To improve your concentration in order to give full attention to your tasks you need to put your physical and psychological environment in order.
It doesn’t matter if you are preparing a business plan, translating a text or studying for an examination, to do it properly you have to avoid all distractions.
Whether you stay in your room or in the office the important thing is that they are tidy.
Are there documents, newspapers, pens strewed on the table, post-its pasted everywhere?
When you are searching for a pencil in the box, does your hand drown in a landfill of office equipment?
Is your TV or radio turned on, do you receive an SMS or call now and then?
Are you surrounded by colleagues, class mates or family members that frequently have something “important” to tell you?
If the answer is yes, then your attention is on the right track to disappear.
What about your PC? The computer is your virtual environment with its own world of distractions.
There can be technical retarders e.g. the operative system is not updated or your PC has caught a virus, these problems can slow down the internet connection but also cause more serious problems. Irritating! And not helping to stay focused.
Another distractor is an original multicolored desktop where it is almost impossible to recognize any of the hundreds of existing items.
There is of course also the indispensable Internet, do you have control of its usage? How long does it take you to cancel useless emails or spam? Blink at the history of your browser to find out how you are managing your time online! You might be quite surprised discovering how much time you spend on social networks reading gossip or news that can be interesting but probably dont have anything to do with your work and will surely bring your mind miles away from your task.
Well, if you don’t want your attention to say good bye, check if you are in sync with this list:
- Clean work station, only tools necessary for the work, no mess,
- Silence, favorite music OK if stimulating. Hearing yourself breathing is a good thing.
- No PC issues, logic order and placement in folders
- Only necessary tabs, no social networking, and newsreading if not demanded by task
Once you have verified that your environment is “well arranged“ you have to deal with the most important and also the most difficult place to put in order, your mind! It is not easy and sometimes it can seem impossible to control the flow of thoughts. Humans are able to produce long sequences of mental films without awareness. You can not check the history of your thoughts like on your browser, except the very recent ones and it is more or less unachievable to command them. Eckhart Tolle, the author of the bestseller The Power of Now compare the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking to the addiction to something. Like there is the addiction to smoking this is addiction to thinking. In this book he suggests how to manage the excessive thinking, how to block the useless thoughts and live in the present moment. There are many solutions to improve your attention. On the internet you can find plenty of various brain training exercises focused on attention.
It is generally known that yoga and meditation can promote good mental and physical health and since our behavior reflects our physical state: Don’t forget to keep a healthy lifestyle!
Share your personal experiences with us and any helpful suggestion is welcome!