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Improve Your Life By Improving Focus

By Paul Rothbart

Today, more than ever, the world is filled with distractions. Social media, streaming content of all kinds, texts and video chats. So many things are vying for our attention, it can be difficult staying focused on the task at hand. So much more could be accomplished and enjoyed if only we could keep on minds on the present task. How can that be accomplished? Here are some ways to improve focus and thus, quality of life.

Eliminate Distractions

They are everywhere, but distractions can be effectively eliminated. Find a quiet place to work, detached from other people and their activities. Keep the door to your office closed and inform other people that you need to focus and ask that they not interrupt for whatever length of time you need. Put your phone in airplane mode or shut if off altogether. Those texts and voice messages will still be there when you are done. Close down non-essential computer apps that will just draw your mind away from your work. Exercise in a quiet area when you can really focus. For runners, training in a remote section of a park or hiking trail is ideal.

Drink Small Amounts of Coffee

A 2010 study found that caffeine in moderate amounts can positively impact ability to focus. Moderation is important to taking full advantage of caffeine's ability to enhance cognitive function. Excess amounts of coffee or other caffeinated beverages may bring on anxiety or nervousness. Both of these conditions usually reduce ability to focus. 

The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro technique is a method of improving focus while working on a task. Many people have found it helpful and it is certainly worth a try. The technique uses timing to train the brain to stay on task. Set a timer for 25 minutes and start working. When the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break. Reset the timer for 25 minutes and get back to work. After four rounds of this, take a 20- to 30-minute break. Knowing that a break is forthcoming helps the brain to stay focused during the periods of work. This technique can be very effective. 

Stay Fueled

Pangs of hunger are very distracting. Make sure to eat and eat well. Foods that can help cognitive function and improve focus are green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli. Fatty fish like salmon are also good brain food. Walnuts and berries are other foods that can be very helpful for focus. Try to include some of these foods in your daily diet. 

The ability to focus is a great help to productivity and overall happiness. It can be fleeting, especially in today's technologically based world. By following these tips, you can stay on track and accomplish the things that are most important to you. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Walnut Creek, Calif.

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