Focusing on tasks we would sooner forget is challenging, yet may certain medical conditions can worsen our attention spans and concentration. ADD/ADHD is one of the most common medical conditions impacting an individual's ability to focus on tasks. While this condition is common, not everyone who loses focus has ADD/ADHD or another serious medical condition. Sometimes, a lack of sleep, stress, and other circumstances can decrease our focus and attention. If you find it difficult to focus, try the following solutions before scheduling an appointment with your healthcare provider. These solutions could very well provide the relief you need.
Common Reasons You Can't Focus
It can be hard to focus if you're affected by certain medical conditions. Always get an examination and proper diagnosis from your healthcare provider if you suspect a medical problem is the cause of your lack of focus.
Medical conditions which may cause you to lose focus include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Alcohol use
- Drug use
Lifestyle factors that may also lead to difficulty focusing include:
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of exercise
- Relationship problems
- Familial problems
A combination of factors can contribute to your inability to focus. Keep in mind this list is not inclusive and other lifestyle factors or medical conditions may cause or contribute to your inability to focus.
Symptoms of a Lack of Focus
Everyone feels the effects of lack of focus uniquely. Some common symptoms include:
- being unable to remember things that occurred a short time ago
- inability to sit still
- trouble thinking clearly
- difficulty remembering where things are
- inability to make decisions
- lack of focus on tasks
- Lack of mental energy
- making careless mistakes
It may be harder to concentrate at certain times of the day or during certain situations. People may comment that you seem distracted or 'out of it' when you lack focus. It can even cause you to miss work or important appointments and meetings.
How to Get Back Your Focus
If lack of focus has caused trouble in your daily life, try out one or two of the following solutions. Most people say the solutions help them refocus and sharpen their minds.
Scale Back Your Lifestyle
If lack of sleep or stress is the cause of the problem, it can benefit you greatly to scale back your lifestyle and the number of activities you involve yourself with. Work and some activities are non-negotiable, so cutting out some extracurricular activities may be necessary. Devote this time to sleep, meditation, or other relaxing activities.
Keep Your Brain Active
Just like other organs in your body, the brain needs to be used or it will not work like it once did. Keep your brain active by regularly completing puzzles or other tasks requiring thought and attention.
Create a Schedule
A consistent schedule from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep is beneficial in helping you stay focused on specific tasks as they become necessary.
Avoid Drugs & Alcohol
Drugs and alcohol may contribute to a person's inability to focus. This includes marijuana. If you consume alcohol, drugs, or marijuana, cut them out of your life. This almost immediately impacts your ability to focus.
Caffeine can also contribute to brain fog and an inability to concentrate. Cut out coffee, cola, and other sources of caffeine from your diet to refocus and clear the brain fog you experience. If you cannot completely cut out caffeine, limit your consumption to just one 8-oz. Cup per day.
Staying focused on boring activities or tasks you would rather not do at all is made more difficult by distractions that take your attention. Remove distractions so you can focus where you should without temptations standing in the way.
Take Small Breaks
Making careless mistakes is a sign that our brain needs time to recharge. Take a short break from your current activity to refocus if you start making careless mistakes or when focusing becomes difficult.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week and two additional days of muscle-strengthening activities. Moving around keeps your heart healthy and your brain active, lessening the occurrences of brain fog, forgetfulness, and lack of focus.
Try Focus Supplements and Products
Myriad supplements, vitamins, drinks, and even gummies sold online and at health stores nationwide promise to improve focus and other bodily functions. Some products work; others do not. Research products before purchase. Ensure the product provides key ingredients which benefit your brain, like LifeAid drinks, so you are not wasting money on gimmick products.
Train your Brain to Refocus
We can usually tell when we are distracted or lose focus on the activity at hand. You can train your brain to refocus when you find yourself losing focus. You've already conquered the first step -realizing that you are not focusing. Now, try the following solutions to help refocus your brain:
- Learn box breathing. Utilize box breathing when you feel that you are not focused.
- Learn meditation. Not only can meditation help you become an extremely focused individual, but it can also help improve many other medical conditions, including anxiety.
- Eat nutritious foods. You are what you eat. A lack of nutrients in your diet can impact energy levels, mood, and even how well you focus on tasks. Consider changing your diet if you cannot focus.
- Reduce multitasking. SomeMultitasking may also be the culprit of your problem. Eliminate multitasking and watch how well your mind refocuses.
- Get more sleep. Adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. failing to get the proper amount of sleep can impact concentration, focus, memory, and many other aspects of the body and mind.
Schedule a Doctor's Appointment
When all else fails or if symptoms suggest a medical problem, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your healthcare professional can perform examinations and test for conditions that could cause the symptoms you experience. Treatments for medical conditions are also available from your doctor, which may include prescription medications and/or lifestyle changes.