Concentration requires a great deal of effort and time. Even if you practice it for a week or even a month, the result will not be productive if your brain does not perform well. Still, there are pretty easy ways to improve your concentration quickly and effectively. If you have trouble concentrating, this article might be helpful.
Method 1 of 3: Long-Term Solutions
Step 1. Take a break
The biggest factor affecting concentration is rest and this has been approved by research. Concentration requires your mind to be calm. But your mind will be scattered if you have not rested well. Make sure you get enough sleep at the correct times. Also have a regular sleep schedule and this can be the key to concentrating.
Sleeping too much is not ideal either. Staying asleep disrupts your natural rhythm and can make you lazy. Avoid it by having an alarm clock to wake you up on time
Step 2. Make a plan
Always make a plan for whatever you are going to do. When you sit down to work without a plan, you may find yourself involved in activities like checking emails, sending instant messages (chatting), and surfing the internet. Without a purpose, you waste your time. You will find yourself distracted by a variety of irritating thoughts instead of devoting your full attention to an important task.
To avoid this, make a clear plan that meets your needs beforehand. Take a 5-10 minute break in between and use this time to check your email, then close your inbox and move on to your most important task. When making a plan be sure to allocate enough time for entertainment, study, and sleep
Step 3. Meditate
The practice of meditation will definitely improve our powers of concentration. Actually, when we try to meditate, concentration is the first thing we need to master. A daily period of meditation gives us the opportunity to work specifically on concentration techniques.
Step 4. Choose a place to focus
Obviously some places are better than others. School libraries, study rooms, and private rooms are better. Above all, the place you choose should not be distracting. Try to stay away from other people if you want to focus on your work.
Step 5. If you want to master the arts of concentration, develop a controlled and balanced diet
Eating too much creates a huge burden on digestion and can make you feel uncomfortable and sleepy. Eating light, healthy meals can help you maximize your ability to concentrate. As Thomas Jefferson said, we rarely regret eating too little. You will likely find that you need less food to satisfy you than you think.
Step 6. Exercise frequently
The ability to concentrate depends a lot on your physical well-being. If we are tired, sick, and afflicted with many lesser ills, concentration will be more difficult. Of course, concentration is still possible, but it is just more difficult. However, we have to try to make life easier for ourselves; we need to give our physical health a high priority:
- Sleeping enough
- Staying physically fit
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Doing regular exercise
Step 7. Take breaks and mix your environment
Continuous work in the same place can drive anyone crazy. Taking constant breaks can solve the problem. This will make you more active and interested in your topic.
Step 8. Understand that practice makes perfect
Concentration is an activity like any other. Clearly the more we practice, the better our concentration will become. We wouldn't expect to be a strong runner without training a bit. Similarly, concentration is like a muscle, the more we exercise it the stronger it will become.
Method 2 of 3: Quick Fixes
Step 1. Use earplugs
This helps a lot. Unless it is at night or you live in a quiet place and you are alone, there are always some distracting noises coming from people, nature, machines, etc. Earplugs can be a bit uncomfortable so don't wear them for very long periods (for example, taking a break after an hour).
Step 2. Make a count of each time your mind wanders on a 3x5 card
Divide the card into three sections: morning, afternoon, and evening. Every time you catch your mind wandering, make a little check mark in the appropriate box. After a while, you will find that your mind is no longer distracted as often, just by making an account!
- Being aware of the problem is the first step and this method helps you to remain very aware of each time you lose focus. Your knowledge of what you do over time will help you improve your concentration, without any additional effort.
- With this method, over time you will be able to pin down your most vulnerable times. Let's say you find a lot of marks during the morning, when you are still tired and your mind is prone to wandering. This is a sign that you should improve your concentration by getting more sleep or eating a healthy breakfast.
Step 3. Set aside specific times during the day to let your mind wander or your concentration to wander
If you have a set time during the day (let's say your time to distract yourself is 5:30 every day when you come home from school or work), you might be less likely to allow distractions during 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. If you find yourself getting distracted during any of those unauthorized hours, repeat to yourself that you have a designated time to distract yourself and try to keep your brain focused on the task at hand.
Step 4. Helps improve oxygen flow to the brain
Blood is the main vehicle for oxygen in our bodies. But blood pools in the lower half of our bodies as a result of gravity and doesn't push as much oxygen to the brain, where it helps improve concentration. To help oxygenate the brain, get up and walk from time to time to pump the blood.
If you're stuck at work and can't find time to exercise, try exercising at work. These can include any number of things, including isometric or aerobic exercises
Step 5. Remember to give your brain a quick break at least every hour, at most every 30 minutes
If your brain has to consistently focus for hours at a time, it loses its processing power and your concentration levels drop. It's best to separate your project and take energy breaks or naps to restart your focus and keep it working at almost 100%.
Step 6. Practice doing one thing at a time and doing it to completion
If you go from one place to another and start a new project before finishing the previous one, you are telling your brain that it is okay to move from one topic to another. If you really want to improve your concentration, you will start trying to convince your brain to finish one task before moving on to the next.
Apply this philosophy to as many different tasks in your life as possible. You might think that finishing one book before starting the other has nothing to do with finishing work on one car before starting work on the other, but they are surprisingly similar if you think about it. Even the smallest tasks have repercussions in other parts of your life
Step 7. Be aware of the spider technique
What happens when you hold a vibrating tuning fork next to a cobweb with a spider inside? The spider comes closer to investigate where the noise is coming from as it pays to be curious. However, what happens if you repeatedly hold a vibrating tuning fork next to the spider's lair? After a while, the spider won't stop to re-investigate the fretboard. You know what to expect, so you ignore it.
The spider's technique is to behave exactly like said spider. Expect distractions to come to try to interrupt your concentration. A door slams shut. A bird whistles. A flash mob explodes. Whatever the distraction, keep focusing on your task at hand. Be like the spider and turn a blind eye to distractions that you know can disrupt your concentration
Step 8. Work at a desk, not your bed
Your bed is where you sleep; your desk is where you work and concentrate. Your mind makes these kinds of associations subconsciously, which means that you send a "bedtime" signal to your mind if you try to work in your bed. This is counterproductive as you will actually ask your brain to do two things at once (focus and sleep). Instead, ask your brain to focus or sleep by choosing your workplace carefully.
Step 9. Try the rule of five more
The rule of five plus is simple. Every time you want to give up or lose focus, order yourself to do five more of whatever it is you're doing. If they are math problems, do five more problems. If it's reading, read five more pages. If it's concentrating, do it for five more minutes. Find the energy deep within you to do five more of what you are doing.
Method 3 of 3: The Keyword Technique
Step 1. Try the keyword technique
In this simple technique, all you have to do is find the correct keyword in what you are studying or doing and every time you lose focus, feel distracted, or your mind wanders to something else, start saying the keyword. repeatedly in your mind until you return to the topic at hand. The key word in this technique is not a single fixed word but it keeps changing depending on your study or work. There are no rules for selecting the keyword and any word that the person feels will restore focus can be used as the keyword.
Example: when you are reading an article about the guitar. Here you can use the keyword guitar. Start reading each sentence slowly and as you read, whenever you feel distracted or unable to understand or concentrate, start saying the keyword guitar, guitar, guitar, guitar, guitar until your mind returns to the article and then you can keep reading
- You have to plan your own study schedule.
- Make time for what you should be focusing on. Don't get distracted by problems or worries. Set up a reward system for yourself. Promise yourself rewards for staying focused.
- If you are not determined to do it, you are probably going to waste your time.
- Divide your time to complete the topics you are going to study.
- Whenever you lose confidence, think about your past accomplishments.
- Create a cozy and calm environment to help you focus.
- Don't try too hard. It's okay to lose focus sometimes. After all we are human.
- When you find that your thoughts stray from the topic you should be focusing on, redirect them. Don't let them fly.
- At school, work hard for each subject and use the last five minutes of class as your break.
- If you are too sleepy to concentrate, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to finish a paragraph in a book you are reading.
- Remember that the best people would achieve nothing if they lacked concentration.
- Do not work in a crowded place as you will lose your concentration.