How to Increase Concentration / by James Leath

Have you ever left the house without your mobile phone and had a mini panic attack? Me too. I could leave my lunch at home and go without, but if the iPhone is on the counter and not in my bag I am turning around.

I had a conversation with a good friend yesterday morning about productivity and I shared some tips. I didn’t realize how useful they had been for me until I started to share them with him. Here are a few of the strategies I use concerning my phone and my social media habits that may help you decrease distractions and increase concentration.

For reference, I use chrome as my browser, an iPhone for my phone, and a Mac for my laptop. Most of these are universal regardless of the tools you use.

I keep the front of my phone as clear of clutter as possible.

I keep the front of my phone as clear of clutter as possible.

Mobile Phone Notifications Right now, go to the settings on your phone and turn off all notifications for social media apps. All of them. Try it for one day.

Email You do not need to be reminded you have 72 unread emails. Get rid of that little red bubble. In fact, I know some people who do not have email on their phone. I go back and forth on this, honestly, but they say it’s amazing.

Applications Delete apps on your phone you don’t use. Every few months I completely erase my phone and start over. A clean slate feels amazing.

Social MediaFacebook

  • I use Chrome as my main browser. I can access my calendar, my email, and all my documents. Also, there is an extension in Chrome called NewsFeed Eradicator that hides my news feed when I go to Facebook. Instead of videos of cats and pictures of food I see a motivating quote. I can still check notifications, and if I want to see my feed, it’s a click away.

  • If you still want the feed, but you don’t want to see certain people, you can “un-follow” without “un-friending” them. They will never know they are no longer in your main news feed. I do this for people who get super political or are always trying to sell something.

  • Stop liking every fan page someone asks you to like. That clutters up everything.


  • I use Twitter as my main news source. I know there are a lot of people who think Twitter is dumb, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is useful. Check out the “list” feature. You can add people to a list and not actually follow them. Here are my Lists.


  • Only follow people who inspire you and make you smile. Unfollow all the rest.

Here is some more reading for those of you whole still believe you can multi-task. Spoiler alert, multi-tasking DOES NOT WORK. Enjoy.

  • Forbes Magazine (October, 2014) [link]

  • (October, 2014) [link] (this one says multitasking actually shrinks your brain!)

  • (March, 2014) [link]

  • (May, 2015) [link]

  • Huffington Post (January, 2014) [link]

  • American Psychological Association (March, 2006) [link]

If you hit reply it goes straight to my inbox. I respond to every email. Until next week...

James Leath

San Luis Obispo, CA






James Leath is a youth sports psychology consultant with over 15 years experience coaching young athletes. He writes a weekly note to athletes, coaches and pa


s on subjects that pertain to sports psychology, youth sports, and personal development. He is currently finishing his masters in Performance Psychology and lives in San Luis Obispo, CA. You can

sign-up for his weekly note here

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or visit his website