maintaining a balanced diet and incorporating these key nutrients into your routine can support your brain health, improve your cognitive functions, and enhance your ability to focus and concentrate effectively.

7. Stay hydrated

Don’t forget to pack your water bottle! Water is crucial for optimal brain function as it aids in maintaining the balance of bodily fluids, regulating body temperature, and supporting other essential functions.

Dehydration can lead to detrimental effects on cognition, including reduced concentration, alertness, and short-term memory. Even mild dehydration can cause symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and confusion, which can significantly impact your ability to focus.

On the other hand, adequate hydration can boost brain function, improve mood, and increase energy levels, thereby enhancing your ability to concentrate. It also helps in the transportation of nutrients in the blood that your brain needs to stay alert and focused.

So, it’s no surprise that drinking enough water throughout the day effectively supports cognitive function and improves focus. 

8. Get enough sleep

Sleep is a necessity, especially for focus and cognitive abilities. A lack of sleep can impair our attention, memory, decision-making abilities, and mood. 

Beyond getting enough sleep, it’s critical to get quality sleep. 

Quality sleep goes beyond just the number of hours. It involves the depth and continuity of sleep. Good quality sleep leaves you feeling refreshed and alert upon waking, while poor quality sleep, characterized by frequent awakenings or feeling tired upon waking, can impair cognitive abilities. Quality sleep is key as during this time, the brain processes and consolidates memories, clears out toxins, and prepares for a new day. 

Improving sleep quality may include maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a restful environment, limiting exposure to screens before bedtime, managing stress levels, and by incorporating natural sleep supplements like CBN. Sunmed's clinically proven CBN gummies have proven benefits for better sleep quality, less anxiety, and reduced daytime fatigue after 60 days of consistent use. In order to enhance your focus, productivity, and overall cognition function, consider these approaches for achieving an enhanced sleep routine.  

9. Reducing distractions

In our digital age, distractions are just a click away. However, there are strategies we can employ to reduce these distractions. Turning off notifications, scheduling specific times for checking emails and phone calls, and using apps that block distracting websites can all help to create a more focus-friendly environment. 

It's not about eliminating all distractions — that's nearly impossible. Instead, it's about managing these distractions effectively to minimize their impact on our focus.

10. Prioritize mental health care

Let's not forget the role of healthcare in maintaining our mental health. Regular check-ups, talking to a professional when needed, and managing stress effectively are all crucial aspects of mental healthcare. Getting out into nature, spending time with loved ones, or even just taking a warm bath are all ways to tend to your mental health.

By listening to your body and prioritizing mental care, you’re not only enhancing your overall well-being but also improving your ability to focus, too. After all, a healthy mind is a focused mind.

11. Try high-quality hemp products

The hemp plant holds exciting possibilities when it comes to supporting cognitive abilities and mental focus. Two of its main cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG), both of which have unique attributes that may aid with concentration and focus.*

CBD is well-known for its potential to ease everyday feelings of stress and promote calmness. By helping to manage the stress that can often serve as a distraction, CBD can support focus and productivity. On the other hand, CBG is gaining attention for its potential to support cognitive function and mental clarity.*

These cannabinoids interact with our body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system that plays a crucial role in maintaining physiological balance. The ECS comprises of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes, all working in unison to regulate various functions including sleep, mood, and even focus. Hemp-based phytocannabinoids like CBD and CBG can interact with this system, helping promote balance and focus when needed.*

How to use hemp products for focus

When it comes to using hemp products for focus, consistency is key. A daily routine of taking CBD or CBG can help your endocannabinoid system adjust to the cannabinoids, allowing you to experience consistent, effective results.

Whether you're opting for a gummy or a tincture, you can take it first thing in the morning to kickstart your day. Keep your product on hand to use as needed throughout the day, especially during those moments when you're feeling distracted, overwhelmed, or low on energy. 

Our Full Spectrum Neuro Water Soluble CBD Gummies, rich in CBD and CBG, are particularly beneficial for on-the-go use. Designed with cutting-edge nanotechnology for enhanced bioavailability, these sweet gummies start working within minutes, helping keep you clear-headed and ready to tackle your next task.*

You can also pair different Sunmed products for optimal results. For instance, while CBG-rich products are great for daytime use, a CBN sleep gummy like Sunmed's clinically-proven sleep gummies taken half an hour before bed can improve your sleep quality, helping you wake up naturally refreshed and clear-headed.

Whatever option you choose, we recommend sticking with full-spectrum and broad-spectrum hemp products. These formulas contain a range of cannabinoids, allowing users to experience the "entourage effect," wherein the various cannabinoids work together synergistically to enhance overall benefits.

And remember that these products are meant to complement, not replace, other wellness strategies. Incorporating deep breathing exercises, consuming the right nutrients, and maintaining a regular sleep schedule are just as crucial. Cannabinoids can seamlessly fit into your wellness routine, helping to keep you feeling your best.

The bottom line

Maintaining focus in today's world can be challenging, but it's far from impossible. With a range of strategies at our disposal — from brain training and mindfulness to nutrition, sleep, and even cannabinoids — we can enhance our ability to concentrate, boost our productivity, and improve our overall brain health.

At Sunmed, we’re committed to providing high-quality, natural products that are third-party tested and carefully crafted to fit seamlessly into your everyday life and needs. Our mission is to help individuals navigate their wellness journey, offering a range of products designed to support focus and everyday well-being.

We encourage you to explore our selection of mind-centered products to find the right fit for your lifestyle. Our premium, plant-rich hemp blends are carefully designed to help you lift the fog and find bliss.

Sources:

Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work | Cleveland Clinic

The consequences of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance | PMC

Brief Mindfulness Meditation Improves Attention in Novices: Evidence From ERPs and Moderation by Neuroticism | PMC

Foods linked to better brainpower | Harvard Health

The Impact of Cannabidiol on Human Brain Function: A Systematic Review | PMC