Tips & Tricks to Improving Your Focus & MemoryBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
Have you had days where you just can't seem to focus no matter what you do? Maybe your memory just doesn't feel as sharp as it used to be. Whatever the case may be, you were probably left wondering how to improve your focus and memory. Fortunately, we have some great advice that's been provided by industry experts to help you work on improving your focus and memory in the workplace and elsewhere.
This seems like a simple solution, but it can be difficult to identify what those distractions are. If you're someone who's prone to surfing the web when you should be working, it's difficult to avoid that since the internet is required for so many tasks, but if it's something that can be removed or lessened in your environment, that can be a great starting point.
"Removing distractions to improve your focus and memory starts with identifying what causes you to be distracted or struggle with memory," says Alex Chavarry, Managing Member at Cool Links. "There are so many distractions in our daily lives from social media to environmental distractions. Separate yourself from as many of these as possible."
Multitasking is something that a lot of people try, and fail, to do. In fact, studies have shown that multitasking is actually detrimental to success in task completion. Not only does it slow you down, but it can make focus and memory more difficult because you're bouncing from one thing to another so frequently.
"Multitasking is something that most people actually really struggle with," says Reece Kresser, Co-Founder of Zizi. "Not only does it split your attention, but you end up losing track of things because you're trying to juggle too many things at once. Try to complete one thing before moving onto the next and you'll probably notice a significant improvement in your focus and memory."
Take a Break
Breaks are hard to work into a schedule when you already feel like you're not focused enough, but sometimes you need to take a break to work more efficiently. Step away and take a quick lap around the office and come back with a new mindset.
"Taking even a 5 minute break can help you focus on the task at hand," says Sean Doherty, GM of Box Genie. "Sometimes we lose focus and use so much effort trying to stay focused that we stop being productive. If you need a break, take it. Come back ready, recharged, and focused."
Get Some Sleep
Sleep is incredibly important when it comes to being able to focus and remember things. Without sleep, your brain has a hard time keeping up with you. Decrease frustration by making sure you go to bed early enough each night.
"Just because you can function on a few hours of sleep doesn't mean that you should," says Fred Gerantabee, Chief Experience Officer of Readers.com. "Lack of sleep affects a ton of things in our brain including focus and memory. Most adults need at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night to operate at their highest level."
Have you ever noticed that getting outside seems to help you focus when you come back in? Nature is a wonderful outlet to relieve stress and take a breath of fresh air. Relaxing through nature can help you improve your focus and memory.
"Take a walk and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature or try your hand at gardening," says William Schumacher, Founder and CEO of Uprising. "Having time to sort out thoughts that may be distracting you while also grounding yourself in nature can improve your focus and memory."
Hit the Gym
Exercise is great for your body and your brain. Studies have shown that exercise can help you focus and remember things long after leaving the gym. Try exercising on a schedule and see how it works for you!
"Exercise is a fantastic way to make sure your body is moving and healthy but it can also help you with improving focus and memory," says Trey Ferro, CEO of Spot Pet Insurance. "Working out relieves stress and helps expel energy so you're able to focus better and it can also increase blood flow to the brain and actually improve your ability to remember things."
Take Care of Your Body
You are what you eat and if you're not eating and taking care of your body well you will struggle with things like memory and focus. There are certain foods that can boost focus and memory while improving your overall health.
"Nourishing your body with foods that can help with focus and memory often has other beneficial effects on your body," says Hector Gutierrez, CEO of JOI. "Foods like leafy greens, fresh berries, and lean fish are often at the top of many nutritional lists - so it's no surprise that these foods help with focus and memory too. Incorporating healthy and fresh foods into your diet can help your focus and memory improve while also benefiting your overall health when compared to an unhealthy diet that's high in processed fats and sugars."
Train Your Brain
We've all heard the phrase 'practice makes perfect'. The same is true for focus and memory. There are many ways to go about conditioning your brain to improve focus and memory including exercises and habits that can lead to improved brain function.
"Everyone's brain works a bit differently, so you may have to try a few methods of 'brain training' to find the right method for yourself," says Natália Sadowski, Director of Aesthetics at Nourishing Biologicals. "Some people find that taking frequent breaks helps them improve focus and memory while others work best when they can devote undivided time to a project. There are apps, activities, and games that you can explore to help you find the balance that you may need to function at your highest level. Eventually, if you make these practices a habit, your brain will learn to function at a more optimal level without your conscious efforts."
Focus and memory are two things that nearly everyone feels frustrated by on occasion. While this might be due to a number of factors, there are many ways to go about improving your function and memory.
Removing distractions and the goal of multitasking are two ways that you can maintain focus on a single subject while also improving your memory. There have been many studies that show that these changes can have a positive impact on your brain's function and decrease the frustration you may be feeling about your focus and memory.
Some other things you could try to do in an effort to increase focus and memory include destressing in nature. Nature is a wonderful way to relax and be alone with your thoughts for a bit without the distractions of technology and work or other situations. This can lead to an increase in your focus and memory.
Finally, you should aim to improve your overall well being by taking care of yourself with exercise, nutrition, and sleep. If your body isn't being taken care of as a whole, then your focus and memory are going to suffer as well. Your brain is reliant on the nutrition and health approaches that you take on a daily basis, so making it a habit to eat right, exercise often, and sleep enough each night can greatly improve your memory and focus.
Hopefully the tips above can help you overcome any focus or memory troubles you may be having and lead to more productive days ahead.