How many times have you gone to bed at the end of the day only to lie there and ask yourself what you actually accomplished today? Maybe you started with a large to-do list and only managed to check a few items off, or maybe you felt like you started all kinds of tasks but never actually finished any of them. It can be a very frustrating feeling to end each day feeling as though you’re no further ahead, and your time wasn’t well used.
While there can be all kinds of factors that are playing into your lack of productivity at home, one issue could be that you’re having a hard time concentrating. Concentration is a key element in starting and following through on a variety of tasks. So let’s take a look at seven ways you can improve your concentration and be more productive at home.
Create Daily Goals for Yourself
Rather than just starting out each day and seeing where it takes you, it’s a good idea to take a more organized approach. This can be done by setting daily goals for yourself. Those goals may be fresh, or they may even be carried over from the day before – depending how productive you were. Not only can you set these goals but you can then prioritize them so you know where to first focus your efforts.
Another advantage in setting daily goals is that it acts as a blueprint for your day so you don’t forget anything, and helps you plan your time so you stay on track.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is an essential aspect of each person’s morning, as this fuels your brain and body so you can get a good fresh start to your day. Having a well-balanced healthy and nutritious breakfast has been show to help improve concentration and memory, it helps you maintain a healthy body weight, it aids in good health, and it can lower your chances of developing heart disease and diabetes, and even lower your bad cholesterol levels.
If you don’t have the time to sit down for a big breakfast each morning you can experiment with smoothies. Smoothies are a quick and easy solution that allows you to pack all kinds of nutrition in one “meal” that you can take with you as you rush out the door. You’ll find no shortage of breakfast smoothie recipes online, all of which are geared to kick-start your body in the morning.
Block Out Apps and Websites that Distract You
One of the biggest distractions that people face comes from smartphones, desktop PCs, or laptops. Websites, apps, games, and all the social networks can be incredibly distracting. You may tell yourself you’re just going to check in quick, and before you know it you’re spending huge amounts of your day online. This doesn’t just distract you at home but at work as well.
This blog post from Setapp explains in some detail how to improve concentration, noting that blocking all those distracting apps and websites is an excellent solution. You can look into the Focus app, available through a Setapp membership, which once installed will be available on your menu bar (Setapp also has lots of other useful productivity apps via their subscription service).
The way it works is that it makes it possible for you to block specific websites or even individual pages and apps that you find distracting. It can be so tempting to just quickly check those sites and apps, so by using Focus you won’t have to ability to view/use them. Once you’ve accomplished your tasks, you can go ahead and unblock those distractions.
Focus on One Task at a Time
Sometimes the problem isn’t your lack of concentration; rather, it is your inability to focus on one task at a time. If you’re busy thinking about the next task, and the task after that, then you aren’t giving the current task enough focus. Whatever you are currently working on or engaged in should have your full attention. That means turning off your brain to all those other thoughts.
Follow Through Before Moving On
It’s also important you don’t fall into the habit of starting a task and then giving up and moving on to the next before you finish that initial task. Maybe you ran into difficulties, perhaps it became “boring”, or it was just “taking up too much time”. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to follow through and finish that task before moving on.
The last thing you want is to get to the end of the day and have a dozen projects on the go without any of them being finished. This gets overwhelming really quick, and can actually stress you out and frustrate you to the point of not wanting to finish at all. Don’t forget, there is a sense of gratification when you finish tasks, and that motivates you to move on to the next one.
To help keep you on target, it may be necessary to re-think your goals/tasks and ensure they are in fact manageable and that you give yourself a deadline on them.
It’s Okay to Take Mental Breaks
Then there is the importance of mental breaks. You never want to push yourself to the point of exhaustion and feeling you have nothing left to give. Instead, give yourself little mental breaks throughout the day to help keep you sharp and focused.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The manner in which you finish off each day will also play into how productive you are the following day. Making sure you get enough sleep each night means you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. It also means your brain will be clear and sharp, without any hits to your concentration levels.
If you constantly wake up feeling tired, foggy, and out of it, it could be that you need to improve your bedtime routine and your sleep habits.
Excellent Tips to Start Using
If you’re looking for ways to improve your concentration at home and you’re not sure where to begin, each of these tips is well worth embracing and will likely garner results rather quickly.