A young businessman sitting at his office computer with pen in hand is completely covered with blank sticky notes. He is forgetting many tasks for his business operations. He wearing a suit and tie and has a frustrated look on his look on his face.It’s 9 am on a Monday morning, the onslaught of emails in your inbox elicits an involuntary sigh, your coffee is taking far too long to kick in, and your brain is pulsating from the pressure of all the tasks you need to complete by the end of the day – sound familiar? We’ve all been there: the “fuel tank” being on “E”, a steep decline in productivity, and maybe even some depression at work. While you may feel like you’re in a downward spiral, it’s important to realize it’s normal to experience hiccups in life that affect your job. There are a number of reasons why you may be having a hard time focusing, but you’ll be glad to know that there are five simple ways to improve your concentration at work so you can get back on track. The good news is you can incorporate these methods into your own life!

1. Get more sleep, and get more sleep consistently

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Well that’s an obvious one”, but many people fail to realize just how important it is to get a full night’s rest. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2015 recommendation says that adults should typically get approximately 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you’re not getting the minimum amount of sleep, you may want to evaluate what is preventing it. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control, over a third of Americans are not getting the sleep that they need and the damaging effects can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress – yikes!

It’s certainly understandable that there are a number of factors that contribute to sleep deprivation. Some of them may be out of your control at times; if you have children who wake up in the middle of the night (or sleep in your bed), frequent insomnia, unrelenting anxiety, noise from inconsiderate neighbors, or restless legs syndrome, but it’s vital to your health that you eliminate these distractions as much as possible.

The next time you find yourself being crabby with co-workers, making careless mistakes, nodding off at your desk, or tethered to the coffee machine, reconsider why you’re losing sleep and how you can address it.

2. Exercise

Exercise is one of the many things that we know we need to make time for as adults but often don’t. Whether you have debilitating medical conditions that prevent you from engaging in certain activities, you don’t have enough time in the day to get to the gym, or you’re the type that dreads exercise, you’re not alone in putting it on the back burner. But it may be to your detriment. While most people won’t claim that an active lifestyle is an easy one, there are so many ways that you can work physical activity into your life (even with medical conditions) that can positively benefit how well you sleep, your energy levels, and your ability to concentrate at work.

From smartphone apps, to DVDS, to TV shows, to books, to outdoor activities and gyms, there’s a variety of ways that you can help your body maintain its most essential functions and improve concentration. If you have conditions that prevent you from doing particularly strenuous forms of exercise, your doctor may recommend guided physical therapy or other low impact activities that can help your body without hurting it.

3. Disengage from technology

While technology has made our world better in more ways than one, it’s often cause for distraction, stress, and loss of sleep. Not only are you less likely to get good sleep if you’re glued to your smartphone in bed, but it can also increase the likelihood of depression and anxiety. Think for a second about the possibility that you may have an addiction to technology – Do you often find yourself immersed in Facebook drama? Is it impossible for you to go to sleep without playing a few rounds of Candy Crush or Farmville? Are you constantly checking the news, or watching videos of fluffy animals?

If your job requires you to use a computer or a smartphone, it may be even more pertinent for you to at the very least, cut down on the amount of technology that you use on a daily basis. When was the last time you picked up a book? Is there a hobby you’ve been neglecting?

In a world saturated with findings from the Internet, social media, and technological innovation, it’s important to live “in the moment” and disengage from technology from time to time. Not only can our phones, computers, and televisions distort your perception of reality, but they can also take away valuable time you could be spending enriching yourself in other ways.

4. Socialize with friends and family

By far, socializing with others may be one of the most neglected areas of a working professional’s life. Having families, running errands, and working long hours can contribute to a lack of a social life, but it’s also worth noting that often, stress can cause us to be withdrawn. It’s understandable that if you’re going through a tough time, you may be more inclined to keep it to yourself rather than express it to others.

However, don’t underestimate the significance of being able to vent, chew the fat about your kids, or ponder the meaning of life with your friends. Socializing with peers and those closest to you is not only healthy emotionally, but you may not realize how much you’ve been needing it until you’ve finally said “yes” to going out. Being able to spend time with your friends may indeed be a luxury if you’re balancing multiple spinning plates, but if the opportunity arises, you just may want to take it.

Being social with others can also include your spouse and your family members too. When is the last time you’ve had a date night? Are you so consumed with work that your personal relationships and your friendships are suffering? Are you kids going stir crazy and still waiting for that Disney trip you promised? When was the last time you caught up with extended family members?

The 2015 American Time Use Survey found that Americans are only spending an average of 40 minutes a day socializing – that does not count socializing on the other side of a screen – in other words, actual face-to-face socializing. Talk about being a far cry from the good ol’ days of neighborly pleasantries and small talk!

5. Allow yourself to relax

This is another one of those “easier said than done” ideas, but it’s one that can go a long way if you want to promote a healthy mindset at work. Too often we get so caught in the lather, rinse, repeat, cycle of our day to day lives that we forget to pause and live in the moment. Sleeping in on your days off, time spent on the couch with your feet up, lounging on the beach or by the pool, going for strolls in a public park – these are all things you can do to give yourself a chance to recover from stress and work anxiety.

While you need to take care of your responsibilities and have priorities in your life, don’t make the mistake of committing to all work and no play. If you make a point of unwinding from time to time, your mind and your body will thank you.

Do you find yourself drawn to any of these methods for improving your concentration? Everyone’s cause of stress at work varies in circumstance and complexity, but these tips provide a good starting point for you to tackle it.

Get more productivity tips from AmeriLife

A young businessman sitting at his office computer with pen in hand is completely covered with blank sticky notes. He is forgetting many tasks for his business operations. He wearing a suit and tie and has a frustrated look on his look on his face.It’s 9 am on a Monday morning, the onslaught of emails in your inbox elicits an involuntary sigh, your coffee is taking far too long to kick in, and your brain is pulsating from the pressure of all the tasks you need to complete by the end of the day – sound familiar? We’ve all been there: the “fuel tank” being on “E”, a steep decline in productivity, and maybe even some depression at work. While you may feel like you’re in a downward spiral, it’s important to realize it’s normal to experience hiccups in life that affect your job. There are a number of reasons why you may be having a hard time focusing, but you’ll be glad to know that there are five simple ways to improve your concentration at work so you can get back on track. The good news is you can incorporate these methods into your own life!

1. Get more sleep, and get more sleep consistently

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Well that’s an obvious one”, but many people fail to realize just how important it is to get a full night’s rest. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2015 recommendation says that adults should typically get approximately 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you’re not getting the minimum amount of sleep, you may want to evaluate what is preventing it. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control, over a third of Americans are not getting the sleep that they need and the damaging effects can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress – yikes!

It’s certainly understandable that there are a number of factors that contribute to sleep deprivation. Some of them may be out of your control at times; if you have children who wake up in the middle of the night (or sleep in your bed), frequent insomnia, unrelenting anxiety, noise from inconsiderate neighbors, or restless legs syndrome, but it’s vital to your health that you eliminate these distractions as much as possible.

The next time you find yourself being crabby with co-workers, making careless mistakes, nodding off at your desk, or tethered to the coffee machine, reconsider why you’re losing sleep and how you can address it.

2. Exercise

Exercise is one of the many things that we know we need to make time for as adults but often don’t. Whether you have debilitating medical conditions that prevent you from engaging in certain activities, you don’t have enough time in the day to get to the gym, or you’re the type that dreads exercise, you’re not alone in putting it on the back burner. But it may be to your detriment. While most people won’t claim that an active lifestyle is an easy one, there are so many ways that you can work physical activity into your life (even with medical conditions) that can positively benefit how well you sleep, your energy levels, and your ability to concentrate at work.

From smartphone apps, to DVDS, to TV shows, to books, to outdoor activities and gyms, there’s a variety of ways that you can help your body maintain its most essential functions and improve concentration. If you have conditions that prevent you from doing particularly strenuous forms of exercise, your doctor may recommend guided physical therapy or other low impact activities that can help your body without hurting it.

3. Disengage from technology

While technology has made our world better in more ways than one, it’s often cause for distraction, stress, and loss of sleep. Not only are you less likely to get good sleep if you’re glued to your smartphone in bed, but it can also increase the likelihood of depression and anxiety. Think for a second about the possibility that you may have an addiction to technology – Do you often find yourself immersed in Facebook drama? Is it impossible for you to go to sleep without playing a few rounds of Candy Crush or Farmville? Are you constantly checking the news, or watching videos of fluffy animals?

If your job requires you to use a computer or a smartphone, it may be even more pertinent for you to at the very least, cut down on the amount of technology that you use on a daily basis. When was the last time you picked up a book? Is there a hobby you’ve been neglecting?

In a world saturated with findings from the Internet, social media, and technological innovation, it’s important to live “in the moment” and disengage from technology from time to time. Not only can our phones, computers, and televisions distort your perception of reality, but they can also take away valuable time you could be spending enriching yourself in other ways.

4. Socialize with friends and family

By far, socializing with others may be one of the most neglected areas of a working professional’s life. Having families, running errands, and working long hours can contribute to a lack of a social life, but it’s also worth noting that often, stress can cause us to be withdrawn. It’s understandable that if you’re going through a tough time, you may be more inclined to keep it to yourself rather than express it to others.

However, don’t underestimate the significance of being able to vent, chew the fat about your kids, or ponder the meaning of life with your friends. Socializing with peers and those closest to you is not only healthy emotionally, but you may not realize how much you’ve been needing it until you’ve finally said “yes” to going out. Being able to spend time with your friends may indeed be a luxury if you’re balancing multiple spinning plates, but if the opportunity arises, you just may want to take it.

Being social with others can also include your spouse and your family members too. When is the last time you’ve had a date night? Are you so consumed with work that your personal relationships and your friendships are suffering? Are you kids going stir crazy and still waiting for that Disney trip you promised? When was the last time you caught up with extended family members?

The 2015 American Time Use Survey found that Americans are only spending an average of 40 minutes a day socializing – that does not count socializing on the other side of a screen – in other words, actual face-to-face socializing. Talk about being a far cry from the good ol’ days of neighborly pleasantries and small talk!

5. Allow yourself to relax

This is another one of those “easier said than done” ideas, but it’s one that can go a long way if you want to promote a healthy mindset at work. Too often we get so caught in the lather, rinse, repeat, cycle of our day to day lives that we forget to pause and live in the moment. Sleeping in on your days off, time spent on the couch with your feet up, lounging on the beach or by the pool, going for strolls in a public park – these are all things you can do to give yourself a chance to recover from stress and work anxiety.

While you need to take care of your responsibilities and have priorities in your life, don’t make the mistake of committing to all work and no play. If you make a point of unwinding from time to time, your mind and your body will thank you.

Do you find yourself drawn to any of these methods for improving your concentration? Everyone’s cause of stress at work varies in circumstance and complexity, but these tips provide a good starting point for you to tackle it.

Get more productivity tips from AmeriLife

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