How to improve your concentration - 10 easy tips

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Friday, 28 November 2008.
Tagged: concentration, drinks, energy, exercise, fluids, guides, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, sleep, tips, wellness

How to improve your concentration - 10 easy tips

Do you work long hours at a desk or in front of a computer? You can't work for hours and be at your peak without a little help.  Try one or two of my 10 suggestions over the day and you'll see a lift in your energy and productivity levels. I use them to stay on top of things, honestly!

 

1. Take a stretch break every hour you work on the computer. This sends fresh oxygenated blood to your head, neck and shoulders.

2. Don't have lunch at your desk. You need a physical and mental break if you want to make it through the afternoon (everyone has a low point around 3 or 4pm). If the weather's fine, eat outdoors and take a 10 minutes stroll in the fresh air.

3. Have a power nap or visualisation break for 10 minutes. Simply lie your head down on your arms on your desk, close your eyes and either sleep (if you can) or do a quick meditation to clear your head. Visualise yourself somewhere relaxing (such as a beach or a gently-flowing creek) and allow yourself to relax and unwind in nature.

4. Give your eyes a break from the computer screen a couple of times each day. Gave far away onto the horizon. Or rub your hands together to warm them up and hold them over your eyes for a minute. You'll feel recharged!

5. To boost your mood, think of funny story or a recent joke. For inspiration, subscribe to one of the free Joke-a-day programs that deliver a daily joke into your Inbox. Laughter clears the cobwebs from your mind!

6. Aim to leave work by 6pm at the latest when you can. Don't slog on until late. It drains you for the next day.

7. Don't email your colleague across the room. Get up and talk to her/him.

8. Participate in a lunchtime sport club if there's one near work. Or hit the gym after work or take the dog to a local park. Exercise is one of the best de-stressors.

9. Cast your mind back to your last vacation for a minute or two. It will bring on happy memories and you'll feel more relaxed and creative.

10. Your brain needs water and a steady supply of glucose (blood sugar) for fuel. Take a healthy snack to work based on low GI carbs (such as yoghurt, baked beans, pears, apples, nuts) to keep your focus.

Try a couple of these 10 tips above. If you like them and they work, you can incorporate them into your routine.

Products that work for me

  • Put a dab of tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil on a tissue and leave near your desk. The lovely menthol-like aroma is a natural stimulant. I find it perks me up when I need to get something written.
  • Spray a couple of sprays of blended aromatherapy oils or oil sprays (misters) that say 'invigorating' or 'stimulating' on the label. I use one by Bloom which is a mix of five essential oils - lemon, sweet orange, bergamot, rosemary and neroli. There are others like it. It gives me that quick perk-up without caffeine.
Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby knows nutrition! She is an accredited nutritionist, food commentator, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements. It draws together a lifetime of advice and gives you all you need to know to eat right! It's a complete A to Z. A handy desk go-to reference.