What is Concentration?
Simply put, concentration is a person’s ability to focus his thoughts in a particular direction for a considerable time without getting distracted by other things. Everyone has the ability to concentrate. Some people are quite good with concentrating. There are people though who find it quite difficult to focus their attention in one particular thing without their thoughts wandering. This can be quite frustrating. If you find difficulty concentrating, you need to practice and develop your concentration skills.
Your ability to concentrate may depend on a lot of factors. It can depend on your commitment to your work. It can also depend on your enthusiasm for a project, an assignment, or a work. If you don’t know how to go about doing the job, you might be quite disinterested and end up losing your concentration. If you have problems and you are tired and stressed out, you’d have problems concentrating. If the place is not conducive to concentrating, you might not be able to concentrate on your work at all.
If you want to improve your concentration skills, here are some tips that you can follow:
Strengthen concentration: Twice a day, practice holding a specific object in mind steadily for 5 to 10 minutes. The item should have some detail that you can imagine, but it should also be simple to “see” it in your mind. Some good examples: an apple, a pencil, the face of your child or pet, your house as it looks from the outside, and so on. Choose something you won’t have trouble picturing, but something that requires you to focus in order to see it clearly. Call up a strong mental image of it, and then try to keep your focus on the object for a full 5 or 10 minutes without losing your focus.
Empty your mind: Another focus-killer is a head full of scattered thoughts. You know those days when you’ve got a million things going on and you’re trying to remember them all at once and you keep forgetting things anyway? Emptying your mind can do wonders for scattered thoughts! Before you do this exercise, first make a list of everything you can think of that you need to remember. This will help you feel more comfortable about releasing your scattered thoughts.
Clarify Objectives: Know what your goal is clearly before you start. If you aren’t sure what the end result is, the confusion will make it impossible to focus. Unclear objectives often result in having to redo sections of work.
Visualize for practice: If you’ve got an important goal or task coming up and you’re feeling unsure about your ability to do it, visualize it first! Many studies have been done on the power of visualization, and the general consensus is that performing tasks and activities mentally over and over again is equally as effective as performing them physically! That means that visualization can serve as a powerful practice session that helps you master anything including better time management!
Do one thing at a time, set aside specific time period: It helps concentration if you just do one thing at a time giving it your complete undivided attention. Multitasking (doing many things simultaneously) will make you distracted and it is an ineffective way of doing things contrary to what many people believe. Do one thing at a time in order to develop concentration. If you are trying to think of giving presentation at office, or studying for your exam, for the next 30 minutes or so, just think of that alone. Focus your mind on the details of the job and how you plan to do it. Let not your attention wander to other things during this time.
Use the “Two More” Motivation: When you feel your concentration begin to wane, tell yourself that you’ll work for two more minutes or complete two more tasks. Once those are completed, settle on two more. When you break up a task into tiny sections, you’ll find that you improve your concentration. It allows your mind to focus on smaller portions of tasks, thereby seemingly decreasing the amount of work that needs to be done. You can use Two More or Five More or Ten More or whatever works for you, but make sure that it’s a number you can work with. If Ten More sounds daunting, go for five, and so on.
Break task into smaller parts: Breaking a task into smaller parts will make it seem less daunting and help you approach it with more positivity. If you are trying to study a textbook for exam, then you can make a goal of finishing one chapter at a time.
Do a thing wholeheartedly: If you approach something half-heartedly, it can show in the quality of the work. In order to do things better, do them with interest. Whatever you are doing, try to find some aspect of it that interests you. If you can find something interesting in each thing you do, you can enjoy even the most mundane and boring tasks.
Check your diet: Research has shown that diets high in saturated fat and sugar help reduce your ability to concentrate. Monitoring your diet and reducing your intake of foods in these areas can certainly help to improve your concentration. In addition, keeping your body hydrated with plenty of water will help in this area as well. Your brain needs water to perform at an optimal level so give it what it needs and it will reward you with increased focus and concentration.
Give Meditation a try: If you have never tried meditation before, perhaps now is the time. Many definitions of the word meditation include the words focus and concentration as the prime goal of this exercise. Taking time to yourself and clearing everything from your mind and working to focus on one specific thing can help bring a sense of relaxation to your body and help to de-stress yourself which will in turn allow your body to become more focused on whatever goals that you set for it.
Reward yourself: Decide before starting your work how you would like to reward yourself when you finish. The reward can be anything that makes you happy and relaxed like having your favorite food, going out for a walk, meeting your best friend etc. It doesn’t have to be something big, any activity that gives you pleasure and takes your mind off work for some time will do. This system of rewarding yourself will increase motivation for doing things.
Concentration is essential to be successful in one’s career. An alert mind is an asset. We need to exercise our brain to improve upon our concentration. Both physical and mental alertness are essential for success in our ventures.