Improve Your Concentration
Concentration requires a great amount of effort and time. Even if you practice it for one week or even a month, the result won't be productive if your brain isn’t performing well. Still, there are fairly easy ways to improve your concentration quickly and effectively. If you're having trouble with concentration this article may come in handy.
- Take rest. The biggest factor affecting concentration is Rest-with-Your-Eyes-Open and this has been approved by research. Concentration requires your mind to be Be-Calm But your mind will be scattered if you are not well rested. Make sure that you get the right amount of Know-How-Much-Sleep-You-Need at the right time. Also have regular sleep time, and this can be the key step for concentrating.
- Sleeping too much is also not ideal. Oversleeping disrupts your natural rhythm and can make you Be-Lazy Avoid this by having an Choose-an-Alarm-Clock to wake you up in time.
- Make a Plan. Always have a plan for whatever you are up to. When you sit down to work without a plan, you may easily get caught in activities like checking mails, Instant messaging (chatting) and browsing the web. Without a purpose, you are wasting your time. You’ll find yourself distracted by a variety of nagging thoughts instead of devoting all your attention to one important task.
- To avoid this, make a clear plan that meets your needs beforehand. Take 5 or 10 minutes break in between, and use this time to check email, and then close your inbox and move on to your most important task. When making a plan be sure to allocate enough time for entertainment, studies and sleep.
- Meditate.The practice of meditation will definitely improve our powers of concentration. Actually, when we try to meditate, it is concentration that is the first thing we need to master. A daily period of meditation gives us the chance to work specifically on concentration techniques.
- Choose a place of your choice for concentration. Obviously some places are better than others. School libraries, study lounges and private rooms are the best. Above all, the place that you choose should not be distracting. Try to stay away from other people if you want to concentrate on your work.
- If you want to master the arts of concentration, develop a controlled and balanced diet. Overeating creates a huge load of digestion and can make you feel uncomfortable and sleepy. Eating light and healthy meals can help you maximize your ability to concentrate. As Thomas Jefferson said, we rarely regret eating too little. It’s likely you’ll find that you need less food to satisfy yourself than you think.
- Exercise frequently. The ability to concentrate depends a lot upon our physical well-being. If we are tired, unhealthy and afflicted by numerous minor ailments, 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 easy for ourselves; we need to give a high priority to our physical health:
- Getting sufficient sleep
- Staying physically fit
- Getting regular exercise
- Take breaks and mix up your environment. Continuous work in the same place can drive anyone crazy. Taking constant breaks can solve the problem. This will make you active and more interested in your topic.
- Know 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 doing some training. Similarly, concentration is like a muscle, the more we exercise the stronger it becomes.
- Use earplugs. It helps a lot. Unless it is at night and/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 do not use them for very long periods at a time (e.g. take a break after an hour).
- Make a tally of every time your mind wanders on a 3x5 card. Divide the card up into three sections: morning, afternoon and night. Every time you catch your mind wandering, make a little checkmark in the appropriate box.
After only a little while, you'll find that your mind won't wander as often, simply by keeping a tally!
- Being aware of the issue is the first step, and this method helps you stay very aware of each time you lose your concentration. Your awareness of what you're doing will eventually help you improve your concentration, without any added effort.
- With this method, you'll eventually be able to pinpoint your most vulnerable times. Say you find a lot of tallies during the morning, when you're still tired and your mind is likely to drift. That's a sign that you should be improving your concentration by getting more sleep, or eating a healthy breakfast.
- Set aside specific times during the day in order to let your mind wander or your concentration drift. If you have a set time during the day — say your "drift off" time is at 5:30 every day, when you get back from school or work — you may be less likely to sanction drifting off during 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. If you catch yourself drifting off during any of the unsanctioned times, tell yourself that you have a designated drift off time and try to keep your brain concentrated on whatever task is at hand.
- Help improve the flow of oxygen to the brain. Blood is the main vehicle of oxygen in our bodies. But blood gets pooled 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. In order to help oxygenate the brain, get up and take a walk every so often to get the blood pumping.
- If you're stuck at work and you can't really carve out the time for exercise, try doing exercises at work. These can include any number of things, including isometric or aerobic exercises.
- Remember to give your brain a quick break at least every hour, at most every 30 minutes. If your brain has to concentrate consistently for hours at a time, it loses processing power and your concentration levels slip. Better to space your project out and take breaks or power naps in between in order to reboot your concentration and keep it humming at closer to 100%.
- Practice doing one thing at a time, and doing it to completion.
If you jump all over the place and start a new project before you've finished the last one, you're telling your brain that it's okay to switch from one subject to another. If you really want to improve your concentration, you'll start trying to convince your brain to finish one task before you move onto the next one.
- Apply this philosophy to as many different tasks in your life as possible. You may think that finishing one book before starting the other has nothing to do with finishing work on one car before starting work on another, but they're surprisingly alike if you think about. Even the smallest tasks have reverberations in other parts of your life.
- Be aware of the spider technique.
What happens when you hold a vibrating tuning fork next to a web with a spider in it? The spider comes to investigate where the noise is coming from because it pays to be curious. But 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 investigate the tuning fork anymore. It knows what to expect, so it ignores it.
- The spider technique is behaving just like the spider. Expect for distractions to come and try to throw you off your concentration. A door slams. A bird whistles. A flash mob erupts. Whatever the distraction is, continue focusing on your task at hand. Be like the spider and turn a blind eye to distractions that you know can throw you off your concentration.
- Do 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 sorts or associations subconsciously, which means that you're sending a "sleep" signal to your mind if you're trying to work on your bed. This is counterproductive because you're actually asking your brain to do two things at once (concentrate and sleep). Instead, ask you brain to either concentrate or sleep by choosing your workstation carefully.
- Try the five-more rule. The five-more rule is simple. Whenever you feel like quitting or losing concentration, tell yourself to do five more of whatever you were doing. If it's math problems, do five more problems. If it's reading, do five more pages. If it's concentrating, do five more minutes. Find the energy deep within to do five more of whatever you were you doing.
- Try the Keywords Technique. In this simple technique, the only thing you have to do is to find the right keyword on what you are studying or doing and whenever you lose concentration or feel distracted or your mind wanders to something else, start saying that keyword repeatedly in your mind until you come back to the topic at hand. The keyword in this technique is not a single, fixed word but keeps changing according to your study or work. There are no rules to select the keyword and whichever word the person feels that it will bring back his concentration can be used as a keyword.
- Example: When you are reading an article about the guitar. Here the keyword guitar can be used. Start reading each sentence slowly and while reading, whenever you feel distracted or not able to understand or concentrate, start saying the keyword guitar, guitar, guitar, guitar, guitar until your mind comes back to the article and then you can continue your reading.And make a habit to do meditation for at least 10 minutes which improves your concentration levels.But you see that you only concentrate on meditation first for better improvement or result.
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- Whenever you lose confidence, think about your past achievements.
- Create an inviting and calm environment to help you to concentrate.
- You have to plan your own schedule to study.
- In school, work your hardest for each subject and take the last five minutes of the lesson as your break.
- Don't stretch yourself too much. Its ok to lose concentration sometimes. After all we are humans.
- If you are not determined to do it, you are probably wasting your time.
- Divide your time for completing the topics you are studying.
- Commit a time to what you should be concentrating on. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by problems or worries. Set up an award system for yourself. Promise yourself rewards for maintaining concentration.
- When you find your thoughts straying from what you should be concentrating on, redirect it. Do not let it wander off.
- If you are too sleepy to concentrate, it is highly doubtful if you’d be able to finish a paragraph of a Read-a-Book you’re reading.
- Do not work in a crowded place as you will lose your focus.
- Remember that the greatest people would not accomplish anything if they lacked concentration.
- Develop Your Sense of Time
- Keep to a Daily Schedule
- Plan a Homework Schedule
- Get Work Done in a Home Office