7 Tips to increase concentration
Concentration in today’s fast paced world, replete with distraction dramas, is an elusive commodity. Another word for it is focus. Concentration is more important than the amount of time spent learning. Even access to gadgets and gizmos, fancy pens and paper rolls won’t create any impact on your learning if it is devoid of concentration. Hence, possessing it separates those who succeed and those who don’t. It is also the reason why we have some who succeed against all odds and some who fail despite everything going good for them.
Empirical and statistical evidence gives us at least 7 tips – hard found wisdom – to increase concentration. As with any activity, practice and strategy will take you there.
- Make a plan
Have a plan in hand every time you want to accomplish something. If you sit down to work without a plan every other mundane activity life throws at you will distract you. Though the appearance may not tell, approaching work without a purpose is wasting time. To avoid all these bungles
- Make a detailed plan beforehand
- Allow 5 or 10 minute breaks at least every hour
- Allocate enough time for study, fun and sleep
- Practice doing one thing at a time till completion
Don’t mislead your brain by jumping from task to task or from project to project without completing one. If you do so your brain will think it is okay to switch between projects and tasks. And, if you’re really serious about improving concentration you’ll start to persuade your brain to finish one task before going on to another. Apply this to as many different tasks in your life as possible. Because, finishing a lesson before going to another is no different from finishing work on say a painting before going on to paint another.
- Keywords technique
Find a right keyword about the material you’re studying and every time your mind wanders loudly repeat that keyword over and over till you mind returns to the material you are working on. For instance, you’re studying a math lesson on square roots then square root is the keyword you’ve to use to make good of this technique.
- Awareness technique
Talking about wandering away from what you’re doing, make a tally of it on a 3×5 card. Divide up the card into three sections: morning, noon and night. Every time you catch your mind wandering, check the appropriate box. Simply by keeping tally, you’re being aware of the problem and can pinpoint your most vulnerable times. The awareness of the problem will help you improve your concentration without any added effort on your part and knowing those times when your mind wanders the most will tell you what to do to fix it. Say, your mind wanders a lot during the mornings it means it is still tired or you didn’t have a nourishing breakfast. So, you can improve your concentration by simply getting more rest every night and eating a nutrient rich breakfast.
On the flip side, set aside time for your mind to wander. As purposeful day dreaming is good for creativity on one hand and you’re giving an incentive to your mind on the other. Say you set your time as 5:30 in the evening after returning from school, you’re less likely to allow it to wander at any other time during the day.
- Take breaks at least every 30 minutes
To concentrate for long hours at a stretch without losing focus is like climbing a steep in higher gear. Space your task or project out and take breaks in between, at least every 30 minutes to reboot your concentration and keep it flying high.
Your ability to concentrate is directly proportionate to how fit you’re physically. If, you’re tired or sick it is difficult for you to concentrate. Maintain healthy weight and get regular exercise or at least do an outdoor activity to stay fit.
Finally the biggest factor affecting concentration is rest as proved by research. Laser focus concentration needs a calm mind. Ensure to get enough sleep, also have a regular sleep time and use an alarm clock if need be from over sleeping as it disrupts your natural rhythms and makes you lazy.