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10 Tips for Improving Your Focus Throughout the Day

How many apps did you open in the last minute? If you're struggling to stay focused, here are 10 tips for you.

How many apps have you opened and closed in the past minute? Be honest now.

Probably more than one. It’s 2016 and our attention spans are shorter than ever. It’s difficult to focus on one thing at a time when we are constantly distracted by instant access to pretty much anything we could possibly want. Why would you focus on work when you can check Facebook for the 20th time today?

If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. We completely understand here at GenTwenty. That’s why we created this list with 10 tips to help you improve your focus:

1. Take a Break

One of the best ways to regain focus is to momentarily step away from whatever you’re working on. The human brain isn’t programmed to focus on one thing for a long period of time, and it needs time to refresh.

There are many techniques that will increase your focus after you take a break. Working in 30 to 90 minute blocks and then taking a break can dramatically improve your focus. Try it and figure out which time span works best for you.

2. Listen to Music

Many people find that music helps them focus. Softer acoustic music with calm lyrics helps me focus when I’m working on something. Research shows that 48 percent of people have a hard time focusing when they can hear people talking and understand what they’re saying.

Some people work well with music, and some people don’t. Listen to different genres of music and see if you work well while listening to a specific sound.

4. Exercise

The benefits of daily exercise are endless. One of these benefits is that physical exercise can make you more focused.

People are 23 percent more focused on days when they exercise. This could be because exercise increase blood flow to the brain, which brings nutrients and oxygen to help you focus. Just 30 minutes of exercise every day is enough to improve your focus.

4. Breathing Exercises

You can quickly gain focus at your desk by doing breathing exercises. This will increase the flow of oxygen to your brain.

The great thing about breathing exercises is that they are simple and you can do them anywhere. A quick Google search will show you there are many different techniques you can use to boost your focus.

5. Have a Routine

A daily routine can certainly improve your focus.

When you have a routine, your mind gets used to when you do certain things. After doing the same routine for a while, it’ll recognize the times you’re working and should be focused. You can also implement tasks in your routine that will improve your focus when you need to. These tasks include exercise and eating healthy meals.

6. Be Creative

Creativity and working on something you enjoy can boost your mind power.

A great way to spend your break is to work on a side project you are passionate about. Maybe you’re trying to write a book or your enjoy painting. This creativity can stimulate your brain and carry over to the tasks you have trouble focusing on. Next time you can’t focus, work on something else that you enjoy.

7. Drink More Water and Less Alcohol

This sounds so simple there’s no way it can be true. Right?

Wrong. A study shows that people who are well hydrated have a 14 percent better reaction time and are more focused than those who aren’t hydrated. You can increase your focus just by drinking water at your desk throughout the day.

You should also cut back on the alcohol; 72 percent of people who drink four alcoholic beverages a week lost work productivity.

8. Small Steps

Are you having trouble focusing on a big task? Break it into smaller steps.

Sometimes you can get overwhelmed when you know you have to get a lot done. Use smaller steps to chip away at a larger task. You will feel accomplished by quickly getting small tasks done, and this will motivate you to keep going.

9. Meditate

Meditation is about focusing on one thing at a time.

Successful meditation involves stopping your mind from wandering so you can focus better. You can practice meditation by sitting in a quiet environment and focusing on your breath. This will calm your mind. There are many more advanced techniques you can use when you get better at the art of meditation.

10. Read an Actual Book

That’s right. Put down the Kindle and dust off a hardcover book so you can sit down and read.

Reading a book can train your brain to focus because you’re only involved in thing when you’re reading. If you’re reading on a Kindle or computer, there are plenty of distractions that can divert your attention. When you open a book and start reading, you’re only focusing on that one thing.


Improving your focus takes some practice. Use these tips to become more focused and accomplish your goals.

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About the Author

Sarah Landrum

Sarah graduated with the highest distinction from the Smeal College of Business at Penn State, and then moved to Harrisburg, PA to pursue her career in digital marketing. She has a passion for writing and founded the blog Punched Clocks as a starting point for her freelance career. In her free time, she spends as much time as possible with her fiancé and two dogs. She loves taking walks and spending time in the great outdoors. You can usually find her reading, cooking, attempting DIY projects, and binge-watching Netflix. She hopes to one day grace the pages of The Muse and Forbes. Ultimately, it is her dream to have one of her projects become ultra-successful and help business for a client take off.