Thursday, May 2, 2013

How to concentrate - Ultimate tips

If you can concentrate and focus , you will do much better in your work , education and life.
How to find if you lack concentration ?

You end up making silly mistakes or you may feel absent-mindedness. You take much longer to study a topic and that too without much understanding.

Find the purpose in your work.

Why , it is important to find the purpose in your work ? Because , if you don't have clear picture of the work in your mind , it is hard to stay focused. You either don't care or you don't know , how to proceed to complete the work.

You should always plan the things , before you start. Ask yourself few questions before you start the work.

  • what you should do first /
  • Do you need more information about your work / study ?
  • Is there someone who can help you ?
You should have regular breaks in between because you cant concentrate for longer periods. Go with 50-10 rule. 50 minutes of work/concentration and 10 minutes of break / rest.

Don't try to force yourself to concentrate / study for longer periods. It is not going to help but will make you disinterested in work and you will take much longer time than you would take with rests in between.

Breaks give your brain , time to recharge. for next session of intense concentration that your task needs. But in break , you should have absolute rest, means no tv / games etc. You need to give your eyes complete rest ,because they are doing constant work.

Close the door of your room. - Pretty basic. This will cut off the distractions from outside and will give signal to people around you , to  not to disturb you , while you are concentrating.

Diet - You need to have proper meal , if you want to focus and concentrate. You wont be able to concentrate , if you have a growling stomach. Your attention levels significantly drop when your blood sugar is low. But don't eat too much as this will make you sleepy , which will never help you to concentrate.

Sleep - It is absolutely necessary to have proper sleep. Because , if you didn't sleep properly , your mind will be lethargic. Again , it is impossible to concentrate with sleep on your mind. You should have proper night sleep.  6-7 hours is enough for proper mental rest. Don't oversleep as it disrupts your natural rhythm.

Exercise - Exercise can help you to release negative energy which builds up inside you constantly thinking about something. Meditation helps a lot as meditation concentrates so much on breathing.

Turn off your internet. If you have an active connection , your mind may tell you to look at facebook / twitter once to check for any updates or if someone has tagged you / tweeted you, Why not watch some youtube videos ? and before you know , you may have wasted > 30 minutes already. Turning off internet , removes any potential distractions.

Stop rushing - If you want to do everything quickly , you will find it difficult to focus /concentrate.

Motivation - If you are motivated , it's much easier to concentrate.

For boring / task you don't want to do ? - Look for reason , why do you think task is boring ? You can't do it ? You don't have clear plan on  how to do it ? Because with planning , it is easy to complete a task.

Relax - Don't pre-occupy with thoughts of how difficult the task/ study is. You are only wasting your energy with these thoughts.

Free your mind.  3 things , which have to much negative impact on concentration

  • HURRY - you are in constant hurry to do  things
  • WORRY - you worry about something. 
  • FEAR - you fear what will happen if you didnt complete the task / study /subject.

So free up your mind and stop hurrying , worrying and having fear.

Proper Environment - Study in a quite place where there are no distractions , tv / intenet / noise so that you can concentrate on studies.

Make a daily schedule : Have a clear plan in mind , what will do do today as it will help you to move smoothly from one thing to another. Failure to do so will result in confusion. This will help you a lot in concentrating.

Don't multitask. Don't do various things at once , like studying , emailing , watching tv and what not.
Because in multitasking you pass through 3 phases.

  • phase 1 - you decide to start studying , very easy to get distracted in this phase.
  • phase 2 - you are in mental state of studying , you sit down and about to start studying
  • phase 3 - disengagement. you hear some email notification / watch youtube page opened on laptop. You mind quickly disengages your studying state and send you in phase 1. This vicious cycle keep on going and you end up wasting time. You keep getting distracted and this distraction leads to boredom and you cant concentrate on studying.

Do one important thing each day - ask yourself  “What’s the most important thing I can do right now?
Don't worry about completing too many tasks each day. Set yourself a goal to do one important thing everyday. But don't do that task without prior plan in mind as you will be as ineffective.

Procrastination leads to poor concentration.
Our brain tries to get the meaning/clear picture before you add more detail , when you can't get clear picture of the topic/task , you start procrastinating and end up wasting time and frustrating yourself.

If you wasting time on other things , ask yourself " Does this really need to be done?" " Does this help you in improving your grades?"

To break your old habit , prepare a Problem-solution map

Whenever you’re in this state, write on t a piece of paper , at the top write: “Problem.” Then map out every single detail and nature of the problem. Then write “Solution” And then map out possible solutions to this problem.


prepare a Fear map.

on the same piece of paper , write what will be the consequences if you don't complete the task. You will find this will really motivate you.

Stop blaming other things for your inability to concentrate.

  • you didnt drink coffee , you can't concentrate
  • there is some noise outside - you can't concentrate
  •  i wasted few minutes  , now you can't concentrate

Also concentration is driven by interest. You are interested in studying , your concentration will be naturally high.

Use "5 More" rule

When ever you feel , you cant study  for 50 min and you are distracted at 20 min or 30 minuts , ask yourself to study for 5 more minutes  and keep on repeating till 50 min.

Then you can reward yourself.

Other tips for concentrating:

  • Never study in bed .
  • Reduce your fat and dont eat too much sugar.
  • Drink water often as in dehydrated state , it is difficult to concentrate.
  • Whenever you feel like studying -- do it. Don't waste your inspiration, but lift it up
  • .Have strong Will power and  Determination

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