In today’s world, attention spans are reducing by the minute to mere minutes. Everyone is living in the fast lane, working at a quick pace, which takes a toll on your ability to concentrate on tasks that matter.
According to Monk Gaur Gopal Das, “Concentration can be learned with practice. We have spent hours all our lives practising distraction…To concentrate, you need to practice it regularly.”
Listed here are a few steps that will boost your concentration and get you on track!
Greenery All Around
A dose of nature is the solution to most of our problems.
Studies have shown that closeness to nature increases your attention span and ability to focus on tasks.
It isn’t easy to maintain a garden, especially if you live in an apartment. However, there is no need to go all the way; a little indoor plant on your study table will do the trick. Money plants draped on your wall is an easy and cost-effective way to surround yourself with nature!
Get Rid Of All Distractions
As obvious as it may seem, spending a few minutes identifying and then eliminating all sources of distraction around you will significantly help you focus on the task at hand. If you live with many people, you could develop a timetable for yourself and inform those around you not to disturb you when you are working.
Another great tip is to use noise-cancelling headphones. Investing in a pair of good noise-cancelling headphones will help you concentrate on nothing but the task at hand. Trust me; it pays for itself after a certain point.
Put Your Brain To Work
Many of us have the habit of going to the comics and games section of the newspaper, reading the comics and moving on. If you stop and work the sudoku’s and crossword’s out, great job! You’re working your brain! Working the brain is as important as working the body; the more you do it, the stronger you get. What is the result? Improved cognitive abilities and concentration, and who knows, maybe you’ll pick up a new hobby!
Multitasking Is A Big NO!
Multitasking has been romanticised in media and our everyday lives. The ability to cook three dishes at once or work on multiple assignments simultaneously has come to be seen as a skill. However, the most considerable risk lies in ruining all your dishes and duties.
But according to various studies, multitasking does more harm than good.
All that happens is your brain switches between different tasks, which puts a heavy load on you and messes with your concentration powers.
The best thing to do is set a timetable and allot a period for specific tasks. It makes you more efficient and your work more proficient.
Divide The Task At Hand
Having a task may be daunting and may push you off doing it. Instead of tackling it all at once, divide it into smaller segments. For example, if you have to study a chapter, divide the chapter into different subheadings, which will make it easier for you to concentrate. You can also allot a specific time frame for each segment, depending on the difficulty!
Prep Your Day
The best way to ensure that your mind doesn’t wander while working is to make a timetable to follow. When you divide your activities throughout the day according to your preferences, your mind isn’t muddled. So instead of wondering when you’ll be able to get done with the task and hand and move on to the next, you will know what your schedule is like, making it easier for you to concentrate.
Meditation Is A Ladder To Concentration
Meditation is the most effective concentration technique to date.
One can call it a magnifier of sorts. For example, to meditate, one must concentrate, and the more you meditate, the easier you find it to focus.
Just 5 to 20 minutes of meditation a day will do the trick.
Try easy techniques like breath concentration and the candle flame technique.
For breath concentration
· Find yourself a comfortable spot. Sit with crossed legs and an erect spine.
· Breathe in and out while focussing on your breathing process.
For the candle method
· Light a candle and place it in a dark room
· Try to concentrate on the candle flame for as long as you can.
Hydration Is Key
So once more, water comes to our rescue.
Drinking the right amount of water improves your cognitive ability, which in turn improves your concentration.
Drinking between 1.5 – 2 litres of water a day will do the work for you.
If you always forget to drink water at certain intervals, you can try keeping a water bottle with you.
Here’s a fun tip that helps with studying: keep a transparent water bottle by your side and drink it whenever you feel like it; when you see the bottle empty, you can take a short break to refill your bottle. This way, you’re getting enough water, and you take a little break to refresh your mind and hydrate your body!
Exercise The Body To Exercise The Mind
Everyone knows the several benefits of getting in a good workout. Well, to add to that list, exercising will also help build your concentration. Exercise is said to improve one’s attentiveness and motivation. Not only does exercising improve concentration and your ability to soak the information in, but it also helps you retain the information by increasing memory power.
You’re probably wondering what diet has to do with concentration. It is a proven fact that certain foods affect your brain positively and make you sharper. So instead of munching on chips or popcorn, grab a handful of walnuts or almonds to snack on.
Dark chocolate is said to help with attention and memory power and will keep you alert. So ditch the unhealthy snacking and turn to brain-healthy foods. Not only will they keep your mind sharper, but you also won’t feel sluggish due to intake of high amounts of trans-fats, sugars and salt.
Give up your luxury of smartphones, at least to some extent. They are the most significant cause of distraction to our minds.
Just take a break. Relax! While it is unnecessary to give your devices up completely, it is a great idea to take a break and stretch, walk around, listen to some music, or even stare out the window forlornly. Of course, it is crucial to make sure that you don’t get sucked into your devices while taking a break! Most often, a five-minute check-in turns into hours of scrolling and app surfing!
Not concentrating on your studies or tasks lead to one major rookie mistake- late nights. Late nights are a bane in the long run and mess with more than just your ability to concentrate. So try being healthy and it will be easier to focus on your tasks and finish them before they encroach on a healthy lifestyle!
Here are a few tips that can improve your sleep:
· Get away from all screens (T.V., mobiles, etc.) an hour before you go to sleep.
· Listen to soft and relaxing music.
· Maintain a cool temperature in your room.
· Take a refreshing bath before hitting the sack. Trust me on this one; your sleep will be deep and well.
· Try reading before you sleep.
If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep, you can try a guided meditation. You’ve got this!
Youtube is filled with lo-fi music to help you focus on your studies or whatever work you have. Unless you get too distracted, play your favourite lo-fi playlist and get working! Before you know it, you will find yourself being into the task at hand, fuelled by the background music!
Maintain A Reward System
Remember when we were younger, and finishing homework meant playtime? We used to be fueled by our desire to play, and the homework would be done in no time at all!
Using the same system of rewarding yourself increases your motivation to focus on your tasks. The rewards can be as small as a bar of chocolate, iced coffee; if you have finished an enormous job, maybe even eating out! Whatever your system is, your concentration will flourish!
Don’t Stop Trying!
Improving your concentration is not an easy task. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward equation or a miraculous magic spell. Trying these methods, figuring out which one works best for you and practising it to ensure you unlock the best version of yourself is what works best. Just a little bit of effort, and before you know it, people will be asking you how you manage to stay focused and motivated!
Concentration or focused attention has many uses and benefits. It improves memory, helps us in focusing on specific tasks, and you can certainly improve it. It is a slow and steady process, so make sure you don’t give up!
These tips will indeed work, but they work best when practised daily.
You already have the steps.
Start working on it now!
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