Suffering from poor concentration? This way you ensure more focus

17 Jun 2021Updated: 4 hours ago | 52 people are reading

Suffering from poor concentration? This way you ensure more focus

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Prime Minister Rutte announced yesterday: working from home will remain the norm in the coming months. For those who can concentrate less at home than at work: tips and tricks to keep your focus.

Working from home, we have been doing it for a while now. A large proportion of people indicate that they find this pleasant in a continuous survey by Intermediair. No distractions from colleagues, better concentration, no travel time, being able to do other things, spending more time with the children: all benefits that people now experience.

The pitfalls

But: off the same survey also shows that people rarely work alone, and doing things in between can also be a pitfall. Do some laundry, watch TV, hang out on social media: distractors you probably don't want to have too much. Having trouble concentrating on your work? These are effective ways to find and keep your focus.

Mark Tigchelaar is co-founder of Focus Academy. According to him, focus is a super power, provided it is used in the right way. "Focus makes you perform better and you experience less stress."

If you're not focused, you can be busy all day without being productive. How did that happen? Before the corona crisis, we worked hard and planned our days efficiently. "Now that is almost impossible. There only needs to be one e-mail or an e-mail if we are distracted, so that our planning quickly runs smoothly," says Tigchelaar.

It is therefore all the more important to to realize: what do I do with my attention? Do you have more incentives (such as social media, WhatsApp or the news)? Then it's not about planning your time better, but about managing your attention better. The large amount of information available is nice, but it can also lead to a lack of attention for your work or other important matters.

Every time you switch tasks, you pay a price. Imagine: you receive a text message. Answering it may take up to five seconds, but it has a negative effect on your focus.

Switching your attention

"It's not about the time you have lost, but about the number of times you switch points of interest. With each switch you lose brain capacity, "explains Tigchelaar. "Your brain is split in two, as it were: one part answers the app, the other part tries to find out what you were doing when you received the app: the original task.

< P> According to the knitting expert, answering such an app, regardless of how long it takes you, makes you 40% slower in performing your original task. "In addition, the chance of making mistakes is 20% higher." / p> "Everything you do to increase productivity decreases your creativity. They are each other's opposites"

Now that we are at home a lot, there is a big chance that you will unconsciously look up more stimuli. soon half an hour. You watch the news more often. Whether a message is positive or negative, while checking those (news) media you constantly switch your attention and create stress in your head.

"And a home situation with the children is fun and pleasant, but you can often go without be broken while working. This ensures that you experience more stress, even though you also enjoy the fun, "explains Tigchelaar.

More creativity

Yet we really do not have to be focused and productive all day long On the contrary, productivity and creativity are each other's opposites. Everything you do to increase your productivity lowers your creativity. "The tendency to be continuously productive is exactly why we are not. Frenetically ticking away an email for a tight deadline does not work. The best ideas come to the fore during a shower or while you are doing nothing. "

According to Tigchelaar, there are four reasons for switching your attention. If you know how to check those 'pillars', you are good at These four pillars are:

External stimuli

Environmental factors A vacuum cleaner in the background, children who want to play football or a trash can that is put outside.

Internal incentives

Emotions, new ideas or distracting thoughts: oh, I still have to send that email.


Having brains need fuel Compare it with refueling for a car Refueling / charging takes time This means that you should not take up new stimuli and that you have to give yourself the space to deliberately wander with your thoughts. your brain cannot filter anymore.


Is something too simple, boring or too slow? little challenge and they drift into something more fun at the time.

The internal and external stimuli are distractors, fuel and commitment can be seen as resilience. According to Tigchelaar, it is not a problem if you are distracted, as long as you ensure that your resilience is greater than the distractors. Then you are already well on your way.

Practical tips for better focus

Know what your goal is

Start the day with concrete goals and stick to them. Don't be distracted by other things during those tasks.


Have a clean and tidy desk. Inform your environment that you are not available. Urgent? No problem, they can call you.

Focus on

How do you get into the flow? A permanent workplace is an advantage. It can also help to listen to music you already know.

Focus out

You need time to refuel. Take a closer look by walking around or staring out. Seems boring, but this activates the default mode network, an important area in your brain, which provides new insights.