Do you find yourself ‘physically present and mentally absent’ in the middle of a very serious work? Do you get distracted and forget what you were up to all of a sudden? Does your mind talk all different kinds of unrelated and unnecessary stuff when you are trying to do something quite important? Well, you are not alone! Most of the people in this digital world find themselves getting distracted from work/study due to many disturbances. A recent study by the University of California states that on an average, a person of our generation is stuffed with 34 gigabytes of information a day, which is twice the amount of information people dealt with, thirty years ago! And an employee at the corporate world is interrupted by a phone call every three minutes! This makes it evident that our mind gets clattered with too much of data and external disturbances that perturb our work process thus conquering our ability to concentrate.
Concentration is not a mind game but a skill, which can be learnt by practice. Here are the top ten methods to help you master this skill called “Concentration”.
10. Teach your mind to “focus”
Your mind can be taught to concentrate on the current task. It is not easy to make your mind concentrate on only one task all of a sudden when it is filled with thousands of queries, confusions and information. Every time you start an important work, make your mind ready to work. Say the word “Focus” loudly in your mind. Whenever your thought process is disrupted by a song that keeps ringing in your head again and again or your mind starts to wander and starts thinking unrelated stuff, repeat the word “Focus”. This would help you keep a check on your mind from distraction and also help you concentrate more on your work.
9. Set a timer
Our mind likes challenges and our brain automatically thrives to achieve them. Setting a target is also a good method to help your mind to focus on the work. In order to achieve the goal, the mind automatically tries to pin itself down on the work process rather than getting distracted. When you set a timer, it also makes sure to remind you about the amount of time left to complete the task and also makes sure that your mind is on the right track. But sometimes, the timer itself could become a source of distraction if the span between successive alarms is too short. So make sure the time set for the target doesn’t disturb your mind.
8. Get some air
Who doesn’t like breaks? Would you like to work for 10 hours at a stretch? Working continuously over a long period of time would deter concentration as your brain gets fatigued and it no longer has the energy to work anymore. This would make you lose interest in the work and your concentration dies down slowly. To avoid this, take a break from work, go for a short walk in the lobby and take long breaths of fresh air. This will rejuvenate your mind and body, oxygenates your brain and helps you concentrate better.
7. Divide your work into smaller chunks
Drinking five litres of water at once may sound too much, but drinking 1 litre every one hour might sound easy. Doing a huge piece of work at a stretch will make you feel overwhelmed and creates fatigue. The best way to handle it is to divide your work into smaller chunks. Finishing one by one would be easier than doing the entire work all at once. But making too many smaller parts would also make it clumsy as it would again make it look like too many pieces of work to be done! So make sure you partition them in an appropriate way that is suitable for you. This will favor your mind to concentrate on one particular part of the work rather than being exhausted with the amount of work to be done.
6. Prioritize your work
If you have lot of different tasks to complete but with different degrees of importance, your mind gets confused and it would become more arduous and chaotic. The best way to solve this is to organize them. Create a list of tasks to be done on the basis of their priority from highest to the lowest. Do the task with highest priority first. This will reduce the anxiety to finish the important tasks and your brain focuses more on the current job being executed as it is more important than the rest. This method will also reduce chaos and confusions.
5. Plan your environment
Before starting your work, make sure you have the right ambiance. The environment you work in creates a huge impact on your concentration level and your dedication towards the job being done. Switch your mobile phones into silent mode. Turn off your online chats and close any other distracting media. Try putting on a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on the door. All these would ensure that your concentration is not disrupted by any external factor. Also, make sure you have all the necessary tools and documents organized that are required for the work. Thus your mind need not worry about the lack of equipments and data and focus only on the task.
4. Do not over-do
When you have done everything that’s possible to keep your mind on track and have been working for quite a long duration and your body starts to withdraw, you better stop your work right there. Listen to your body! Every human body has its own limits. You may increase your span of concentration little by little. But trying to increase too much at a time would only lead to catastrophic results. It is like running 10 miles on the day one in order to improve physical fitness, but it will only lead to painful cramps and immobility. So, take your own time and Do Not Over-Do!
3. Keep a reminder pad
Most of the important tasks to be done come to our mind when we are trying to do something that are even more important. It might sound ridiculous but it is the truth. Sometimes these are the distractions that are boons in disguise! It happens to most of us. It will keep knocking your head every now and then to remind you again and again until it is done. The best way to keep them away from disturbing you current work is by jotting them down on a reminder pad. Say, for example, if you have to make a call to your boss at 8 p.m., write it down, so that your mind need not worry anymore about the thought that you might forget to do it. Once you note it down you will be able to resume your work with more focus and relief.
2. See as if you are seeing for the first time
Our brain hates monotony. So does our body. Monotony leads to frustration. Frustration would lead to fatigue which in turn leads to lack of interest and concentration. Any job done with admiration and joy will be more fruitful as our entire concentration would be only on it. Our minds would bubble with enthusiasm when we are asked to do anything that’s full of fun or something that’s totally new and adventurous. The same goes to your jobs too! Look at your work with great joy and admiration as if you are seeing it for the first time. Every time you start working on a project make sure your heart lies in it that you pay your entire dedication and attention towards it. The more you love your job, the more interesting it gets. The more you find it interesting the more is your focus and concentration.
1. Do yoga, Exercise regularly and Meditate
If you are tired of all the temporary solutions and want a permanent remedy to focus your mind and keep it calm from the waves of agitating thoughts and the floods of unnecessary distractions, the best one is to regulate your body and health. Your mind is governed by your fitness. The healthier you feel the more is your span of concentration and level of mental organizational ability. Regular exercise and yoga would keep you healthy and physically fit. Meditation gives you inner strength and mental well-being. It creates peace of mind, calms down your agitation and soothes your body as well. An effective 15 minutes of yoga and meditation a day on a regular basis will create permanent mental stability and builds your concentration in work.