“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.” – Zig Ziglar
We all had those moments , when we were sitting in the class forcing ourselves to listen (when we were at the culminating point of boredom)what the lecture was about. Alas ! ,utterly unable to control it further(jeopardizing our sleep!) we obliged when our mind brings to us a preview of things to think, much more enticing than the lecture! Coming back to reality , understanding not a word the teacher is saying and still laughing it away, sometimes , you look back and laugh at those moments.
But come your workplace, you have to concentrate and focus. You simply cannot afford to waste a minute goofing away! You are bound to find yourself neck-deep in troubled waters!
I was one among those people who simply could not focus and sit having a book in hand for more than 15 minutes at a stretch! Now , I seem to have mastered the concentration techniques which help me to concentrate and study effectively (or whatever the task at hand.) Let me share with you these tips and hacks so that the next time , you start doing something, you are never going to get distracted.
I ‘ll reveal the basic secret , which many people do not know! This is contrary to what all people believe and there’s a high chance you are making this mistake even now. It was an eye-opener to me and guess what , i was doing the wrong thing the whole time. You are dead smart and sage if you learn from other people’s mistakes! So without further delay , here’s my first mistake :
I aimed to study for longer hours. Take it from me,last minute studying , late-night cramming is certainly not going to help!
So here’s your very first lesson: Don’t aim to study for longer hours! It simply is not worth it!
It’s proven by research that studying in smaller time intervals with breaks improves your learning speed, your ability to concentrate and hence make the time you spend reading effective.
Read for 1 hour and take a 15 minutes break in between. It is much better than studying for longer hours ,which undoubtedly makes you tired.
The brain is more receptive to capture information in short chunks rather than slogging for hours together.
Tips for concentrating better:
- Try get a full sleep :Wake at least 6 hour rest for refreshment and relaxation for the mind.A fresh mind can concentrate more easily.
- Take regular exercise: Physical exercise speeds up blood circulation to the brain and hence enhance your the next time you find yourself sleepy try doing some exercise.
- Study in a place where you have less or no distraction: This said maintaining a constant place for studying everyday also helps because the brain loves routine.
4. Avoid multitasking :
“To do two things at once is to do neither”. -Publilius Syrus
Your brain is more effective when performing a single task because essentially all your concentration is concentrated!! You get the illusion that when you multitask, you’re actually saving time, while on the contrary , you never complete any job fully.
Texting your friend while studying is a big no!
5. Have a peaceful mind : It’s a known fact that stress makes it difficult to concentrate. If you are obsessed with a problem go find a solution for it, and then study.
6. Know how to prioritize your work :This is a very important skill. Know what subjects you should give priority to and read smart. This is an important skill to be learnt.Unless you make a timetable and prioritize your work,it is more likely that you will start thinking while doing one task ‘shouldn’t I do the other task first, that’s more important’.Plan your work before hand and most importantly stick to it.
7. Have a good breakfast : And stop living on that caffeine! It gives you more strength for some time, but later leaves you sluggish.
8. Meditate : It is a sure way to improve concentration.Time to break a common myth which says, meditation is concentration. It certainly is not. On the contrary it is de-concentration. When you meditate everyday, even for a few minutes, your wandering mind settles down and focuses on the task at hand. Practicing yoga also helps.
9. See as if for the first or last time :
” When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking anything for granted”- Frederick Franck
When you look at something as if it were the last opportunity given to you, you wouldn’t want to miss a single detail. The same goes for your work.Give the mind the illusion that it’s the last time you are going to do that work.You’ll see how focused you are and how efficiently you want to complete the work, even though it’s the thing which you detest greatly!
Hacks to improve your concentration:
- To improve focus, try looking at the colour red: A study by the university of British Columbia discovered that while red improves focus , blue improves creativity.
Don’t fret, it’s fine if red doesn’t work out for you.Green is still waiting!
- Try chewing sugar free gum while studying :Research shows that chewing gum while performing a task can improve your concentration on the task.
- Take mental snapshots : Turns out that your eyes are better cameras. Flex your concentration muscles by focusing on something intently and close your eyes, it will be registered in your brain. Pictorial representations help. It is a bonus if your’e a picture-person.
- Reward yourself: Here comes the good part. People may call it silly, but it works fine for me. Set yourself a goal to be completed and promise a treat later and no cheating, which means no eating chocolates or watching your favourite program before you complete the task at hand.
This way, you will be able to finish the task , beat-out procrastination,be focused till the end and avoid distractions.
4. Try playing brain games : Playing brain games , help to keep your mind active and brain teasers make you think out-of-the-box. My suggestions would include games like Lumosity , Elevate and Peak.
5. FOLLOW THE FIVE MORE RULE: From now on if you’re in the middle of a task and tempted to give up – just do five more!!!!
6. Conquer procrastination.
How to make the most of your breaks:
Now, as I mentioned before , breaks are very crucial , because they break the monotony of your work.But let me give you a few suggestions as to how to make breaks more effective.
- Take power naps: Power naps of fewer than 30 minutes—even those as brief as 6 and 10 minutes—restore wakefulness and promote performance and learning. A 30-minute nap may also be able to reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep or reverse the damage of sleep deprivation. A University of Düsseldorf study found superior memory recall once a person had reached 6 minutes of sleep, suggesting that the onset of sleep may initiate active memory processes of consolidation which—once triggered—remains effective even if sleep is terminated.
Listen to some music (which you like ,of course).
Take a walk outside or inside your house.
If you really need to study every time,try to shuffle your subjects.Try reading different subjects so you won’t get bored.
Meditation will also help in calming the mind and improves concentration.
Doing different things( like listening to music and walking) helps your brain to focus on the task at hand,while at the back of the mind your, brain revises whatever you’ve learnt.
P.S: So, now don’t be a hoarder and share it with friends and others who will benefit from this.
Feel free to share your comments below if you have further tips or hacks that might help others to concentrate better!