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Wellbeing

5 ways to boost your focus

By QMHalls 17 Jan 2022

If you feel like these days you barely have the attention span to sit through a 20-minute YouTube video let alone write an essay, you’re not alone. 

We live in an age where we have the world at our fingertips. With just a few swipes we can get information on just about everything and anything and with the introduction of Tiktok, information is even more accessible and digestible. Whilst this may seem like a good thing, research shows that how quickly we can consume content has been really damaging to our attention spans. 

In short, we’re getting bored a lot quicker.

This can be especially stressful if you've got a lot of uni work going on. If you've noticed that your attention span is affecting your productivity, below are a few things you can do to train your brain and get yourself staying focused for longer...

1. Caffeine

Despite the myths, Coffee isn’t bad for you, but like anything, too much can be. Caffeine is great for helping your brain become alert and has been shown to improve your short-term attention span - in small doses! So there's nothing wrong with coffee in the morning or when you need an energy boost, but too much over can overstimulate your brain and cause concentration loss. 

a person holding a pair of sunglasses

Balancing your morning coffee with low caffeine alternatives throughout the day like matcha or green tea is the best way to get the benefits and whilst avoiding a caffeine crash.

2. Practice Mindful Meditation 

Research shows that meditation is great for brain training. Meditating can really help to increase focus, memory, and attention span. It can also help with things like stress and anxiety. The great thing about meditating is that you only need to do it for five minutes a day to start noticing a difference. Mindful meditation improves the brains processing power and there are tons of guided meditations on Youtube and Spotify you can use if you’re not sure where to start. 

a woman sitting on a table

3. Get good sleep!

A good nights sleep can work wonders for your attention span and help to improve a lot of your cognitive functions. Your memory, concentration and creativity can all be affected by sleep deprivation. But, it's important to remember that getting a good quality nights sleep also means having a regular sleeping pattern. Getting your rest is probably one of the most important ways to stay focused so it's essential that you get your beauty sleep and tune your body clock. 

a cat lying on a bed

4. Productivity Apps

This one might sound like a contradiction, but your phone can actually help you here. There are a lot of apps out there designed to help you kick your technology habit. ‘Productivity apps’ like Flora and Forest are great for tracking your phone usage and give you fun incentives for staying away. 

The way these apps work is that you set a timer for how long you want to stay away from your phone. This can be if you’re planning a 1-hour study session or if you just want to train yourself to not reach for it so often. For every period of time that you keep off your phone, you grow things like plants and trees in your 'garden' -  but if you go on your phone during the timer your tree dies. 

These apps also allow you to plant real trees so you can help the planet whilst working on your brain!

5. Get active 

Regular exercise boost's the brain’s dopamine and serotonin levels which in turn improves concentration, memory and mood. Not only that but exercise is a great stress reliever and actually stimulates the growth of new brain cells. So, taking regular walks or going to the gym doesn't just train your muscles but also boosts your brainpower. 

a woman standing in front of a window

You don't need to do much to retrain your brain. These small steps will get you ready to tackle your uni work by clearing your mind and improving your attention span. Stay consistent and give yourself patience and should see the benefits in no time. 

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