Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
THE INABILITY TO FOCUS AND CONCENTRATE IN ADULTS
Business success depends on many factors, including your mental status. A lack of focus could get in the way of you reaching your full potential and accomplishing your career goals. Fortunately, you can quickly determine if your level of focus is helping or hindering you and take steps to improve your concentration if needed. Read on to learn more about the warning signs and find out how to improve focus and concentration.
SIGNS OF AN INABILITY TO FOCUS AND CONCENTRATE IN ADULTS
An inability to focus and concentrate may show itself in adults in many ways. If any of the following sounds like you, there's a chance you're struggling with focus and concentration:
- You forget things almost immediately after they happen and require frequent reminders.
- You frequently fidget or change positions in your chair when sitting for an extended period.
- You find it hard to sort through your thoughts.
- You often misplace things.
- You struggle to make quick decisions.
- You quickly become frustrated and distracted when performing challenging tasks.
- You get physically or mentally exhausted when performing complex tasks.
- You frequently make simple mistakes at work.
- You turn work in at the last possible moment or frequently miss deadlines.
WHAT CAUSES PROBLEMS WITH FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION?
Many things can lead to problems with focus and concentration, such as:
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders
- Poor sleep or a lack of sleep
- Feelings of hunger
- High levels of stress
- Restless leg syndrome
- Neurological disorders
- Some prescription medications
- Poor working environment filled with distractions
CONSEQUENCES OF LACK OF FOCUS IN BUSINESS
A lack of focus can be especially damaging in business. Struggling to maintain focus can lead to the following consequences:
- Negative perceptions. If you are forgetful or make mistakes frequently, your supervisor and coworkers may get the impression that you don't care about your work and aren't committed to the team's success.
- Poor productivity and work quality. An inability to concentrate can make your productivity suffer. In addition, the quality of your work may be much lower than that of your peers.
- Reduced responsibilities and demotions. Frequent errors and missed deadlines could result in reduced responsibilities and even potential demotions.
- Lack of opportunities. You may be passed over for promotions or kept off of teams responsible for important projects.
- Increased stress. Simply concentrating to perform tasks can dramatically increase stress levels if you suffer from a lack of focus. Stress can negatively impact your health by lowering your immunity, interfering with your sleep, and even causing digestive issues.
SUPPORTING MENTAL PERFORMANCE WITH NOOTROPIC SUPPLEMENTS FOR FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION
Nootropic supplements may provide a solution for lack of focus and an inability to concentrate. These supplements contain herbal extracts and other ingredients that may positively impact the mind. Although more research is needed to prove their effectiveness, there is anecdotal and early clinical evidence that the right ones can enhance focus and concentration for some individuals.
BEST SUPPLEMENTS FOR FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION
Some of the best nootropics for focus and concentration include:
- Caffeine. Found in coffee, tea and chocolate, this natural substance acts as a stimulant, energizing the nervous system. As a result, it may curb feelings of fatigue and increase your level of alertness so that you can better concentrate.
- Antioxidants. These nutrients found in many foods and drinks like wine, grapes, and blueberries have been shown to neutralize harmful particles in the environment called free radicals. Numerous studies have confirmed that free radicals can cause oxidative damage to brain cells. Over time, these effects could interfere with brain function. Because they break down free radicals, antioxidants may protect brain cells to help your mind function at its best as you age.
- Cocoa bean. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, cocoa beans contain a natural chemical called theobromine. Studies have found that the substance may help to enhance blood flow to the brain and, in turn, could increase concentration and focus.
- Arjuna. An Ayurvedic herb, arjuna has been used for centuries to support brain health and function. Early research suggests that the herb may enhance circulation and provide antioxidant protection.
- Fish oils. These supplements derived from fish are rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to play an important role in brain function.
TIPS FOR USING NOOTROPICS FOR CONCENTRATION AND FOCUS
Follow these tips to make the most of nootropic supplements:
- Talk to your medical provider before taking any new supplement.
- Follow the directions for use provided by the manufacturer.
- Allow several weeks to see results, as most products don't lead to changes overnight.
- Complement the actions of nootropics with work behavior changes, such as keeping your phone off your desktop or wearing headphones to block out noise.