A Look at 5 Factors That Impact Focus
Some people are better at focusing on tasks than others, but have you ever wondered why? While certain individuals are naturally better at concentrating, it ultimately comes down to factors that you control. Are you doing a good job of setting yourself up for success?
These 5 Factors Affect Your Daily Focus
Focus is the act of concentrating on a specific element, interest, or activity. But it’s just as much about blocking out distractions and ignoring the things that don’t matter. Author James Clear puts it this way, “Focus can only occur when we have said yes to one option and no to all other options. In other words, elimination is a prerequisite for focus.”
The question is, how do you drown out distractions and zero in on what you really want to concentrate on? There is no secret formula for success, but the following factors are, without a doubt, tied to focus.
1. Hunger and Nutrition
When you’re hungry, your body begins to shut down and all you can focus on is getting something in your stomach. The need for food can be so intense that you get angry, frustrated, and moody. And while most of us know that hunger affects focus, did you know that different foods and nutrients impact your overall level of concentration on a given day?
The neurons in your brain need to be protected and maintained in order to ensure proper cognitive function. If you’re constantly consuming processed foods that are high in sugar and trans fat, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. You need a diet that’s high in brain-building nutrients like ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, NADH, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine.
2. Sleep and Rest
Your brain has limitations and can only function at a high level for a certain period of time before it shuts down and needs recharging. If you’re only getting a couple of hours of sleep at night, then your focus during the daytime will be severely limited. Be sure to take regular breaks throughout the day and get at least six to eight hours of sleep per night.
3. Immediate Surroundings
Obviously, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of factors in your immediate surroundings that impact focus. From lighting and noise to people and objects, all of the sensory elements around you can help or hinder your focus. Make sure you’re putting yourself in environments where you can concentrate.
4. Overall Level of Interest
It’s much easier to focus on something if you find it interesting. So, if your level of focus wanes when you do certain tasks, consider whether or not you actually have an interest in it. If not, find a way to make it more relevant or significant.
5. Health of Relationships
If you’ve ever been through a bad breakup, trouble in your marriage, or a split with a good friend, then you know just how distracting these situations can be. When you’re heartbroken, frustrated, or sad about a relationship, it’s nearly impossible to focus on anything else.
Do your best to maintain happy and healthy relationships and you won’t have to channel valuable energy into these areas when you should be doing something else. When relationship issues do arise, deal with them promptly so you can limit their detrimental impact.
Give Yourself a Chance
Most of us don’t even give ourselves the opportunity to be focused. We might crave the ability to zone in and concentrate, but the choices we make don’t reflect this desire. Now that you know exactly what’s assisting or detracting from your focus, you can begin to make some changes that will set you up for success. Don’t wait any longer.