From social media to email and the internet, thanks to all of today’s distractions, it can be difficult to get your mind to settle down and focus on a task at-hand. Luckily, with a few simple tricks, you’ll be well on your way to developing laser-like focus.
While getting enough sleep and drinking coffee might seem like no-brainers when it comes to increasing alertness and focus, there are a number of other strange but effective things you can do to improve your attention span. Turning up the thermostat in your office, working in natural light and listening to classical music are only a few out-there ways for to improving attention and enhancing productivity.
To learn more, here are seven science-backed ways for cultivating laser-like focus.
It’s no surprise that sleep has a direct link to cognitive functions such as the ability to focus and perform. The National Sleep Foundation says that quality sleep, which typically entails seven to nine hours of sleep a night, helps us think clearly, remember more and make decisions. To the contrary, a lack of quality sleep reduces a person’s ability to focus, slowing reaction times and increasing forgetfulness.
2. Consume caffeine.
While it’s important not to overdo it on the coffee, according to research, a moderate amount of caffeine will actually help a person be more focused, alert and perform better. A “moderate” amount of caffeine can mean one to two cups of coffee a day.
3. Stop multitasking.
Even though multitasking might seem like a productive way to get more done, it turns out it actually has the opposite effect. According to the American Psychological Association, multitasking and constantly switching between tasks takes away from a person’s focus because they are not allowing themselves time to fully adjust and hone in on that specific task.
4. Turn up the thermostat.
According to research, a warmer workplace will help you focus better and be more productive. In fact, one study found that a group of workers in a room set to 68 degrees made nearly 44 percent more errors and were half as productive than employees in a 77 degree room.
5. Work in natural light.
Work environment has a direct impact on a person’s ability to focus. And working 40 hours a week in a windowless room with fluorescent lighting is definitely not going to keep employees in top shape, nonetheless motivate them to focus and get things done. That’s why it’s important to let some natural light in. A recent study found that people who work in offices filled with natural light experience substantially less eye strain, headaches and blurred visions, all of which deter focus and performance.
6. Add some plants.
In addition to adding some natural light to the workplace, plants are another natural way for developing laser-like focus. According to research, plants and greenery in the office improve worker concentration and productivity.
7. Dress to impress.
Turns out the old adage, “Dress to impress,” might hold some truth. In fact, it comes with its own set of benefits when it comes to focus and productivity. In fact, when people cater their clothes to their work, their ability to focus increases. According to a study, students who wore white lab coats while conducting experiments made half the amount of errors as the students who were dressed regularly.
8. Listen to classical music.
It’s time to turn off the rock music. Instead, if you truly want to enhance your focus, try listening to some Mozart or Beethoven. One study found that listening to classical music while working improved focus by triggering a part of the brain used for paying attention and focusing.