5 Easy Concentration Techniques for Improving Concentration

Dr. Purushothaman
October 10, 2013

Concentration is a skill that can be trained by practicing, and if mastered can greatly improve your productivity and quality of work. It is easy to say that we need to concentrate, but few people know how to do so. With deep concentration, we are also able to connect with our subconscious and enable us to achieve an inner calm.

Below are 5 easy concentration techniques for improving concentration. They are simple, straightforward, and achievable as long as you put your mind to it, in other words, employ your will power. You will start seeing the effect of these 5 techniques over some time, as these are not immediate miracles and require time and effort to build up your concentration levels.

Concentration Technique #1: Stretch your limits
You have experienced moments at work or when studying when you felt like you needed a break and you find your mind wandering and unable to focus. Learn to stretch your limits by pushing yourself to complete perhaps 15 more minutes of work, or to finish reading the chapter in your textbook before taking a break. By setting achievable targets, you are training up your mental stamina and pushing yourself to break through the limits that you have set for your mind unconsciously.

Concentration Technique #2: Focus on one thing
We have a dozen and one things to think about, such as picking up the laundry, grocery shopping, work, cooking dinner, picking the kids from work, and the list goes on. You may find your mind wandering at work because you are worried about what to cook for dinner, or that you have remembered everything you need to pick up at the grocers. It is not that you are unable to concentrate, but simply that your mind has too many thoughts, and you need to control your brain. Tell yourself that you will focus on the other issues once you are done with work, and keep your mind on your work. Acknowledge that there are other tasks that need tending to, but they can wait as they are not as important.

Concentration Technique #3: Tune out Distractions
Much like horses have blinders to keep them staring in one direction and oblivious to their surroundings, we need to develop the mental equivalent to keep focused on the task at hand. If you have an alternative place to work or study that has no distractions, by all means move your work there. However, it is difficult to chase our colleagues away or tell the phone to stop ringing because it is distracting you! Learn to place blinders over your mind, or physically cup your hands around your vision to remind your brain to focus.

Concentration Technique #4: It is Ok to Take a Break
No matter how good your concentration is, or your will power, we are merely human. This means that it is perfectly acceptable to take short breaks, and you will find that your mind will feel rejuvenated and better equipped to take on more challenges after a short rest. Do not feel bad about taking breaks, as they are essential to increasing your efficiency. Pushing yourself beyond your limits is encouraged, but overworking is not!

Concentration Technique #5: Variety is Key
Our brain is not like a computer, and it needs stimulation and variety to remain engaged and interested at the task at hand. If you must slog at an Excel spreadsheet for the whole day, take occasional breaks and engage your mind in other activities. This will keep it alert, and keep boredom at bay. If your mind is focused on one task for extended periods of time, the repetitive activity may cause your attention to waver or be reduced.

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