Concentration is the ability to be fully focused on the task at hand and being fully concentrated is key to maximizing productivity during work, study, and other activities. Today, it’s harder than ever to stay concentrated. With incoming emails and texts, distracting thoughts, and pending tasks, it can be nearly impossible to keep completely focused. It is important then to learn how to improve your concentration.
Fortunately, concentration is a skill that can be learned and improved. Various techniques can be used, though the main methods include eliminating distractions from the environment, clearing your mind, and getting organized. Below are 4 tips on how to improve your concentration.
How To Improve Your Concentration – 4 Tips
You may have heard that a quiet environment is necessary to focus, but it varies from person to person. Many people do need complete quiet, however others focus better with some background noise. That’s not to say that barking dogs and crying babies should be brought into the library, but soft music such as classical can be helpful to many.
Ideally, an environment for work or study should be free from blatant distraction. Set aside a time for yourself to work and do nothing else. If your job doesn’t include making calls, turn off or silence your phone to eliminate that distraction.
If possible, choose a place for yourself that is only for that one activity. This could be an office, library, or even a park bench. In particular, try not to do work activities in your bed.
Clear Your Mind
Removing exterior distractions is the first step, but next are those that come from within. Thoughts can be more distracting than anything else, so they must be dealt with properly.
Your physical condition can greatly affect your concentration. Have you been getting enough sleep lately? If not, your focus is likely to greatly suffer. Compensating with caffeine may help initially, but the caffeine crash and long-term effects will also be detrimental to your concentration. Swap the caffeine for water and get more sleep to improve your concentration. Also, regular exercise has been shown to greatly improve concentration.
Staying organized can be a struggle for anyone, but it’s doable with a little practice. When working on a large project or multiple tasks, it’s best to focus on one task at a time. Despite common belief, multitasking is actually less productive. Dividing your attention leads to lost concentration.
Prioritizing your tasks will boost your overall productivity. It’s a common mistake to complete quick easy tasks first, but this can cause burnout because hardly anything is being accomplished. Focusing on the most important tasks first is the best approach.
Once you have your to-do list of prioritized tasks, schedule out your day. It’s important to be realistic when doing this. If you particularly dislike a certain task, only devote 20 minutes to it at a time. Be sure to include regular five minute breaks, as well as time for lunch.
Concentration is a great skill to have that can be carried through to other areas of your life. Once you have developed a foundation of your concentration, continue honing your skills! After all, “Concentration is the secret of strength” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
Chelsea Lord is a writer by career who continually pursues personal growth. In her personal time she enjoys yoga, meditation, and long reflective walks.