How many times have you sat at desk and tried to focus on any task, only to find that your mind is wandering somewhere else? Despite your best intentions, you just can’t able to concentrate. We all are familiar with this frustrating situation about concentration, and it’s something that can undermine your performance.
So in this article, we’ll review strategies to improve concentration and reduce daily distractions.
I’m as apt as anybody else to have my working memory hijacked by temptations of multi-tasking,
….or simply to become distracted by any shiny new learning objects that I encounter on daily basis,
…or start writing about one thing and find myself wandering to other topics as new thoughts occur to my mind,
…or….uhh, right – concentration.
Improve concentration: Here are some approaches that I find helpful:
Be conscious and intentional
I keep coming back to “consciousness” as it is most effective learning habits. Before you are likely to become successful at concentrating you have to make a clear, conscious decision to focus on your attention. Sounds simple enough, but more often we move from one experience to next without any real consciousness.
Set clear goals and victories
I’ve also lamented my own lack of goal setting before. To concentrate effectively, it helps a lot to have specific outcomes in your mind. Break down the long term goals like mastering in new language into smaller chunks that are achievable in short bursts of concentration.
A foolish consistency may be hobgoblin of little minds, but a wise consistency is often essential to enlarging mind. Athletes, musicians, writers, and others who excel in their chosen field always have set times & places for concentrated thinking and practice. So consistency of environment helps to normalize distractions and consistency of time helps in establishing pattern and rhythm to support concentration. Pick a limited range of places and times when you do your most focused learning. You should vary these over time to avoid falling into rote learning habits, but don’t be too fast or erratic in making any changes.
I’m still undecided about deeper, longer term impact. But I don’t have much doubt about the ability of Internet and countless modern wonders to distract us min to min basis and interfere with concentration. You may train your mind to block out such distractions, but for me, easiest path has always been simply avoid cognitive overload by turning off e-mail, browser, phone, iPod, etc..
Set time limits also allow for breaks
As body has limits for physical activity and needs recovery time from exercise, mind benefits from periodic short breaks during concentration as well as longer breaks to help consolidate learning. During shorter breaks, it is better not to turn another tasks, but truly take break and let the mind rest. Longer breaks should include essential activities like sufficient sleep at night.
Take care of mind and body
Having sufficient sleep positively impact your attitude towards concentrating and ability to concentrate in first place. Likewise, a balanced diet and aerobic exercise are important factors in promoting healthy brain and memory. Being well rested, well fed and in good physical shape is the foundation to concentrate well.
Finally, few of us are able to will ourselves to concentrate and become effective over night. Yes, that’s right practice is very important – you have to focus and concentrate in order to learn focus and concentrate.
Sitting down to focus on any task can be difficult, especially when you’re constantly interrupted.
To help increase your focus, start with good breakfast and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Don’t multitask close your door, and listen music if it helps you in concentrate.
Although it may sound somewhat counter-intuitive, but taking short, regular breaks throughout day can also help you focus.