6 Super Simple Tips To Help Your Mind Focus Better — So You Can Actually Get Work Done

Real talk: you have to want to focus.

woman focused on her work GaudiLab via Canva

Do you have trouble keeping your mind on one thing? Do you easily get distracted by social media? Do you wish you could stop procrastinating?

Your problem is a lack of focus and willpower but don't worry — the ability to focus on a single task can be trained, developed, and sharpened to eliminate distractions and increase productivity.

Let's break down how to focus better, for longer periods, without your mind wandering, so you can get things done.


RELATED: The 20-Second Psychological Test That Shows How Well You Focus

What is Focus And Why Do You Need It?

Focus enables you to give complete attention to a task while maintaining situational awareness. If you can focus, you gain an incredible advantage over most people.

In a world of endless distractions, the person who can fix their attention on one thing for the longest amount of time will leave everyone else in the dust.

When you see people with their eyes constantly glued to their smartphones and distracted by social media, it may seem like a problem of modern culture, but people have always had things distracting them. Yes, technology increases the efficacy and efficiency of those distractions, but they have always existed.


Furthermore, people have always sought them out. Whether watching TV, making pointless phone calls, or drinking excessively, people have always found a way to waste time.

This ruins your ability to concentrate.

This is why there have always been methods, systems, and secrets devoted to teaching people how to focus better, concentrate, and resist the world's distractions.

Here's Why You Can't Concentrate

You lack focus because you don’t want to focus.

That statement may shock you. After all, people always complain about not being able to focus. Why would they complain if this was the case?

People forget that focus is all-consuming and singular and does not give them the luxury of entertaining other things. They want to be able to play on their smartphones, listen to music, and browse the internet–all while getting meaningful work done.


You can't check things off your to-do list if you're constantly checking Twitter. You can't be productive if you take a 5-minute break every 10 minutes. It simply doesn’t work that way.

Focus requires you to concentrate on one thing at a time. This may initially be uncomfortable.

We may be able to focus, but our brains also evolved to seek novelty. For many of us, the focus is boring, and we hate to be bored.

This is why you lack focus:

  • You want it to be fun.
  • You want it to be easy.
  • You want it to be comfortable.

It wouldn’t be so challenging and valuable if it were any of that stuff.

If you’re willing to push yourself and suffer a little, I have a few tips on how to improve your focus to accomplish anything you want.


RELATED: 14 Habits That Make You More Focused Than 98% Of People

6 Tips To Improve Your Focus Fast

1. Eliminate distractions and wastes of time.

According to Ron Webb, an American Productivity and Quality Center executive director, focus requires understanding what is worthy of distraction. “Success comes down to embedding that focus into the flow of how you work,” he says.

A clutter-free environment makes it easier to focus. I learned this lesson in college.

Homework problems were extremely difficult and time-consuming. My mechanics and electromagnetism work always made me want to distract myself. Whenever I felt uncomfortable–which was quite often–I was tempted to browse social media or take another 10-minute break.


distraction tips

If I let myself, then I could easily be distracted by anything. Even worse, I could devise compelling reasons for doing other things. My solution to this was simple:

  • I turned my phone off. Airplane mode wasn't good enough because I have a few apps that don't require the internet to distract me.
  • I disconnected my computer from the internet. If you’re doing work that requires you to be connected to the internet, this may not be feasible, but at least disconnect from social media.
  • I worked in a clutter-free area. Clutter is mentally distracting. It also provides a convenient way out of work if you decide that you want to clean instead of work.
  • I made sure I had a glass of water and a snack. It doesn't really matter what the snack is. What matters is that you have something you don't waste time getting up to eat or drink.
  • Before I started working, I used the bathroom. This one is obvious. Nothing destroys your ability to focus like having to pee.

You can adapt this process to your focus challenge, but the idea remains the same: remove distractions.

2. Know the most important task to focus on.

You will always have trouble focusing if you don’t know what you need to focus on.


One of the best examples of this can be found in the Poker Hall of Famer Phil Ivey.

Phil Ivey’s concentration on poker is so great that he doesn't notice when cocktail waitresses come to the table.

Most poker players look away and catch a glimpse of an attractive woman walking by, but not Phil. He is completely absorbed in the game.

He is concentrating on the entire game of poker. To aid in this concentration, he sometimes wears headphones. There doesn't even need to be music playing in the headphones for this to work.

Merely putting them on triggers you to focus.

RELATED: 15 Habits Of Highly Productive People

3. Meditation improves your concentration.

The more time you spend concentrating, the less effort it takes to do so.


Meditation is a powerful tool for helping you stay focused. Meditation changes the brain's structure, making it easier for us to be present and focus more intensely on pressing tasks.

​Researchers at the University of Columbia Medical Center say that meditation can:

  • Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve memory and attention span
  • Build a stronger immune system and greater physical/psychological resilience
  • Allows better sleep in less time

All of these things make it easier for you to stay focused and concentrate more easily.

There are generally three types of meditation:

  • Mindfulness. You focus on your breathing and let the thoughts pass through your mind.
  • Concentrative. You focus on a particular idea or point and resist all other intruding thoughts.
  • Moving. Think of Tai Chi or Yoga. Activities that force you to stay present on the movement, with no other distractions, so your mind is free.

Of these types of meditation, mindfulness is the most effective at increasing your ability to focus.


meditation types

Mindfulness meditation directly affects the amygdala. Research has found that with meditation, the amygdala — the area of the brain that responds to stress — becomes more controlled and better regulated.

4. Read Franz Bardon's books, especially "Initiation To The Hermetics."

When I was a teenager, I stumbled upon an interesting book called "Initiation to The Hermetics."

You don’t need to know hermetic science to use the book. You don’t even really need to care. However, you should keep an open mind for the next few sentences, and I promise you that you’ll come away with a powerful tool for improving your concentration.


"Initiation to The Hermetics" provides a set of exercises to strengthen your mind, body, and emotions so that you are fully prepared to practice ritual magic. Whether you believe in magic or think it's possible is irrelevant.

What is relevant is that the exercises in the book do an exceptional job of improving your ability to focus.

You learn how to properly meditate, focus on one thing, visualize, and turn your mind into a highly functional weapon. These exercises aren’t difficult, per se, but you will quickly realize the weakness of your ability to focus on one thing.



RELATED: 13 Signs Your Life Is A Hot Mess — And How To Get It Together


5. Learn how to visualize.

People often talk about using visualization to increase their chances of success.

There is no shortage of successful celebrities who praise the power of visualization and how it helped them achieve their goals. However, you rarely hear people discuss visualization as enhancing focus and concentration ability.

That’s unfortunate because it’s one of the most potent ways to improve your concentration and ability to stay focused. This is because visualization trains your mind on what to see and focus on — due to something called the reticular activating system (RAS).​

The RAS ensures that our brain doesn’t have to deal with more information than it can handle. It determines what sensory information we’ll receive and process and which we’ll ignore.


For all intents and purposes, the reticular activating system is a filtering system for reality. The system notices what it believes to be important. It decides what’s important by what you visualize.

If you visualize having an easy time on an upcoming math exam, you’ll see the solutions more easily. If you visualize having a best-selling book, it’ll be easier to focus when you sit down to write the 2,000 words per day necessary to achieve that goal.

A bonus to training the reticular activating system is that it might make you some extra money.

6. Deep breaths energize your brain.

No matter what the discipline, I have found that taking deep breaths keeps your mind steady.


Deep breaths keep you composed, relaxed, and, most importantly, focused.

Researchers have found a direct link between your ability to focus and the quality of your breathing.

According to the study, the locus coeruleus (LC) has established functions in both attention and respiration. Good attentional performance requires optimal levels of tonic LC activity and must be matched to task consistently. LC neurons are chemosensitive, causing respiratory phrenic nerve firing to increase the frequency with higher CO2 levels, and as CO2 level varies with the phase of respiration, tonic LC activity should exhibit fluctuations at respiratory frequency.


The locus coeruleus is a part of the brain involved in modulating norepinephrine production during times of stress.

When you’re stressed out or overwhelmed, you produce too much norepinephrine, making it difficult to focus. On the other end of the spectrum, when you’re feeling lazy or lethargic, you don’t produce enough, making it difficult to focus.

An optimal amount of production leads to optimal focus. This is accomplished by deep breathing​.

The research shows for the first time that breathing — an essential element of meditation and mindfulness practices — directly affects the levels of a natural chemical messenger in the brain called noradrenaline.


This chemical messenger is released when we are challenged, curious, exercised, focused, or emotionally aroused, and, if produced at the right levels, helps the brain grow new connections, like a brain fertilizer.

How we breathe, in other words, directly affects the chemistry of our brains in a way that can enhance our attention and improve our brain health.

This is important because when you lose your composure or become flustered, you lose your concentration more quickly. This will, in turn, increase the possibility of failure.

Put your mind on your breathing. Try to consciously breathe more slowly with increasing depth and control.

Successful people use these methods to eliminate distractions, do more work in less time, overcome a lack of sleep, and increase productivity.


The rest is up to you.

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Ed Latimore is a retired American professional boxer, influencer, and best-selling author. His work focuses on self-improvement and a practical approach to stoic philosophy.