You won’t believe me when I say that we spend a little less than half of our lives just wondering. According to a study from Harvard University, human brains are in the moment for just over half of our waking hours i.e 53% and the other 47% of the time we’re zoned out, thinking of something else. This surely comes under bad news and also explains why we cannot focus on one thing entirely. What comes out of this incomplete concentration are incomplete tasks and incomplete ideas.
Concentration is not easy to achieve. It takes hard work and dedication. Also, it is not something that can be achieved overnight.
Listed below are a few things that you can do to increase your concentration while at a task.
Take enough rest: The first and the foremost thing for achieving concentration is rest. If your mind is tired, it will be all over the place. Research suggests that when a body does not get enough rest, it cannot function optimally. Just the right amount of sleep is the key here. Nothing more and nothing less.
*Sleep for 6 hours daily and stick to a fixed time and schedule of sleeping. *
Stay hydrated: A study done at the University of Barcelona, found that mild dehydration, as little as 2% can negatively impact your ability to concentrate. Our cells in our body and mind are mostly made up of water and lack of water in our system directly implies to the lack of concentration.
*Ensure that you have plenty of water by your side before you start working on something. *
Listen to focus music: Many people think of music as a distraction when it comes to concentration. This holds true but only for specific music genres. Undoubtedly, listening to Metallica while trying to focus will leave your head banging but some genres of music specifically aim at improving attention. They stimulate the areas of the brain associated with attention and keep them focused in one place.
*Youtube ‘Focus Music’ or play one of the ‘Concentration Playlists’ on Spotify. They might help you focus better. *
Chew gum: A study done at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom found that chewing gum helps you concentrate better. It makes you more alert and active. This is because chewing keeps the brain aroused and stimulated. According to the Daily Mail, “Chewing gum is good for the brain and can boost concentration by 10%.”
*Chew gum if your task requires you to focus for long hours. *
Take breaks: Breaks are important to get a task done with maximum efficiency. John P. Trougakos, an assistant management professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Rotman School of Management says, “Mental concentration is similar to a muscle. It becomes fatigued after sustained use and needs a rest period before it can recover, he explains — much as a weight lifter needs rest before doing a second round of repetitions at the gym.
*Take 15 minutes break after a 45 minutes concentration session. *
Keep changing your place of work: Sitting on the same chair in the same cubicle can make even the most mind stimulating task seem mundane and push your concentration down the drain. Once in a while, change your workspace. Move from the study desk to the balcony or switch cubicles with your colleague. A change of space can work really well for your concentration.
*Do not work on your bed. It will turn your focus to sleep and relaxation instead of your work. *
Finish one thing entirely: Before you start a task, set an end goal and make sure that you finish the entire task before switching to any other task. Even for the smallest of tasks, convince your mind that nothing else is as important as the task at hand. Once your mind starts to believe that you need to give your 100% to a specific task, the concentration will start kicking in.
*Write your end goal on a piece of paper and read it everytime you mind wanders away. *
I’m pretty sure that while you were reading this article, your mind wandered here and there a couple of times. Go back to the top and read the article again with full concentration. Once you’re done with that, follow the mentioned steps in all your tasks and watch as your concentration hits the roof.
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