Never Be Distracted Again
The ability to concentrate and focus without being distracted is a valuable one. If you have a goal to work towards, then you should definitely increase the power of your focus and concentration.
Think of your mind as a muscle of your body. As you do an intense physical workout, your muscles will eventually tire out, and you will require adequate rest for recovery. And after your muscles have recovered, they will come back stronger.
As you are in the middle of your physical workout, you exert yourself so hard that you feel like you can no longer do another rep. Take this example and apply it to the context of your mind.
Imagine you’re in the middle of writing a really long essay. You feel really bored and all you can think of is Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and similar anti-boredom sites.
With regards to the analogy of the physical workout or the mental workout (writing the essay), all you need to do to strengthen your physical strength and mental strength, is to keep telling yourself to push on further. In the end, you will realize that you actually have MORE strength (for the physical analogy) and more concentration (for the mental analogy) than you think you have.
We have to face the truth, there’s no short-cuts to strengthening either your physical or mental muscles. It all comes down to hard work.
Gradually Increase Your Focus
If you find that you have a short attention span, then you should start with an acceptable period of time for you to fully concentrate on doing work. As an example, you can start with 25 minutes work and 5 minutes break. This 25/5 minute technique is actually called the Pomodoro Method.
To apply the technique, follow the steps stated.
Step 1: Decide on the work to do
Step 2: Set a timer to 25 minutes
Step 3: Fully concentrate on doing the work until 25 minutes are up
Step 4: Mark your progress with an “x” on a piece of paper
Step 5: Have a short break of about 5 minutes
Step 6: After every 4 cycles of “pomodoro” (25 minutes work/5 minutes rest), take a longer break of about 20 minutes
As you can see, the system is extremely straightforward and easy to use. After you find that you can cycle between 25 minutes work and 5 minutes rest easily, then you should increase your timing by 5 minutes to your focused work time.
Once you get more comfortable with the 30 minute timing, then you can work to gradually length your focused work sessions and shorten your break times.
The concentration exercises are mainly and specifically targeted to increase your concentration. It is necessary to train your body to obey the mind.
Concentration Exercise #1: Sit still on a chair. Do not make any muscular movements and see how long you can sit still. See if you can sit for at least 5 minutes, or if that’s too easy for you, aim for 15 minutes.
Warning: This isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Concentration Exercise #2: Sit on a chair and place an analog clock before you. With your eyes, follow the ticking hand as it goes around the clock. Remember, try to keep as still as possible while doing this exercise. See if you can continue this exercise for at least 5 minutes.
There’s essentially nothing interesting about watching a clock, but the extra effort of concentration to make the exercise successful may prove worth it. (Remember the mental analogy described above)
Prepare Your Distraction To-Do List
When you are doing your work, you will find random thoughts passing through your mind. These thoughts may resemble the form of “I wonder what my friends are doing now” or “I could use some ice cream now” or “I feel like going to play a round of Warcraft”.
More times than not, most people will usually be distracted by such thoughts and slowly deviate away from the work they’re doing. The moment you get distracted, you will definitely be less motivated to return to your work. Also, shifting your concentration back and forth essentially drains your mental strength.
So to curb this problem, prepare a piece of paper beside you, and when these random thoughts appear, quickly write them down so you can do those AFTER you’re done or during your break time.
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