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Can’t Focus? It’s Not Your Fault

Do you feel it hard to focus? Don't worry, you are not alone. Billions of people today are struggling with a lack of focus issues.

In 2015, Microsoft Canada undertook a study on the human attention span. Defining focus as the amount of time concentrated on a task without being distracted, it was found that the human focus rate has decreased to 8 seconds. It means that on average, human beings can only concentrate for 8 seconds without being distracted.

The study revealed this shocking result confirming that our attention span is shortening. There are multiple reasons behind this that are snatching your focus power away from you.

1. Information Overload

In this highly connected world, we are constantly bombarded with loads of surplus information. It is reported that your brain comes across 34 GB (Gigabytes) of information every day. This is too much information for your brain to properly process. So, your brain tends to ignore most of it.

2. Lack of Sleep

Sleep is a very important aspect of our life. It helps us relax and recharge the batteries of our brains. If you do not get the right amount of sleep, your brain has to suffer. It gets confused and you find it difficult to focus.

Now, you might say that you have a full 8 hours sleep still you do not feel focused enough. Well, that’s because you did not have quality sleep. A restless and constantly-interrupted sleep does not give the required time to your brain to relax.

3. Insufficient Exercise

Most of us today have a sedentary lifestyle. Two-third of our wakeful hours is spent sitting in a chair and working on our laptops. This has resulted in many health problems. Our body needs to do exercise and physical activities to stay healthy. But in our busy work schedules, we usually neglect exercising. Exercise helps in brain growth, increase blood flow, boost hormones in the body. All of these factors affect our focus. A lack of exercise results in a lack of focus.

4. Stress & Depression

Most of people today suffer from stress and anxiety. Prolonged stress leads to depression. This gives rise to mental health problems. You find it difficult to come out of your thoughts. The brain keeps on repeating the same stories. You lose your focus and ability to concentrate on real-time things.

All these problems affect your attention span. Some of them can even be dangerous if left unchecked. Here are some tips to follow to avoid these problems.

- Give importance to self-care: We remain so busy in pleasing our bosses, family members, and friends that we often overlook ourselves. We need to understand that a human system is a machine and machine has its own needs. So, next time do not forget to listen to your body’s requirements. Nurture them as best as you can.

- Make it a habit to exercise regularly: We all know exercise is important. Still, we do not do it on a regular basis. I know it can be intimidating to get up early in the morning and hit the gym. How about going for a 30-minute jog in your neighborhood park. Sounds good? Start doing it and make it a habit.

- Eat a healthy and balanced diet: This tip is one of the most common tips that we all have heard of. But that finger-licking good deep-fried and processed food is really hard to say NO. However, you can start by bringing homemade food in the office for a change.

- Sleep properly: We all love our sleep so much. Yet, many of us are sleep deprived. There is no fixed amount of sleep that you need to take. Sleep quotient varies from person to person. But sleeping at least 6-8 hours is considered essential for our bodies.

- Reduce social media usage: It is the No. 1 reason that our generation struggles with focusing. Social Media is very attention-seeking. Most of the apps are designed in a way that you spend maximum time on them. Its attractive colors and pop-up notifications all these little things take a big chunk of your brain’s energy.

- Talk to your friends & family more often: Talking to your loved ones is known to release feel-good hormones in your brain. Sharing your thoughts can help you reduce stress and can make you feel more positive. Positivity, in turn, increases the functioning of your brain.

- Keep your surroundings clean: Your surroundings play a very important part of your mental state. If you live or work in a messy environment, you become surrounded by negative vibes. It impacts your brain’s energy and you feel more distracted. So make sure that your surroundings are clean and clear.

- Visit a Psychiatrist: This may sound serious but sometimes we require professional help to resolve our mental health issues. Productivity only comes out through a healthy mind. So, if you feel it really hard to focus on basic things then you should visit a psychiatrist to get better help.

We all live in a world where everything needs our attention. The problem of not being able to focus has become pretty normal today. But treating it is in our hands. With a little shift in our lifestyle and habits, we can boost our mental capacity. Focusing better is not rocket science but a simple exercise that we all can do with some conscious efforts.

“Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.” - Matt Cameron


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