How to Focus More Effectively When Betting on Sports
There are two main ways to bet on sports: casually, for fun, or seriously, for profit.
If you are doing the latter, sports betting is more like a job than a hobby. Indeed, if you are good at what you do, it can even be a job.
Regardless, you will probably spend hours a week doing tasks like:
- Watching current and past matches to study performance
- Researching and analyzing statistics
- Looking up relevant news and social media posts
- Comparing odds
- Crunching numbers
- Researching new betting strategies
- Refining old betting strategies
Somewhere in there, you will also be placing actual bets!
With so much work to do, you need to be able to focus in order to work productively and effectively. But sometimes, it can be hard to focus.
Some reasons it may be difficult to concentrate on your work include:
- Other neurological or personality factors
- Lost sleep
- Distracting life events
- Health issues
- Diet factors
For some people, difficulties concentrating may come and go. For others, they present persistent challenges.
Obviously, if you can identify underlying factors affecting your concentration, it can benefit you to take steps to clear those issues up.
If you have a health issue making it hard to concentrate, for example, you should treat it. If you are distracted by stressful life events, you might want to do something to address those events.
Regardless of what is going on, the tips below will help you focus at times when it is difficult by optimizing your environment and your work habits!
Tips for Making Your Environment Conducive to Focus
The environments we work in can have a major impact on our ability to focus.
I recommend that if you have a hard time focusing, you avoid betting while you are out and about on your mobile device, as your environment will be too chaotic.
Instead, I suggest you stick with betting on sports at home when possible, where you can control your surroundings more effectively.
- Set up your betting room to be a clean, calm environment
The first thing to do is to make sure that the room where you work (i.e. your home office) is in itself conducive to concentrating.
While some people can focus amid clutter, for many, clutter is distracting. So, consider cleaning, decluttering and organizing your space.
You might even want to consider rearranging your furnishings and redecorating. Once your room is set up in such a way as to help you get in the zone while you work, it should be at least a little easier to concentrate.
- Clear unnecessary items off your desk
While you are doing all this decluttering, pay special attention to the surface of your desk. Try not to store items on top of your desk long-term unless you absolutely need them there. And if you do leave things on your desk sometimes, consider clearing them off before you sit down to work on betting each day.
Just having an item in your field of vision brings it back to your attention. So, for example, if you leave documents related to your day job sitting around on your desk while you are trying to research betting, you might keep thinking about your day job instead of focusing on betting.
For that matter, even having stuff related to different aspects of sports betting laying around when you do not need them can be a problem.
It can be hard to focus on betting on basketball, for example, when you have a bunch of football betting materials sitting right next to you.
- Make a rule not to open unrelated apps while you are working
Even more distracting than clutter on your desk while you are working on betting is clutter on your devices.
Whether you are using a laptop, desktop or mobile device, it is important to try and make your virtual environment as non-distracting as possible.
Shut off apps that deliver distracting notifications, and make it a point to close out of your inbox.
You might also need to have a rule for yourself not to let yourself open apps you do not need for betting until you are done working.
If this rule drives you crazy, you could consider adjusting it so that you are allowed to take breaks to look at other apps at set intervals.
These can be based on the passage of time or productivity goals. In fact, you could choose to use this as a motivation for staying on task.
If you are able to focus on your work for 30 minutes unimpeded, for example, you could allow yourself a 10-minute break to do other things as a reward.
And speaking of which – Most people find their personal comfort zone at well run, trusted, respected sportsbooks, like Bovada. Joining up over there right now could get you up to a $750 Welcome Bonus for use with their sportsbook!
- Make sure other people in your household know you do not wish to be disturbed
If you live with other people, they can be very distracting, especially if they like to talk to you or ask you for things while you are working.
To keep their interruptions to a minimum, let them know how important it is to you to be able to work without distractions. Make a direct and specific request that they only interrupt you if there is an emergency while you are working.
If you have not made a direct request to others in your household and they keep bothering you, that is no one’s fault by yours.
- Close the door to your home office
Of course, even after you convince other people in your household not to bug you while you work on sports betting, they may still distract you in the background by moving around and making noise.
The easiest way to deal with that is just to close your home office door while you are working. Doing so will block out some of the sensory distractions. It can also act as an additional cue to others to come back later when you are not busy.
- Listen to white noise or music that helps you
What if you are still distracted by background noises, or even silence, for that matter?
Many people find it useful to play some sort of sounds while they work. If you are going to listen to music, the top recommendation for concentration is generally classical. But other instrumental music may also work.
What about music with lyrics? If they don’t distract you, go for it. You can also choose music that features lyrics that are not in your language.
Other options for relaxing, focus-enhancing background noise include white noise, nature sounds, or other forms of ambient noise.
Best Practices for Concentrating Effectively While You Work
That wraps up our suggestions for how you can optimize your environment for maximum concentration. But what about how you work?
- Set clear goals before getting started and make them specific
A common reason for concentrating on the task at hand to be difficult is not having actually established what the task at hand is.
If you sit down with the goal “work on my betting for an hour,” that does not give you much in the way of direction for what you should specifically be doing.
You might find yourself jumping from task to task, doing a little here and a little there, but not really accomplishing anything concrete. The moment you start work on one thing, you might think of something else related you need to do, and switch to that.
Instead, try setting a specific goal when you sit down to work, like:
“I will identify three potential betting strategies to use for basketball.”
“I will spend an hour going over historical games and seeing if my proposed NFL betting system would have been profitable.”
“I will use the next half hour to research stats and news for tomorrow’s game.”
Then, only work on the task you have given yourself, not on others.
- Take scheduled breaks
You are going to want to take breaks while you are working, especially if you are easily distracted. But if you let yourself take a break whenever you want one, well, you might hardly be working at all.
So, it is better to schedule your breaks in advance. I touched on this earlier when suggesting that you only let yourself check apps unrelated to betting after you complete chunks of work. This same suggestion applies for taking breaks across the board.
Note that you may want to space out your breaks. Why? Because if you interrupt your work too frequently with breaks, you might have a difficult time establishing a state of flow.
Flow is that state of mind where you get so immersed in what you are doing that you lose track of time and stop thinking about other things.
But flow doesn’t always begin instantaneously. Sometimes, you need to get into a rhythm with your work before you start experiencing it. Once you do have flow, you can often enjoy distraction-free work for a while.
- Get some exercise
For a lot of people, exercising is an easy way to improve concentration. The Guardian writes, “Interspersing lessons with 20-minute bouts of aerobics-style exercise improved the attention spans of Dutch school pupils.”
So, go ahead and give that a try. When you take a break from your work, maybe go on a brisk walk, or do some aerobics in your home office and then get back to betting. Hopefully you will find you are better able to concentrate (that said, the author of this post has brain fog after working out, so your mileage may vary).
- Don’t let yourself do other things until you achieve your goal for the day
Does this ever happen to you? You start working on betting research, only to realize that you forgot to start your laundry, and you have several unanswered emails.
The next thing you know, you find yourself in the laundry room, only to realize you just abandoned your betting. You get back to doing that, and then pause to answer one of the emails. Soon, hours have passed, and you have scarcely gotten through any of your betting-related to-do list for the day.
If you are prone to this sort of thing, set a rule that you will not work on other tasks until you have finished working on sports betting for the day. Once you take your seat and start working, that is it. That is all you get to do until you are done. Even if you take a break, you cannot use it to work on other things. The temptation to get sidetracked is just too big.
- Film yourself
Here is a suggestion I read somewhere that I thought was odd, but makes sense. Point a camera at yourself and start filming, and then get to work.
The idea here is that you are kind of externalizing your accountability to yourself. There is still no one watching you but you, but it will feel like there is. After all, if you fail to stay on task, there will be evidence. And even if you are the only person to look at it, you will still feel upset if it proves you did not stay on task.
So, just by creating that little layer of added pressure, you might find it easier to follow through on your work until it is done. You might even feel a strange sense of pride imagining watching yourself through the camera, observing a focused and dedicated bettor hard at work.
- Make use of apps that screen out distractions or incentivize focus.
While I talked earlier about turning off apps that might distract you from sports betting, there are other apps you might want to activate to help you focus.
One particularly popular example is Forest App. With this app, you plant a virtual tree when you start your work. If you can work for the specified amount of time without letting yourself get distracted by websites, etc., then the tree finishes growing, and you can add it to your virtual “forest.” If, however, you let yourself get off task, then the tree will die.
This is a way of gamifying your work. Even though the tree is just a virtual tree, it still acts as a compelling motivator for many people. Being able to build a virtual forest can offer a sense of satisfaction. Having a tree die, even if it is not real, is depressing. So, both positive and negative reinforcement are at work.
That is just one example of a productivity app; you can find plenty more out there. Experiment with a few and see which ones help you focus best!
- Avoid multitasking
A lot of us grew up being told that we needed to learn to multitask in order to be employable. We were encouraged at work to juggle multiple tasks at once, and came to believe that this is an effective way to work. But it is actually really ineffective.
Multitasking involves what are known as “task switching costs.” Every single time you switch tasks in the middle of multitasking, you lose a bit of your efficiency (or a lot, if your executive function is not the greatest).
But there is another issue with multitasking, and that is it is downright distracting, especially once it turns into a habit.
Remember earlier when we gave the example of trying to do your sports betting research, laundry, and emails all at once? The whole reason in this example the laundry and emails were so distracting while trying to work on betting is probably at least in part because you are used to trying to juggle all your tasks simultaneously.
But if you start training yourself to only work on one task at a time, it is less likely that your brain will constantly attempt to derail your attention and get you to work on other things.
- Write down distractions
While getting away from multitasking may be a big help in getting rid of distractions, there are other reasons you might sometimes struggle not to work on other tasks.
You might be forgetful, and worry that if you do not immediately drop what you are doing to work on something else that sprang to mind, you will completely forget about that other task.
If that is the case, one simple trick to coping with this issue is to get a pad of paper or open a document on your computer and simply jot down all of your distractions as they come up.
So, in the case of our example, you would make a note to do your laundry and answer your emails.
You then no longer have to worry about forgetting to do these things, so your mind can stop trying to hold onto them or make you do them on the instant.
You are then free to focus all of your attention on your sports betting instead.
- Try not to be a perfectionist
It might sound weird to mention perfectionism in the context of difficulties focusing. But a lot of people who have difficulties concentrating have ADHD, and many people with ADHD also are perfectionists.
If you are a perfectionist, it will probably stand in your way as a bettor. It will cause you to set unrealistic goals and to waste lots of time hung up on small details that do not matter. That in turn can distract you away from what is important to work on.
- Follow your fascinations
Are you someone who has a difficult time concentrating on your work sometimes because your attention gets carried away by whatever your fascination of the moment is?
If possible, you should look for ways you can turn that trait toward your advantage instead!
Whatever fascinates you the most with respect to sports betting, let it pull you in. Wager on the sports you find most interesting. Study the strategies you find most compelling.
In short, try and swim with the current of your interests instead of against it. You will find that it makes it a lot easier to focus on your betting.
Get More Tips in Our Archives
Concentrating on any type of work is a challenge for a lot of people, even when that work is interesting and enjoyable, like sports betting. Maybe you have chronic difficulties with concentrating, or maybe you just have a hard time focusing now and again. Regardless, you can see that there are a lot of effective strategies you can employ to get better at it.
When you are able to focus, you can get a lot more accomplished, making progress toward your sports betting goals, and fewer mistakes along the way.
And If You Enjoyed This Article, You’ll Probably Also Be Interested In:
- 9 Tips to Actually Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions for Sports Betting
- Start Your Day Out Right For Sports Betting Success
- How To Run A Demo Test For Sports Betting
- How To Choose What Sports To Bet On
If you enjoyed this article, you might also find this post interesting about how to start your day out for success as a sports bettor. Another post that might intrigue you is this one, which offers recommendations for staying focused and committed to your goals over the long term.