You’re a smart cookie and a hard worker—you work hard to improve yourself, your professional standing, and the quality of your life. But sometimes, it’s hard for you to stay focused on the task in front of you. Maybe you’re a daydreamer, or maybe you just keep falling asleep at your desk—whatever the case, your lack of focus is keeping you from being the best version of yourself. But what’s keeping you from tuning into what’s in front of you, and staying tuned in so you can get work done and find the success you’re looking for?

In this blog, the New York brain training team at Brainnasium will take a look at the reasons you just can’t focus, and give you actionable tips for what you can do about it. The better focus you have, the more productive and present you’ll be in business, love, and life!

You’re not getting enough sleep.

There’s a reason we spend about a third of our lives in our beds—sleep is absolutely essential for our health, wellness, and longevity. Sleep refreshes our bodies and our minds via the replacement of chemicals and the repair of neuronal connections so we can take on the day with the most energy, excitement, and of course, focus— so if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’ll never have a good shot at refreshing your brain so it works at its very best.

It’s important to get the right amount of sleep for you (usually somewhere between six and nine hours), and to get a good quality of sleep (dark room, cool temperature, limited exposure to blue light and noise) so you can feel rejuvenated and achieve the highest cognitive function possible. For those who get plenty of sleep, but still feel tired and unfocused, there might be a chance that a sleep disorder is at play. Talk to your doctor to see if you might be affected by sleep apnea or another common sleep disorder.

You’re not getting enough exercise.

While your body needs plenty of rest, it also needs a fair amount of activity to function at its best. Exercise is crucial for optimal circulation and brain growth, as well as proper hormonal balance, which can be crucial for how you handle anxiety and stress. On the flip side, not enough exercise can leave you feeling sluggish, anxious, and scatterbrained—none of which will help you be the very best version of yourself.

We get it—it can be very difficult to find the time for exercise in your everyday life, especially if you’re spending a lot of time in the office. However, even a short walk on your lunch break or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can do wonders for your brain function and your health!

You have too many distractions in your life.

Buzzing phones, computer screens, loud music—too much visual and aural stimulation can make it difficult for just about anyone to focus because there are just too many distractions going on at once. These distractions can harm your productivity and make it difficult to stay focused on the tasks at hand—not exactly what you want when you’re trying to advance yourself in your personal and professional life

There’s also the issue of life distractions—marital problems, stress from work, financial issues, and the like. These peripheral distractions can become not-so-peripheral if you fail to deal with them month over month, putting a fork in your plans for success.

For the best focus, you must eliminate distractions—turn off your phone, take care of your personal problems, and deal directly with your stress—so you have nothing to worry about but getting work done. A clear mind is a focused mind—so clear your plate of things that take your attention away from what’s important.

That’s it for Part 1 of our series on the reasons you can’t focus. Stay tuned for Part 2, and check out our other blog posts in the meantime!