How to Keep Distractions to a Minimum
Updated: Jun 9
Do you find it more and more difficult to stay focused these days? It’s not just you! There are so many things we are introducing into our homes that increase the likelihood of being distracted. From the television, to computers, to smartphones and everything in between, it's becoming harder to stay on track and on task.
This is even more prevalent as we age. The executive center of the brain gets bogged down and unable to sort out distractions. And while many feel that stutters in concentration or focus may be early signs of Alzheimer’s, it's not necessarily the case. Below are just a few tips and strategies to aid against distraction:
Prioritize Your Sleep
Sleeping well and on a regular schedule is one of the strongest steps you can take in the battle against distraction. Moreover, keeping a regular and healthy sleep routine will help your mind and body in almost every facet of your health.
When it comes to concentration, sleep is where the brain can sort through the day’s memories and determine what can go and what needs to stay. Additionally, sleep is where memories and experiences are placed into their correct “folders”, as it were. Having your mind well rested and memories put into their correct place helps keep the mind sharp and avoid distractions.
Keep Stressors in Check
There are only so many resources available for your brain and its processes. It’s important that stressors, anxiety, and depressive thoughts are kept in check and not allowed to take up too much of your brainpower. When possible, look for alternative medications if they create too much brain fog or inhibit clear thinking. Be sure to wear your glasses and hearing aids and not over exert your senses.
If there are serious stressors in your life that are affecting your concentration, seek help and try to catalog them in a manner that doesn’t have you constantly ruminating and worrying about them.
Get Up and Get Moving
Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, can have amazing effects on your cardiovascular system and this, in turn, helps get more oxygen to the brain. Regular exercise has also been shown to enhance neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change its connections) and also help defend against neurodegeneration (loss of function in neurons).
Without exercise, the brain might begin to lose neurons related to specific movements and activities. This could potentially lead to more feelings of “brain fog” or even irritability.
If going outside for a run isn’t quite an option, there are plenty of activities that can still offer amazing benefits. Stretching is another healthy habit that one can incorporate into their daily routine that not only limbers the body and helps in fall prevention, but helps to keep the mind and body connection strong.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Distractions
One of the best tips to reduce distractability is to get rid of all the things that distract! It may seem like a simple tip, but most of us hardly realize how many things we allow into our daily lives that get us off track and keep us distracted.
Go through your phone and apps and turn off any notifications for things that simply aren’t that important. These days it seems like every single app or program demands our attention with pings and dings and once we’ve opened the app, they’ve got you! Keep notifications on for calls from loved ones, and any other important apps critical to your well-being.
Also, don’t fall for the multitasking myths! Sure, listening to music while you clean the house is fine, but trying to hold deep conversations on the phone while cooking is a recipe for a neglected conversation, or worse, a bad meal.