A new school year is starting soon (or has started for some of you) and it might not be your cup of tea. Sure, it is fun to catch up with your friends after the summer break but for sure, I wasn’t that excited or prepared for the huge amount of concentration and productivity I needed to survive the whole year. In addition, to those who are working, those long hours at the office is definitely cognitively exhausting.
It is widely known that concentration is the main key for most individuals to work productively. On the other hand, it is also true that on average, an individual could concentrate effectively for around 2-3 hours per day. Technically, there is not a lot of leeway for you from those measurements compared to the actual amount of hours you need to get your head in the game on a daily basis. Most people utilized aids such as music or coffee while others might just have their own routines to keep them focused with their tasks. Another source could be from listening to music as a way to assist you to improve your concentration.
To that, let me show you myths and actual tips to increase your concentration. In addition, maybe you could pick up some of the points I’ve listed down below to help you be more productive :) So, go ahead and read along!
6 Myths And Tips To Concentration!
We’ve all heard of many parents let their babies listen to classical music due to the idea of simulating their brain. The idea itself might be true because of the dynamic nature of classical music itself. As a matter of fact, it is generally preferred for classical music to help you focus. For those who do not enjoy classical music, it is safe to say that not all genres are beneficial towards helping you to be more productive. Why is that? The nature of music itself shockingly could either facilitate or distract the individual from their cognitive task. In other words, this could work as a myth or a fact depending on each individual. Staying true to its nature, sedative music has the best result for concentration and productivity compared to other genres. On the other hand, interestingly, no music is still better due to the fact that the individuals are not distracted while they are doing their cognitive processing. In a way, it depends on whether music is the best way for you to concentrate or not.
Another way on how to be productive would be through sleep. This is one of the best and my most favourite tip out of all. As far as I remember, I needed rest and sleep, due to the fact of me being human. It may be a deficit because I’m wasting time to take rest but I would say that it is the best deficit I’ve ever had. As you could see, less amount of sleep that we have = less cognitive performance during the day. In addition, the quality of sleep is important in order for you to have a good rest. In a way, it will not only affect you mentally but also physically, especially your focus and memory. To that, the recommended hours of sleep ranges from 7-9 hours per night and it is also highly suggested that the hours of sleep are taken in one shot compared to being broken apart. By separating the hours of sleep, it will not only hinder your quality of sleep but it also decreases the effectiveness of improving your productivity in the long run.
3. Planning Out Tasks
Unlike the other tips, multitasking is a myth. The idea of doing two important tasks at the same time is quite impossible to achieve. On the other hand, people who are able to “multitask” or switch through tasks quickly usually plan out their assignments beforehand. This tip itself is definitely recommended for people who are able to follow schedules and love to organize. The idea itself is also a myth towards helping you concentrate more but it does, in fact, help you to become more organized and it serves as an aid towards your tasks. To do that, it is very beneficial to lay out or list down the tasks on the day before or by the latest, the morning of your day. Although this might be hard for people to remember, agendas and schedules really do help with this. Thankfully, we are in the technological era, therefore we could just insert the reminders on our phones instead of using a booklet and pen.
4. Decrease Distractions
Who doesn’t love Netflix? Or social media? Yes, they are probably the best distraction that the world has blessed us with. It’s like eating the forbidden fruit, very dangerous yet also addictive. Other than that, how about procrastinating? It is yet something that we always do although we don’t tend to admit it. Although it does reward us with short-term pleasure, unfortunately, it does affect our quality of productivity negatively. Now, one thing that I do to decrease procrastination would be to separate or get rid of those distractions. For instance, I would separate those tabs for YouTube or Netflix on a different screen so I wouldn’t be bothered. Another way that I find to be quite effective is by trying to put the tasks as the utmost priorities of the day. Through that, I have my own reward system where I will do whatever I want to take a break after all tasks are completed. Again, those tasks should be measured to the point that you are confident in completing it on that day. In addition, it is no harm to take a break once in a while but it is wise to not prolong those breaks and be stern to yourself.
5. Green Tea
It definitely is a no-brainer that coffee is by far, well preferred compared to tea when dealing with concentration and focus. It might only supply the caffeine part in the short run. So, what role does green tea play on how to improve concentration? Well, green tea includes both caffeine and L-Theanine. The caffeine works as a way to increase focus and the L-Theanine increase the alpha-wave activity, in a way, it helps release the caffeine slowly over time. Through that, it is clearly seen that green tea is a better and more efficient way for you to focus. To add to that, you could also consider consuming other foods such as blueberries, avocados, veggies (especially the green and leafy ones), or dark chocolate to increase your concentration. Last but not least, an additional fact toward green tea is that it helps you lose weight naturally. So those who want to shed some pounds off, go right ahead!
6. Chewing Gum
The first thing that pops up on your mind while reading this headline might be “what?”. Well, that was on my mind at first but interestingly, it’s not all about that gum. It is more directed towards the act of chewing. I know that it sounds incredulous but hey, mastication (chewing) does help you relieve stress and anxiety. A study by Morgan in 2013 researched on how chewing gum increases the focus of the individual. Unexpectedly, those participants that chewed gum throughout the experiment were able to concentrate longer than usual. To break it down in a more scientific way, the act of chewing gum affects a part of your brain called the hippo-campus. The hippo-campus itself is located in the medial temporal lobe of your brain and is in charge of both your emotion and memory. To that, memory plays a great part in concentration and productivity. This will also then give other benefits, such as quicker reaction time and more accurate results throughout the whole process.
Which Myths & Tips Do You Believe It Helps Increase Concentration?
These could be quite informative for those of you who are trying to find ways to concentrate more. I personally love the idea of sleep and green tea, most probably because those two things are ones that I have tried before. I would say that it does increase my productivity by far.
All in all, I sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading this article and maybe could pick up or try some of the points listed above. If you did, don’t hesitate to let us know if it works for you or not. I would also remind you that some of the examples given were based on my experience and it works for me. To that, it may or may not work for you but we’ll see, yea? Again, it is a great honour to write this for you guys and see you in the next issue!