What were you doing when this article caught your eye? Chances are, you were having trouble concentrating on another project.
Even before COVID-19, balancing your work, family, and social life made concentrating a challenge. These days, it can seem downright impossible.
Don’t let a little bad news—or good fun—break your focus. Here are eight reasons why you might have trouble concentrating, each with its own solution for getting back on track:
1. Digital Distractions
Right now, do a little experiment. Pull up at your browser history, hit Ctrl+H, and see where you’ve been all day. Frightening, right?
You jumped in and out of email. You bounced from social media to digital publication and back again. Oh, and look at those half-dozen retail sites you scrolled through looking for a new pair of shoes. Then, there’s your smartphone. Every few seconds, you get a new notification from Twitter, Instagram, or CNN. Each time, your eyes dart from your computer screen to your phone. You’d hate to miss something, right?
The Fix: Schedule Your Day
Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, you can put together a daily schedule. While a little flexibility is important, you should set aside blocks of time for tasks you know you’ll need to complete.
Schedule time to:
- read and respond to work emails;
- make headway on your top two or three work projects;
- engage in professional development;
- do household chores;
- help the kids with homework;
- and run that Zoom tutorial with your partner again.
Those gaps in between? Those are buffer times. Everyone needs to unwind with a good distraction now and again. The key is controlling when you do so, rather than letting it control you.
2. Daydreams and Memories
Remember that little café where your spouse proposed to you 15 years ago? Wouldn’t your dining room look great with the same little tables and subway tile on the floor?
Everyone loses themselves in daydreams and memories sometimes. Your mind wanders to the future or the past because those places are more pleasant than the spreadsheet you’re struggling to fill out. This causes you to have trouble concentrating on what you need to focus on. Nonetheless, you have a deadline to meet. So, how can you keep yourself focused?
The Fix: Stay in the Present
Daydreaming isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Imagination can provide a spark of creative genius or visualization of what you want in life. You just need to do it when it makes sense, not when you should be focusing on work.
Stay in the present by keeping your daily to-do list on your desk. When your mind starts to drift, pull yourself back to what’s right in front of you. Ground yourself by focusing on something real, like your breath, before turning your attention back to the task at hand.
With that said, make time to let your mind wander on occasion. Allow yourself the luxury of dreaming when it’s not pulling you away from something you need to get done.
Nearly everyone has had a headache at some point during their lives. While you might be able to power through a mild one, a splitting migraine can destroy any hope you have of concentrating.
Headaches and migraines are caused by a wide range of issues, including stress, lack of sleep, diet, eyestrain, and medications. Throw a global pandemic on top, and it’s no wonder your head is pounding.
The Fix: Use Your Head
Like that bottle of hand sanitizer, keep your headache and migraine medications on hand at all times. If getting to the pharmacy is a challenge these days, migraine services like Nurx can diagnose you and deliver medication to your door.
If your headache isn’t severe, try a medication-free approach. Some people find relief simply from drinking water, applying a cold compress, or inhaling essential oils.
4. Racing Thoughts
When is that project due? I’ve got to get something for Jane’s baby shower. I’m almost out of shampoo. I need those audit figures. What do I make for dinner tonight?
Does that sound familiar? Racing thoughts are common, especially among busy people. But they aren’t conducive to keeping your brain on track and focused.
The Fix: Meditate and Be Mindful
If you’re like most people, your mind is lost in thought 47% of the time. Meditation is a great way to clear the clutter and focus on the present.
The good news is, meditating is easy. Simply sit somewhere comfortable, take off your shoes, and set a timer for ten minutes. Then, just focus on your breathing. Don’t try to control it. Simply notice your inhales and exhales. Let thoughts pass unjudged.
Mindfulness meditation, described above, is just one type. Mantra and movement meditations are also popular. Figure out what works for you, and keep those racing thoughts at bay.
5. Unresolved Issues and Arguments
Life is messy. If you’re like me, one of the greatest concentration-killers is unresolved disputes.
Maybe you argued with your partner last night. Perhaps you both went to bed angry, and it’s been bothering you all morning. Or maybe you’re fed up with a co-worker who always talks louder than is necessary because they want everyone to hear about their latest date.
Your anger and annoyance won’t solve these issues. But they will distract you from your job.
The Fix: Get Some Closure
Instead of leaving an argument up in the air, try to solve it. Stick to the point, stay calm, listen, and bring the disagreement to some sort of resolution.
If a co-worker does something to irritate you enough to interfere with your ability to concentrate, pull them aside and tell them. Be rational—not angry—and try to understand what might motivate their actions. Otherwise, nothing is going to change, including your concentration issues.
6. Lack of Sleep
Poor sleep isn’t just a health issue. It also hinders your ability to concentrate during the waking hours. There are medical reasons for poor sleep, like diabetes, respiratory issues, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders. For those, you need to seek medical treatment.
For most people, poor sleep is the result of anxiety about finances, kids, parents, or maybe that job change you’ve been considering. You have a lot on your mind, and this causes you to have trouble concentrating.
The Fix: Have Some Sweet Dreams
Losing as few as 16 minutes of sleep can throw you off your game the next day. Getting to sleep might be as easy as changing your mattress or your pillow, but the bigger culprit may be your routine. Key steps include:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including on weekends.
- Control your exposure to light at night, including smartphones and computer screens. Use that time to confront those weighty things on your mind by making a list of concerns or updating your to-do list.
- Avoid overeating. Large meals close to bed can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine. Both substances interrupt your natural sleep cycle.
- When you do lie down, turn off the lights and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths, and drift into dreamland.
7. Lack of Exercise
For many people, exercise lands at the bottom of the to-do list. When they run out of time, they skip it—at the cost of their concentration.
Even moderate, regular physical activity benefits your physical health, improves your sleep, lessens anxiety, and increases mental acuity. If you aren’t making time for exercise during the day, you’re hurting your ability to focus.
The Fix: Get Moving
Not everyone is an athlete. Not everyone wants to work out under the scrutiny of their fellow gym-goers. At the end of the day, what matters is sustainability. Rather than launch into that soon-to-fail New Year’s resolution approach to exercise, start with literal small steps, like walking the dog or taking the stairs.
If it only takes you five minutes to eat that protein bar at your desk, use the rest of your lunch break to take a walk. Even if it’s around the block, you’ll come back feeling refreshed.
If you’re bored with a work project, it’s easy to fall victim to even the smallest distraction. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you’ll have trouble concentrating on it. If you’re bored with life in general, you’ll find it difficult to focus on much of anything.
Boredom leads to a lack of motivation, which leads to fatigue, which leads to scrolling through your Facebook feed for hours. Depression and boredom are tightly linked.
The Fix: Get a Fresh Perspective
The pandemic has put a stranglehold on our social lives. Despite the restrictions on seeing other people and going out in public, you need to find a way to put the “social” back in your life. Work-life balance is important, especially under these circumstances.
Even if you’re not comfortable with eating at a restaurant or visiting grandma, there are things you can do. Zoom and Facetime are good options, but you might also think about having a couple of friends over on your patio while maintaining social distance. Keep it short so no one even has to use your bathroom.
And about that boring work project? Tweak your attitude by thinking about how it will benefit your client. Find a way to make it fun, perhaps by discussing it with colleagues who make you laugh.
If all else fails, just muscle through it. Mark it off your list, and move on to something more engaging.
Before You Get Distracted and Move On
Concentration requires a lot of energy, motivation, and focus. That’s why most people have trouble concentrating. When there are all sorts of sounds, lights, and people competing for your attention, that combination can be elusive.
Do your best to remove distractions, clear your mind, and take care of yourself. Those work projects will practically check themselves off once you get into a groove.
Read These Also if You Have Trouble Concentrating:
The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.
Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.
Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.
In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.
Before You Download
As you are no doubt aware, there are all kinds of calendar apps available. Instead of you sifting through the hundreds of them, we’ve handpicked 10 of the best calendar apps you can get. On top of glowing reviews from each one, we’ve considered the following aspects when creating this list:
- User Interface – How you navigate the app should be smooth and simple. The buttons on the app should be clear, obvious and easy to move through.
- Synchronization – Whether it’s with other calendar apps or with other apps, syncing apps should be easy and enhance your overall experience with the app.
- Additional features – Since there are so many options for calendars, many of these apps offer additional features. These features make the apps stand out from the other apps and provide unique experiences to you.
1. Any.do Calendar
This calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.
Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.
What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.
Any.do Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.
Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.
2. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.
Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.
Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.
The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?
Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.
A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.
Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.
4. Business Calendar
Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.
The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).
You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.
The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.
Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.
Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.
Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.
A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.
aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.
Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.
Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.
When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.
Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.
The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.
The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.
6. DigiCal Calendar
DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.
With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.
Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.
The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.
SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.
The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.
Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.
Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.
8. IRL Event Social Network
One of the most unique apps on this list is the IRL Event Social Network app. As you can guess from the name, the core focus of this app is social networking. Unlike other social media platforms, you can consider this platform to function similar to Meetup.com. It’s a site where you can connect with other people within your area that share a similar interest.
IRL is that while also providing a convenient calendar for you to schedule events and plan out your day. Though due to it being a secondary focus, you’re lacking a lot of the syncing aspects that other apps have on this list. Regardless, because of this huge social feature, it’s worth considering for those who want to make more connections.
9. Today Calendar
Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.
The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.
If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.
Timepage is an intuitive calendar app that will manage your time in a way that other calendar apps can’t. It offers the same sort of functions that you’d expect from other calendar apps: opportunities to record events, notifications and reminders, weather, and driving duration to a particular event. However, the app goes beyond those functionalities in two ways.
The first way is that while the app sends you notifications, it also has reminders for you for what is coming up next. That bit of extra time can allow you to prepare and make adjustments to your day if need be.
The second function – which is more important – is the heat map when you go to see the full view of your calendar. This heat map indicates what days you are most busy and other days where you are freer. This heat map provides a quick glance to determine broadly what days are good to add more events and other tasks.
Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.
Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.
Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.
The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!