How to Increase Your Ability to Concentrate

Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Mental Focus and Productivity

Your ability to concentrate well affects how effective you are and what you accomplish consistently.

With many things competing for your attention and time, if you improve your ability to concentrate, you will achieve more in life.

Concentration is your ability to direct your attention to something, to the exclusion of all distractions. It’s your ability to control how you direct your attention.

It’s your capacity to focus your mind on one idea, thing or subject, without being influenced by other unrelated ideas, things, emotions or subjects.

When you concentrate on something, your mind is preoccupied with that thing only. As you concentrate on it, you do not allow yourself to get distracted by anything not related to it.

Improving your ability to concentrate is like having a super skill. The benefits include:

  • You will have more clarity in your thinking.
  • You will reduce mistakes you make.
  • You will solve problems quicker.
  • You will improve your ability to perform complicated tasks.
  • You will use your mental energy more efficiently.

Things that can affect your ability to concentrate include:

  • Multitasking.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Poor nourishment or an unhealthy diet.
  • Physical or mental conditions, which need to be professionally diagnosed and treated.
  • Inability to manage stress well.

Sometimes, poor concentration can also be a side effect of medications.

The more informed you are, the better you will understand the factors affecting your ability to concentrate, which means you can take action to deal with it.

ability to concentrate

Here are five things you can do to increase your ability to concentrate, so you can improve your mental focus when working to produce outputs more efficiently.

  1. Make your working environment conducive to high productivity. One way to deal with distractions is to not have any around you when working. This means only having what you need for the task at hand. It can also mean isolating yourself, going offline, or playing music that supports better concentration.
  2. Use technology as a means to an end. Technology should always be viewed as a tool to reach an outcome. This can include using a calendar to schedule focus time and deadlines, and using a timer to keep track of long it takes to get tasks completed.
  3. Set small goals throughout the day. Having progressive milestones will help you maintain your motivation. It’s also a way to know you’re doing what you need to, without giving attention to things that aren’t important.
  4. Pay attention to what you eat and drink throughout the day. Certain foods and drinks will not aid your ability to concentrate well. It’s your responsibility to find out what you can eat and drink to have a healthier lifestyle, and to have better mental clarity when working.
  5. Create a routine that will improve your quality of sleep. Concentration and productivity starts the night before. If you have a sleep routine that helps you get better rest every night, you will dramatically increase your ability to concentrate.

Increasing your ability to concentrate will require you to change how you do things. When you do, you will improve different areas of your life because you will use your time and energy a lot better.

Those improvements will lead to greater focus, productivity, and ultimately, more success.

Action Step: Assess your working environment. Identify what you can do to make it more conducive to higher focus and productivity. What can you eliminate, add, or enhance? Make those changes, then evaluate the difference it makes to your ability to concentrate and continue improving.

Question: What are other steps you can take to increase your ability to concentrate?

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