If you’re having trouble focusing, I bet you wonder why. There are many culprits and just as many ways to regain concentration.

You may be motivated and filled with the excitement of completing a project, but if you’re having trouble focusing, the job still might not get done. This happens to me quite often, and unfortunately, things sometimes fall behind. When you’re having trouble focusing, important tasks can be forgotten. This can cause problems in more ways than one.

The root of the problem

So, the truth is, you cannot improve your concentration until you understand what distracts you. If you’re having trouble focusing, you must get to the root of the problem. Once you know, you can use this information to create solutions. I will share a few of the enemies of concentration.

1. Stress and worry

One of the most common reasons why people are having trouble focusing is stress. Being stressed by problems in life will impact your work more than you think. While you’re trying to read important documents, you may drift away thinking about how to solve a disagreement between you and a loved one. You cannot concentrate on what you’re doing if something is weighing on your mind.

If you solve the problem first, if possible, then focusing will be much easier. First, tackle the pressing matters, then use your clarity to finish your work. Although this may be harder than you thought, just try to eliminate as much as you can before tackling important projects. If you cannot change things, then try clearing your mind through meditation or other holistic methods.

2. Lack of sleep

It’s astonishing how the lack of sleep can affect so many areas of your life, isn’t it? Well, guess what? The lack of sleep can also damage your concentration and limit the abilities to keep your mind on the task at hand.

Sleep heals us, it rejuvenates our bodies and minds, hence without it, we are not at a top performance level. Insomnia causes poor focus and the need to get rest during work hours. As you can see, the lack of sleep causes concentration issues in two different ways.

So obviously, the goal is to get consistent sleep. If you’re suffering from the lack of sleep, and cannot figure out why then the help of a professional may be needed. There are many causes of insomnia and sleep disorders, and getting to the bottom of this problem will help so much with other aspects of life. Remember, sleep studies are available and therapists can help with mood-related sleep disorders as well.

3. Misplaced energy stores

Each person has a certain amount of energy each day. As you know, when we sleep, we recuperate that energy for the next morning. So, this means utilizing your energy in the wrong way will leave you tired and with less concentration when you need to get important tasks done.

For instance, if you have an important task to complete,  it would probably not be a good idea to watch television or play video games while your energy stores are fresh. If you have an important task to complete, it’s best to do this first and take advantage of your high energy levels and optimal focus. Remember, if you’re tired, you will not be able to concentrate nearly as well.

4. Hunger and poor nutrition

Never try to get an important job done when you’re hungry. Your hunger pains will remind you that food is the focus. Before you know it, you will be imagining delicious meals instead of facts for an article that you’re trying to get done. Do you see what I mean? Yes, the simple feeling of hunger can completely destroy your ability to concentrate on a job. At least this is true for me.

Just as detrimental as being hungry, poor nutrition can also damage your ability to concentrate. Although a sugar rush will give you energy, you will also fall hard afterward.

It’s best to retain a healthy and nutritious lifestyle in order to reap the most benefits. Eat before work and make sure you eat a balance of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and other valuable additions to your nutritious lifestyle. Have you ever heard someone say, “Never skip breakfast”? Well, this is why!

5. Not enough intimacy or not enough exercise

Just like hunger can take your focus away from your job, so can the lack of physical intimacy and the lack of exercise. Let’s face it, if you’re feeling those “needs” arise, then you will not be thinking about your job. In short, your mind will wander and until you find a way to remove those feelings, you will have trouble focusing on what you really need to get done.

Now, if you’re single or do not wish to pursue intimacy, exercise can help lower sexual urges. In fact, staying active is always important and can even improve your focus in the long run. Staying busy when you’re not tackling important projects can help channel this type of energy and use it for other positive things. Make sure you are utilizing the right avenues for doing this to avoid any negative consequences.

6. Working in a cluttered environment

Did you know that working in messy surroundings will cause distractions? This is true. If your work environment is filled with stacks of papers, piles of clothing, and trash, you will have a hard time keeping your mind on what you’re doing.

Most of the time, this clutter makes us ponder on organizing things instead of our projects. This clutter also has the ability to generate anxiety and even claustrophobia. When you’re having trouble focusing, then you must take a day to organize and declutter. Take some time to clean out your work environment for a fresh start.

7. Distractions

Are you still having trouble focusing? Well, think about this culprit as well – distractions. The word distraction can mean anything from pets roaming around the room to the television. Distractions can be phone calls, knocks at the door, and hunger pains, you name it! Regardless, distractions can break your focus easily, and then it’s difficult to find that sweet spot of concentration afterward.

In order to limit distractions, your work time should be scheduled, your phone turned off, and all other distractions locked out of your workspace. If you have trouble working at an outside office, then it may be easier. However, coworkers will distract you at times and phone calls will still happen. In this case, lock your office door and turn off your phone. Most things can wait.

8. Mental and physical issues

Some people experience a break in concentration due to disorders or medical issues. For instance, if you are in pain, you will have trouble focusing. Also, if you suffer from ADHD (attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder), you will most definitely struggle with concentration too.

There are many physical and mental issues that can cause problems when trying to concentrate, and the only solution is to treat the condition properly. If you’re unsure of your health and what could be causing your breaks in concentration, consult a professional as soon as possible.

How bad is it, really?

If you’re having trouble meeting deadlines and forgetting assignments, then the lack of focus could definitely be the problem. Even if you’re simply trying out a new recipe and can’t seem to remember what you read from one line to the next.

Check your surroundings, think about your health, and by all means, get enough rest and exercise on a consistent basis. If focus alludes to you, then it could be a simple fix. Before you tackle the next project or assignment, analyze yourself. Maybe all you need is a better mindset to get the work done. It starts right now!

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