We all do it – there are times of the day when we just can’t keep our concentration on the job in hand, no matter how hard we try. Most of the time this may not be vital but there are certain occupations and activities that certainly do need 100% mental alertness and concentration.

The good news is that there are a number of things we can do to help ourselves stay sharp, and they’re all pretty easy to achieve.

Give your brain a workout

They say you should look at your brain as a muscle and, like any muscle, the more you work it the stronger it will become. The analogy also goes deeper than this because, just like exercise, if you always follow the same routines your body and your brain become used to them and the benefits from doing them gradually decline. So what is especially effective is challenging yourself to learn new skills. This may be taking up a musical instrument, learning a language or trying to crack cryptic crossword puzzles.

brain workout

Get plenty of exercise

Of the many tips about how to improve your focus getting enough actual physical exercise is also a key way to improve your focus. This is because if you’re fit and active you’ll not only feel better and more confident generally it also produces endorphins which most people have heard of as well as catecholamine’s which may be new to you. These are a special kind of neurotransmitter that help to aid concentration.

excercise

Sleep well 

If you have a regular sleep pattern at night it’s also going to help you be more alert in the day. So getting enough exercise is going to help with this, as well as creating the right atmosphere in your bedroom. That means having a comfortable mattress, possibly fitting blackout curtains or blinds and banishing phones or tablets to create a haven of calm.

sleep

Eat right, drink less

For a long time we’ve known that there’s a direct link between nutrition and mental acuity. For example eating fish really is good for the brain as the omega-3 oils found in salmon, mackerel and tuna help more cells to grow.

The correct diet is essential. That’s why experts in every field, from doctors to poker pros have plenty of advice to give about what to eat and what to avoid in order to keep your mind alert.

Having a good breakfast is essential because it provides energy just when we need it most after a period of food deprivation with boiled eggs, wheat bran and coffee being particularly beneficial. Then eating well and regularly through the day will keep those mental energy levels up and synapses firing. Unsurprisingly, alcohol is best avoided if you want to ensure maximum alertness with plenty of water instead to keep the brain well hydrated.

healthy eating

Taken together these tips should be all you need to keep focused all day long but if there’s room for just one of them in your life then giving your brain regular workouts could well be the most effective. It might be a challenge at first but, like everything, it’s sure to get easier over time and it’s also sure to benefit every single area of your life.