How to Increase Concentration at Work and Study

Even though we depend on it every day, concentration can be elusive, if not impossible, to take control of for many people. The ability to stay focused on a single task for more than a few seconds can often be easier said than done, especially when it’s a task we’d rather not be doing.

But life doesn’t always care whether or not we want to do something – sometimes, what needs to be done just needs to be done, plain and simple. Other times, we may genuinely want to focus on something but still find it hard to keep our heads on our shoulders and not in the clouds.

The introduction of instantly-gratifying stimulants like social media has, in a way, rewired many of our brains to look for quick and easy bursts of dopamine. Our ability to invest mental energy in things is being increasingly challenged by a world that’s benefitting immensely from mindless clicks and scrolls.

But this doesn’t necessarily have to spell trouble for our ability to pay attention, at least not if we choose to do something about it. Whether your attention problems are mild or severe, there are things you can do to start improving focus and staying on track with your goals.

Let’s take a deeper dive into what concentration is, what affects it, and what you can do to take charge of it once more.

What is Concentration?

Concentration is generally defined as the ability to stay focused on a particular task or interest. When you ignore outside distractions and devote your attention to an action, you can hone in on its intricacies and results. In psychology, this state of focus is sometimes called a “flow state.”

What Affects Concentration?

There are many reasons a person may experience difficulty concentrating, some of which may be partially outside of someone’s control. Personal factors like the following can influence cognitive abilities, including the ability to concentrate:

  • Age
  • Sleep patterns
  • Diet
  • Exercise (or lack thereof)
  • Environment

Conditions Related to Concentration

In addition to temporary factors like those listed above, some physical and mental health conditions can make it difficult to stay focused.

When this is the case, it’s important to address the underlying cause behind concentration problems. This can help keep them at bay in the future.


You may need to look no further than your medicine cabinet to find the cause behind your concentration problems. Some over-the-counter and prescription medications may cause brain fog or make it hard to stay focused. Things like painkillers and sleep aids are common culprits.


Drinking alcohol or living with the effects of doing so on a regular basis can certainly put a damper on cognitive function. Those who drink while underage may even adversely affect brain development and concentration for years to come.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, can make it challenging for a person to pay attention, organize information, and remember important details. These symptoms can make it very difficult for them to stay in touch with their surroundings.

Those with ADHD may be easily distracted or avoid tasks that require a high level of mental resources. They may also feel the urge to seek out constant stimulation to keep themselves engaged, which may, in turn, distract them from tasks.

Vision Issues

When a person has problems with their vision, they may find it hard to perform tasks at the same level as others. Not only can it be challenging to complete tasks efficiently, but it may also be difficult to devote enough mental energy to focus when so much of it is already dedicated to just understanding the sight of the task in front of them.

Cognitive Impairment

Injuries or illnesses that affect a person’s cognitive abilities can make it difficult for them to pay attention or concentrate. Depending on the root cause of cognitive impairment, medications and lifestyle changes may be useful to help improve focus and enhance cognitive abilities.

A common culprit behind many health conditions is inflammation throughout the body. One way to target cognitive impairment may be to rid your body of toxins that lead to increased levels of oxidative stress.

The Root Wellness Clean Slate detoxifying supplement is an excellent choice for anyone looking to kick environmental toxins and heavy metals to the curb. As Clean Slate travels through the body, it binds to allergens, viral and bacterial particles, and other substances that take a toll on your health.

The result is a body that’s more open and able to absorb nutrients, less inflammation, and overall boosted health and wellness.

Untreated Mental Health Conditions

When left unaddressed, conditions like depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and other mental health concerns can make it hard for a person to stay alert and focused. Research suggests that mental illnesses like depression can genuinely impact a person’s cognitive performance, whether by interfering with sleep, impacting mood, or draining a person’s mental resources over time.


head injury or concussion may impact a person’s attention span in the short term. Those who experience post-concussive syndrome may have more lasting symptoms.

Lack of Sleep

There are few things that can affect brain function quite like a lack of sleep. Sometimes, a poor sleep schedule or too little shut-eye isn’t the problem, either; disorders like sleep apnea can make it hard or impossible to get good quality rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. When we don’t get enough quality sleep, our brains can’t recharge and heal the way they need to, resulting in difficulty with cognitive tasks, focus, and more.

Using Nootropics to Boost Concentration Capacity

Our ZeroIn all-natural “nootropic” contains a blend of five adaptogens and two catalysts. It’s designed to trigger the gut to produce dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters, both of which can help boost a person’s mood and overall brain performance.

Dopamine, in particular, has been associated with better focus, stronger concentration, enhanced mental clarity, and feelings of relaxation or contentment. Our proprietary formula helps deliver oxygen to cells and boost dopamine levels, thus supporting brain health and cognitive function.

By treating your concentration concerns from the inside, Zero-In offers a unique opportunity to reshape the way you think about your ability to focus. When combined with other positive changes like a healthy sleep schedule, regular exercise, and good work practices, Zero-In can help take your focus levels to a new high.

11 Ways to Boost Concentration

If there are so many things that can potentially impact concentration, what can you do to take matters into your own hands? There may be no single answer to this question, but there are several steps you can take to improve cognitive function and stay alert as you attempt to get things done. Let’s take a closer look.

Remove Distractions

It may sound obvious, but taking steps to eliminate distractions when it’s time to get something done can make a significant difference. Constant distractions like phone calls, emails, and social media may seem to only steal your attention for a few seconds, but that can be enough to break the cycle and make it hard for you to tune back into what you’re doing.

So, silence social media notifications, put your phone away, and consider using something like background music to drown out the noise around you. Ignoring distractions can take some time and practice to get down, but with enough effort, you can become a pro at keeping your mind where you want it to be.

Stop Multitasking

While it may seem like multitasking is a great way to get a lot done in a short time, it might actually prevent you from dedicating sustained attention to each task.

In fact, it may end up taking you much longer to tick off everything on your to-do list if you try and tackle it all at once. Plus, overextending yourself is often a one-way ticket to burnout and overstimulation.

Instead of juggling multiple activities at once, focus on each specific task one at a time. You can create a list or schedule for yourself to make sure you get everything done in a reasonable timeframe if you’d like. Just make sure you stick to each item in the time you’ve allotted for it.

Practicing this sort of technique can help you improve concentration and keep distractions to a minimum, which will likely help you achieve your goal of getting things done efficiently and quickly.

Establish a Work Space

A space that has all you need to work and is separate from other areas of your home or office can help signal to your brain that it’s time to focus. Plus, it also helps you avoid needing to constantly bounce from place to place as you work through your daily tasks.

It’s beneficial to ensure that your work space is somewhere you actually want to work, too. Make it comfortable and functional to create a positive association between focus and its rewards.

An ideal setup is usually in a private room or somewhere closed off to outside distractions, but even in open or busy office spaces, creating a corner or even a desk space that’s your own can be enough to help.

Increase Sleep

Make sure you get enough sleep each night to protect your cognitive abilities and keep your mind in tip-top shape.

You can help improve sleep quality levels by maintaining a regular sleep schedule, unplugging from electronic devices for at least an hour before bed, and keeping your bedroom space reserved for sleep rather than activities like social media or television.

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can train your brain and keep you focused on the present instead of on distractions. Whether via mindfulness meditation, journaling, deep breathing, or another technique, practicing getting in touch with your senses can help bring you back to reality.

Get Outside

Spending some time in the green space around you is an easy way to focus on improving concentration and limiting stress. Studies show that spending time outside increases focus and attention while also boosting your mood.

Listen to Music

Not everyone finds it easy to stay focused and productive in a silent environment. Some people prefer soft music, nature sounds, or white noise to help block outside noise as they work.

Try listening to your favorite tunes or putting on something gentle and ambient to help keep your mind locked in on what you’re doing.

Train Your Brain

Brain training exercises like word puzzles, memory games, and other tasks can help boost your problem-solving skills, improve memory, and more.

Cognitive training works much like training a muscle; the more you use and do it, the more you can reap the benefits from it. You can build strong neural pathways for your brain to utilize as you get things done by spending time on similar activities.

Think of brain training as creating a path in a dense, thickly-vegetated jungle. The first few hours of trying to navigate it can be tricky as you slash away at heavy greenery and wander in the darkness.

But, over time, your path begins to become more defined and easier to follow. Eventually, you’ll have created a clear walkway that leads you to your destination: improved focus and better cognitive functioning.


Working some physical activity into your day can help you expel excess energy, reduce stress, and overall boost your ability to concentrate. Aerobic exercise in particular is a great way to get your blood and heart pumping, thus improving cognitive function.

Eat Healthy

A diet that’s full of too much sugar and processed foods lacking in nutrition can leave your energy levels fluctuating wildly throughout the day. This isn’t helpful for your concentration, especially when coupled with other factors like too little sleep.

Plus, experts believe that a well-rounded diet that contains enough vitamins and macronutrients can help boost cognitive function overall. There may be a link between a nutrient-dense diet and better focus, mood, and overall quality of life.

Of course, this isn’t to say that you need to cut all “junk” food out of your life. It simply means that practicing moderation in what you eat can make a huge difference in your ability to concentrate.

Use a Timer

A great way to teach yourself to stay organized and focused is by setting a time limit to complete a task. This allows you to focus on just one task or goal at a time while also holding you to some level of accountability.

Say you’ve been asked to complete a presentation by the end of the work day for review by your supervisor. You might initially feel overwhelmed by the task and try to procrastinate as a result. Or, you may find yourself constantly distracted by simpler actions like checking your Facebook timeline.

To make things easier for yourself, you might instead take a moment to write down each of the steps you need to take to complete the task. Maybe you first need to outline your notes, then create the presentation, then add multimedia features, and finally review it for submission.

By assigning a time limit to each task (perhaps an hour for each one), you can allow yourself to worry just about a primary focus within each time window. This takes some of the pressure of keeping things straight off your shoulders, which in turn can make it much easier to focus and feel confident.

After all, tackling four one-hour-long actions usually feels a lot more approachable than one four-hour-long task. You can even build a short break into your plans to give yourself something rewarding to work toward.