Poor concentration is a common problem these days. A problem that can arise due to various causes and occupies many people. People, adults and children, who cannot achieve their best performance at work or at school due to lack of concentration.
Exactly for the people who want to increase their concentration and are looking for the solution, we have written this article. To help you with this, we have first explained the causes of poor concentration in children and adults. After that, we have listed the best tips and tricks that can be of immense help in increasing your concentration.
the essentials in brief
- Poor concentration is a well-known phenomenon in our society. It can occur in adults as well as in children and newborns. However, the causes can differ from person to person.
- As already mentioned, the causes of a lack of concentration can be very different. It can be due to diet, too little sleep, overwork, few breaks and other issues. Of course, an illness or attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity can also be the cause.
- In order to counteract the lack of concentration and to increase concentration in the short or long term, there are a variety of tips and tricks that can be used. A balanced diet, medication, lots of exercise and brain jogging are just a few of them.
Background: What you should know about concentration
In the following we will show you what causes poor concentration in children and adults and how you can increase your concentration in the short and long term.
Why do you have a lack of concentration at all?
Now we will first explain how a lack of concentration comes about and to what extent the causes of a lack of concentration in children and adults differ.
What are the causes of poor concentration in children?
There are a variety of reasons that can cause a child to have trouble concentrating. We distinguish between external influences and internal problems that lead to a lack of concentration in the child.
External influences include, for example, unrest at the workplace due to distracting noises, disorder, which can also lead to a lack of work materials and an uncomfortable atmosphere for the child.
Internal problems are, for example, fears or a poor, unbalanced diet. Furthermore, the child can also suffer from overtiredness, since on the one hand it sleeps too little and on the other hand it takes too few breaks. Finally, they may be overwhelmed, pressed for time, or have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
What are the causes of poor concentration in adults?
In adults, the causes of a concentration disorder are similar to those in children. External as well as internal factors can also lead to a lack of concentration in them, although the external influences are the same.
Internal problems in adults are, for example, physical stress in situations where they are overwhelmed, little sleep, a poor and unbalanced diet and ADHD. However, there are also disruptive factors that are similar to those of children.
Disruptive factors that mainly occur in adults are dementia, lack of exercise and alcohol withdrawal. In these three cases, it can lead to a lack of concentration in an adult.
To be efficient at work, you should take enough breaks, get enough sleep, and eat a balanced diet. (Image source: Florencia Viadana / unsplash)
How can the lack of concentration be corrected?
This chapter shows how you can increase your concentration in the short term or in the long term if you have difficulty concentrating.
How can concentration be increased in the short term?
In order to increase concentration in the short term, there are different but few options. One option is a caffeine replenishment with coffee or tea. (1) Another option is to take a short break and maybe go for a short walk. We will explain in more detail later in the tips and tricks how you should best take breaks and what impact this can have on you.
How can concentration be increased in the long term?
If you are currently suffering from a lack of concentration and want to avoid it in the long term, then you have to change your lifestyle completely or adapt it a bit.
In the future you have to make sure that you pay attention to your diet on the one hand and your sleep on the other. A balanced diet and enough sleep are of immense importance for your concentration.
Furthermore, you should set yourself clear goals, clear deadlines and then focus on those tasks that have top priority. In addition to that, you should also be on the move a lot, doing sports and brain jogging.
However, if you have a lack of concentration due to an illness or ADHD, you have to counteract this with medication. We will explain all these tips and tricks to you in more detail later.
Increase concentration: The best tips & tricks for increasing concentration
In the following we will go into the most important tips and tricks for you to increase concentration. We deal with the following topics:
- Increase concentration with medication
- Increase concentration with food
- Enough sleep
- Brain jogging
- focus on a task
- Sufficient breaks
After going through these points carefully, you should have extensive knowledge of how to reduce or eliminate your lack of concentration.
Of course, you have to see individually which tip you are not following and which you are.
This means that if you are already doing enough sport, too little exercise is not the cause of your lack of concentration, but perhaps your unbalanced diet.
Increase concentration with medication
If you have concentration problems due to an illness or because you have ADHD, you have to take medication that increases your concentration again. We will now only address the issue of people with ADHD, because with other diseases, the whole thing should be considered by a doctor and we can only present facts about people with ADHD.
A person with ADHD is eligible to take Ritalin. Ritalin is used to help people with ADHD focus better and increase alertness. In this way, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity can be counteracted. (2.3)
The important thing here is that you only take Ritalin if you have ADHD and get a prescription from your doctor. Nowadays, it is becoming more and more common for healthy people to abuse Ritalin in order to work or study better and longer. However, Ritalin abuse can lead to side effects such as headaches. So avoid abusing Ritalin. (2)
Increase concentration with food
Here we specifically address foods that have a positive influence on human concentration. We have listed these for you below.
|Water||Since the brain consists of 80% water, it is necessary that you drink two to three liters of water every day. (4)|
|Omega 3 fatty acids||Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids found in fish and nuts. These are important for brain performance. (5)|
|vegetables and fruit||The main thing here is that you take vitamins that support your concentration.|
|carbohydrates||Carbohydrates are one of the most important sources of energy for humans. The energy supply allows you to concentrate better. (6) Whole grain products and oatmeal are recommended.|
This is a brief overview of the most important foods that can increase your concentration. Of course, you also have to make sure that your diet is balanced and not one-sided.
Getting enough sleep is a very important issue when it comes to concentration. If you have a sleep disorder or simply don’t get enough sleep, it can have a huge impact on your concentration. This is of course due to the tiredness that arises during the day. (7)
In most cases, the talk is always that around eight hours of sleep is perfect for everyone. However, you have to find out your individual and optimal sleep duration yourself. The suggestion is: go to bed three days in a row when you're tired and wake up without an alarm clock. Then the average sleep time should represent your optimal sleep time. This experiment is best done during the holidays because you can decide when you go to bed and when you get up. (7)
Exercise and sports are not only good for losing weight, but also for increasing concentration. In 2003, a study was conducted in which students were able to move around during class.
The result was the following: The students exceeded the maximum values of a normal lesson by 6 percent. The students were more concentrated and attentive than ever before. Sport and exercise are therefore positively related to concentration. (8th)
We therefore recommend that you do a lot of sport and keep moving. Go to the gym in the evening, go jogging or be part of a sports club and make good use of your breaks at work for this. You can easily take a short walk or run up and down the stairs during the 15-minute break.
Use your breaks to get some exercise. Go and exercise often in your free time. This will help your concentration. (Image Source: Bruce Mars / unsplash)
Brain jogging means training your own brain to strengthen your concentration. There are different ways you can train your brain. Here we have listed some training sessions for you:
|memory training||Here you can train your memory in a playful way. In this way you can promote and improve your memory.|
|brain teasers||As you can see, brain teasers are actually puzzles that you can solve by thinking. An example of this is the Sudoku.|
|picture puzzle||Picture puzzles are a subcategory of mind puzzles. These are brain teasers with pictures only that you can solve.|
With this training you have the opportunity to stimulate your brain in a playful and fun way and thus improve your concentration. Of course you can solve the puzzles that you enjoy the most, but we recommend that you try out any training so that your brain can benefit from the diverse training.
focus on a task
Multitasking causes your concentration to drop due to distractions.
By focusing on a task, you can fully concentrate on it without being distracted by other tasks. We therefore recommend that you avoid multitasking activities as much as possible. For example, put away your cell phone when you are at work.
In order to successfully implement this tip, we recommend that you set clear goals and deadlines for your tasks. This gives you a precise plan of what needs to be done by when and you can prioritize your tasks. So you only concentrate on the essentials.
The last trick and tip we recommend is to take enough breaks during your work. As you always did in school, try to take a short break after 45 to 60 minutes of work. This causes you to be alert and refreshed again after the break. This is how you will be most productive.
Especially if you are motivated to work, you should make sure that you take a break. In such situations, breaks are often forgotten, even though your body needs them. Our concentration decreases after 70 minutes of productive work at the latest, and the body automatically switches to a 20-minute rest. It is at this point that you should take a break. (9)
Another well-known pause technique is the Pomodoro technique. This works as follows. A Pomodoro session consists of 25 minutes of work and a 5-minute break. The unit is carried out four times in a row. (10) After the fourth session you must take a break of 20 to 30 minutes. With this technique you work for a short time between breaks, but very productively.
Increasing concentration is a goal that many people are pursuing these days. Due to lack of concentration, children and adults cannot work efficiently and achieve their goals. The cause of a lack of concentration can be very different. Maybe it's the lack of sleep, maybe it's the poor diet, or even an illness.
However, to counteract these causes, there are a variety of tips and tricks that can be used. If you are a person with ADHD, you can take Ritalin. If you don't move much at work, you can do sports in the evening. If your diet is rather unhealthy and unbalanced, you need to change your diet. It is important that you do not have to use all the tips and tricks, but that you have to decide for yourself which tips and tricks you are currently not following and then implement them.
- K. Mehner (2020): Caffeine
- Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2017). "Brain doping" - learning made easy with pills?
- W Stangl (2005). Ritalin and ADHD from a psychological point of view
- T. Elbert & B. Rockstroh (1990): The blood-brain barrier
- C von Schacky (2015). Omega-3 fatty acids in sports
- C Mannhart & P Colombani (2001). Basics of sports nutrition - the fundamental importance of energy, macronutrient and hydration intake
- J Wrede (2020). What is the optimal sleep duration?
- D Leyk, P Wamser (2003). Influence of sport and exercise on concentration and attention: Effects of "moving teaching" in everyday school life.
- A Frobeen (2020). At work: breaks promote performance
- T Chatfield (2013). Attention, distraction, distraction