Everyday life these days is non-stop: staying up to date with Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok means it’s hard not to look at your phone every five minutes, not to mention dealing with ever-increasing piles of work and communication IRL. This has led to our efficiency decreasing and our attention spans shortening - a study published earlier this year by the Technical University of Denmark shows our collective attention span is narrowing due to an abundance of information. But there are ways to improve concentration and really zero in on the task in hand. Angie Bucu, a certified mindfulness instructor based in Hong Kong, shares some tips on staying focused. 1. Pay attention to the present There’s no easy way to say this; but the first step is putting your digital devices away. It doesn’t need to be a permanent break; just putting them away for a certain amount of time every day while you work can keep you focused. It’s not enough to put it in your pocket, though, where a buzz or a beep will still distract you; you need to put it in another room, or switch it off so that you won’t be tempted. Even if you do this for 30 minutes a day to begin with, it will help. 5 tips to help you reclaim control over your work-life balance 2. Be mindful of the ordinary Being mindful is all about small, simple steps; one easy way is to incorporate some mindful habits into your daily routine. When you’re brushing your teeth, do nothing but brush your teeth. Don’t think about the day ahead, or the fight you had with parents over the phone last night; simply enjoy brushing your teeth. When you walk to class or work, feel your feet as they touch the ground. Take note of how your bag feels on your body, and how that makes your body feel. Simply notice these feelings. 3. Work it out Exercise is another great way to be mindful, and you should exercise as often as you reasonably can. For this purpose, exercise includes things like walking to class, or dancing in your dorm. Just focus on the movements, your physical body, and how the exercise is affecting you. 4. ZZZZZZs Making sure that you get enough sleep is important. If you find it difficult to drift off, listen to some guided meditations specifically designed to help you get to sleep. 5. Think of others Do a random act of kindness. Thinking about others, and their needs, is a great way to train your mind. That could mean volunteering, where you devote yourself completely to someone else for a short period of time, or a one-off act for someone you bump into during the day. You’ll find that by doing nice things for other people, you’ll be rewarded yourself, with a good sense of mental well-being. 6. Write it down Bucu also suggests keeping a gratitude journal and writing down three things from the day that you are grateful for. Again, this doesn’t need to be done every day, a few times a week is enough. It will help you forget your worries and focus on the good things in your life. All the mental health benefits to keeping a gratitude journal 7. Get outside Spend time in nature without your headphones and without music. Listen to the birds, and pay attention to the way the ground feels beneath your feet. Don’t think about what you’re going to have for dinner, or the amount of work you have to do. Simply enjoy being in nature. 8. Be mindful of mindfulness Bucu’s final words of advice are that, wherever your intention goes, your attention follows. So just think about being mindful and you’re sure to be more focused! Mindfulness on the go When you are struggling to focus on an assignment or when you’re distracted and need an instant burst of concentration, Bucu suggests practising this short mindfulness routine: Pause / stop Breathe in and out slowly Notice what is happening in your inner world (what you are thinking) and your outer world (what’s happening around you) Take note of it all and acknowledge that this is enough Move your awareness to your breathing again Put your attention where you need it to be This article was curated by Young Post . Better Life is the ultimate resource for enhancing your personal and professional life.