7 Things at Home that Are Killing Your Concentration

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Diana Liang)

Finding it hard to concentrate on things while you’re at home? There might be some things in your space that could be working against you.

To figure out what items at home could be inadvertently killing our concentration and fussing with our focus, we called on Anjie Cho, architect and feng shui educator, for help. Read ahead to see what she had to say.

1. Poor lighting

According to Cho, lighting can make or break your ability to focus when you’re at home. “Often it’s a lack of lighting that affects your concentration,” she explains. “When it’s difficult to visually focus, it in turn affects your mental focus.” She suggests setting a lighting scheme that closely resembles natural light, because it’s “the most soothing to the eyes,” and employing dimmers when necessary “so you have flexibility.”

2. Sitting with your back to the door

“When you’re sitting at your desk, or in a place where you’re trying to focus and concentrate, it’s beneficial to see the door to the room.” Explains Cho, “When your back is to the door, your stress levels increase and part of your attention is in protection mode; who knows who can creep up behind you!”

(Image credit: Lindsey Kay Averill)

3. A calming color palette

“While calming colors like mellow greens and soft blues can work wonders in restful rooms like your bedroom, they can work against you in places where you need to focus,” explains Cho. “Avoid moody hues that will make you want to relax in areas of the home you like to work,” she says. “And opt for brighter, stimulating tones instead.”

4. A view of the bed

“Your bed is the place where you rejuvenate and sleep,” Cho explains, “so it’s no surprise that if you can see your bed while you’re trying to focus on something you’ve put off finishing, you may be persuaded to take a nap instead.”

5. Facing a window

Like it or not, Cho believes another big focus killer at home is a beautiful window view. “Gorgeous window views are a wonderful thing to have at home but can be a major distraction when you need to focus and concentrate,” she says. “Handle your to-do list by turning your back to the window while working and save the view for after you’ve finished up.”

(Image credit: Pippa Drummond)

6. Lavender

Forget how much you love the scent of lavender, Cho says no matter how good it smells it could be hurting your ability to focus at home. “There are plenty of studies that indicate that the aroma of lavender can actually impair memory and focus,” she explains. “Rosemary is a much better option for daytime, so save the lavender candles and scents for closer to bedtime.”

7. Electronic devices

It might seem like a no brainer but your electronic devices are doing more than messing with your sleep schedule. “Not only are they a big distraction while working, electronic devices emit EMFs that can affect our energy levels and ability to focus,” explains Cho. “So be sure to tuck them away from plain sight at times you need to concentrate.”