Regardless of your age, sometimes it can be hard to focus on the task at hand. But as you age, it can become more difficult to focus your attention or quickly absorb information like you used to.
While this is part of the normal aging process, it can be frustrating and maybe even worrying. These four tips can help you improve focus and memory while holding a conversation.
While having a conversation, look at the person and listen closely. If you find that you’ve missed something he or she said, ask them to repeat themselves or speak slower.
Make sure you understand the information and reinforce by repeating it back to the person. Harvard Medical School suggests trying this phrasing: “If someone says, ‘We can see the movie either at Loews Theater at 7:30 or at the Paramount at 7:50,’ you might respond, ‘Which would you prefer, 7:30 at Loews or 7:50 at the Paramount?’”
Meeting somewhere quiet can help you improve your focus on what’s being said, and while this might seem nearly impossible if you’re at a bustling restaurant or a busy party, it can be done. At a restaurant, try choosing a table near the wall. If you sit facing the person and they sit against the wall, you’ll have an easier time hearing them and focusing on what they’re saying because the wall blocks any noise and visual distractions.
These days, it’s only natural to multitask. But doing so while trying to talk with someone can affect your ability to focus on what they’re saying. If you’re reading, working or doing something else when someone begins to speak with you, ask if they can wait until you have finished your task. Similarly, if your phone rings while you’re doing something, let the call go to voicemail.
You don't have to pay hundreds of dollars or try dietary supplements to improve your memory and focus. All it takes are simple steps like these to help you listen and learn during conversations.