Concentration Killers

Killer focus? Try and AVOID these

man concentrating on facebook instead of his unlocked prison cell

Social Media

Phones out your zoned out. Every update zaps your train of thought forcing you to backtrack when you resume work. If you resume at all

fix Avoid logging in to social media sites while you're working. Can't Resist Do it during breaks, when the steady stream of posts won't interrupt your concentration. If you can't resist logging in more frequently, take your laptop someplace where you won't have Internet access for a few hours.

a sad computer spewing its email everywhere

Email Overload

it shoots into your inbox and itches to be answered immediately. Although many emails are work-related, they still count as distractions from your current project. You won't make much progress if you constantly stop what you're doing to reply to every message.

Fix set aside specific times for that purpose. Rest of the Day shut down your email program. carve out blocks of time when you can work uninterrupted.

frustraited man on cell phone

Cell Phone

ringtone on your cell phone. It's a sound few of us can ignore time you spend talking -- it can also cut off your momentum on the task at hand.

Fix: Put caller ID to good use. not urgent let it go to voicemail intense project silence the phone, silence the temptation to answer Choose Specific Times to check voicemail Listening to all your messages at once less disruptive than taking every call as it comes in.

a mind with a lot of things swirling around it


Research suggests you lose time whenever you shift your attention from one task to another.

doing three projects simultaneously usually takes longer than doing them one after the other.

Fix Whenever possible, devote your attention to one project at a time, particularly if you're working on an intense or high-priority task. Save your multitasking skills for chores that are not urgent or demanding -- it probably won't hurt to tidy up your desk while talking on the phone.

a baby yawning a big yawn


The boring ones may burn through your attention span in minutes, making you extremely vulnerable to distractions. Your phone, the Internet, even the prospect of dusting your workspace can seem tempting if you're bored.

Fix: Make a deal with yourself: If you stay on task for a certain period of time, you earn a 10-minute break. Reward yourself with coffee, a favorite snack, or a walk outside. Boring tasks are easier to accomplish when you have something to look forward to. This is also one case where multitasking may work well. Listening to the radio while filing receipts could help you stay put long enough to finish the job

a woman in the shadow of a sunset with her head down

Nagging Thoughts

It's hard to focus on the work in front of you if you're worrying about errands Or perhaps you're hung up on a conversation you had yesterday, and you keep replaying it in your mind. Nagging thoughts of any sort can be a powerful distraction.

Fix One way to keep nagging thoughts from buzzing around in your brain is to write them down. Make a list of errands, housework, or other tasks you plan to complete later. Vent frustrations over an unpleasant confrontation in your journal. Once these thoughts are on paper, you may be able to let them go for a while.

a person so stressed from images floating around there head that they are rubbing thier temples


too much on your plate, it can be hard to focus on individual tasks. stress takes a noticeable toll on the body. You may develop tight shoulders, headaches, or a racing heart, all of which can chip away at your ability to concentrate.

Fix Learn stress reduction techniques, such as meditation. This can help you rein in stressful thoughts, so they don't demand so much of your attention. In one study, researchers found that people who took an eight-week meditation course improved their ability to focus. If you can't find a meditation class locally, look for one online.

a lady drinking some coffee with one eye almost glued shut


makes it tough to concentrate, even when you have few distractions. Studies suggest too little sleep can sap your attention span and short-term memory.

Fix Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Instead of burning the midnight oil, make sleep a priority. This will help you get more done during your waking hours. Also, pay attention to which times of day you feel most alert. Then you'll know when to schedule your most intense tasks.

a family eating at a soup kitchen


The brain can't focus without fuel, Breakfast is a top concentration killer. Research indicates short-term memory and attention suffer when you rise and shine but do not dine.

Fix Keep hunger at bay and give your brain a steady source of fuel with these habits: Always eat breakfast. Eat high-protein snacks (cheese, nuts) Skip simple carbs (sweets, white pasta) Choose complex carbs (whole grains)

a person with a line drawn down the center divided by a list of thier fears


Not just sadness but the National Institute of Mental Health says difficulty concentrating is one of the most common symptoms of depression. trouble focusing, and you also feel empty, hopeless, or indifferent, you may be experiencing depression.



Fix If you think you might be depressed, the first step is to talk with a doctor or counselor. Depression is highly treatable. Many studies have shown the effectiveness of antidepressant medications and certain types of talk therapy.

a pharmacist checking a prescription at their computer


Many Medications interfere with concentration. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to check if a medication or supplement you are taking may be affecting your concentration.

Fix If you suspect your meds are clouding your concentration, don't assume there are no other options. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your dosage or switching to a different class of medication. Do not stop taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

a man clutches his head as all his worries swirl around his head


Half of kids with ADHD continue to experience symptoms of ADHD as adults. The classic signs are a short attention span and trouble focusing on tasks.

If you have consistent trouble focusing, and you had attention problems as a child, ask a doctor or counselor about ADHD. There are ways to manage the condition, including behavioral therapy and medications.

Here a list of all the signs of Adult ADHD. They definitely suprised me