Concentration exercises work to help you focus on things and get things done. Nowadays, many people lose their concentration easily and become distracted. This lack of concentration greatly diminishes your productivity because there is a huge difference between completing a task absentmindedly vs. completing a task focused. In this article I will give you tips on how to stay concentrated as well as exercises to help strengthen your concentration.
1. Turn your electronics off. Your phone should stay off when you are working, and so should any other device. If you need to use your computer to work, try to turn off the internet when you can. If you need to use the internet, at least block the most distracting sites like Facebook or Twitter.
2. Turn on some white noise if there is noise in the background. White noise is an ambience noise that is consistent and very specific. Recent research suggests that white noise can help improve your concentration by blocking out other distractions.
3. Use the “5 more minutes” rule. This rule is an idea that has helped me greatly when it came to menial tasks like studying. Sometimes when you hate what you are doing, you will want to quit. Next time instead of quitting, tell yourself to keep at it for just 5 more minutes. You will ALWAYS be able to keep at a task for just 5 more minutes. Generally, if you just keep telling yourself “5 more minutes” you will be able to trick your brain into staying productive for a much longer period of time!
4. Try not to multi-task. Multi-tasking spreads you thin and generally results in many half-finished tasks instead of completed ones. Instead, put your whole-hearted attention into one single task and finish it. That being said, it is different for each and every person, and you should try for yourself to find out whether multitasking works for you.
5. Learn to be consistent. Take baby steps and work at small tasks simply to prove to yourself that you can get it done. Soon you will have a “track record” of finished work which should greatly help to motivate you in finishing newer and harder tasks. Basically, you are building the habit of getting things done.
Great! Now you have a couple of tips, so now here are some exercises to really build that concentration “muscle”. The brain, like all body parts, can be worked on to be improved. Many scientific studies have suggested that there is a willpower "muscle" and that this part of your brain must be exercised to perform optimally. These exercises should help you do that.
- Object Retention: Hold a thought in your head as long as you can. Picture a sheep, or phone, or person. Now keep that image in your head as long as you possibly can. Practice this every day and focus should come to you more easily.
- Meditation: Meditation is a practice where you stop thinking for a prolonged period of time. Seems easy, right? It actually isn’t. You will find that it takes an immense of awareness to keep your mind empty. Start by focusing on only your breathing. Meditation helps you many other aspects, but I have found that this practice greatly improved my concentration. This book, The Power of Now , should help you.
- The Ignoring Contest: Practice ignoring the everyday distractions in life. Whether it be that lawnmower outside your house, or your screaming siblings, practice pretending that it doesn’t exist. Simply ignore it and practice concentrating. This will help you loads when you are in a hectic environment but are forced to focus.
Well that’s about it. I really hoped this helped. Please remember one thing though. When concentrating, the most important thing that comes into play is the motivation behind what you are doing. Remember that if you simply aren’t motivated to do something, you probably won’t do it to the best of your ability. Though these concentration exercises will help, try to find the inner drive to complete the job, and you’ll find your results soar. Good luck.
The Power of Now
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