Who doesn’t want to learn concentration? If you find your mind wandering instead of getting into the task of the day, well, it’s an effective way to waste time. Or maybe you could squeeze out a few results, but have you ever felt the frustration that it could have been better if only you’d concentrated more on it?
We’ve been familiar with the concept of concentration our whole lives. It’s something teachers tell you to do in school. And even before that, you’d also see it on any baby who has their brows crumpled as they stare intently before reaching out with their tiny hands. Concentration comes naturally to anybody intent on getting the job done.
But it’s never that simple, is it? When handling a job that involves critical thinking and planning, you’d almost always find your mind thinking anything but the task!
So, how do you improve concentration? Here are 4 ways how to make that happen.
The lack of concentration is often because your mind would wander to other things. After all, we can’t help but worry about problems the future might bring. Such thoughts come involuntarily. So here is where mindfulness takes place. Mindfulness is bringing your attention and awareness to the present moment. Entering this state can improve your thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness increases your concentration while reducing your stress.
Concentration is improved when you find this balance because your thoughts are centered on the present. It would sharpen awareness and increase perception. You can, therefore, give focus to all the details of your task.
One of the best ways you can achieve mindfulness is through meditation. Think of this as an exercise to your mind. The idea is to concentrate on your breaths for a certain amount of time. As you master the skill, you can extend your meditation for longer hours. This would, in turn, reflect on your concentration hours at work.
Stop Distractions before they happen
One of Concentration’s biggest rival is something we’re familiar with in the current society: Distractions.
We always get distracted. The world itself is designed to be a big distraction. People profit for every second they draw your attention away. And to counter this, we have to accept the nature of how it works.
Have you ever tried checking something out on the net, only to realize thirty minutes have passed? Entertain even a second of distractions, and it can quickly eat more of your time, because disturbances always have something to offer. Satisfaction and a false sense of achievement are some of its typical results.
You have to learn how to divide working hours with breaks properly. The indifference between them is why they tend to overlap and create distractions. Instead, concentrate on only one section. Working hours should be dedicated solely to completing tasks. Breaks should be used as an opportunity to relax and refresh the mind.
I cannot put enough emphasis on this part of your concentration. To have optimal performance, always have an idea of what you are trying to do next. You need to have a proper structure on the list of tasks and execute them with the given time allocated.
Concentration thrives when you are aware of the reasons and end goals because you can estimate the effort invested in each task.
To-do-lists do not necessarily have to be in a list form. Some might find it outside their interest to carry a pen and paper every time they need to take notes. It’s fine not to create your own to-do-list per se. But in one form or another, you have to know what it is you are planning to do.
The pause between tasks, whether its uncertainty on what to do next or the necessary time to plot and think on your next move, is going to matter or, in this case, dampen your concentration. But on the other hand, if you already have an idea what to do, you can concentrate better on how to do it.
Don’t stop simply because you already know its basics. Always stay curious. Continue to explore new things. Learn things as if it was your first time. You’d be surprised how much more there is to learn. Because being curious opens your mind to the new possibilities.
In contrast, thinking you’d already ‘know these things’ beforehand instantly dampens your ability to learn new things about it. Babies, for example, have the highest adaptable minds, because they are curious and willing to learn about these challenges. We should learn a few things from them, if only to increase our production output.
Continuously seek new answers, and your concentration would improve. This is because factors such as passion and interests also increase your performance.