The best techniques to improve concentration

The best techniques to improve concentration

Focusing on work or study can be difficult. Here are some tips to increase it and immediately improve productivity

With the frenetic pace that modern life imposes, paying the right attention to the things that matter most has become almost impossible. To withstand the pressure and commitments of modern life and keep away from the thousand distractions on your smartphone, it is important to learn some techniques to increase concentration. How many times does it happen that you sit at your desk and realize that as soon as you seek the right concentration to study or dedicate yourself to an important work project, the mind immediately takes pindaric flights in the most unthinkable directions? How many times, despite the best of intentions, you just can't concentrate?

Index

  • How to improve concentration
  • Final tips

How to improve concentration

According to a 2015 study, the average human being has a concentration capacity of eight seconds, even less than a goldfish: it is therefore not surprising that anyone struggles to focus on what is important. Thankfully, concentration works like a muscle, and like any muscle it can be trained: by creating the right environment and following a few simple tips, everyone can strengthen memory and concentration.

Creating the right work environment

The first and fundamental element that affects the ability to concentrate is the study or work environment: a well-heated room, for example, can greatly influence productivity and decision-making capacity, just as good lighting, especially if natural, can have positive effects on the ability to spend many hours on a project, without getting too tired. To increase concentration in study or work, it is also important to know how to disconnect from all communication or sharing apps: closing the smartphone in a drawer, "forgetting" it in the jacket or in uncomfortable places to reach helps to devote the right attention to what it is being done.

Establish a time limit for distractions

If you really can't help but chat or view Stories on Instagram, the advice is to establish in advance the necessary breaks to devote to social media or personal phone calls, thus limiting the temptation to get distracted from the perhaps complex project that requires the utmost attention. Knowing that you have a predetermined time to devote to distractions unconsciously increases concentration and commitment: the brain knows that after facing a part of work, it can devote itself to pleasure. Much more energy is wasted trying to resist the urge to get away, rather than devote a predefined part of the day to that impulse. After studying for three straight hours, for example, taking a walk to get a snack or enjoy the outdoors becomes the right reward for the effort made, and invites you to get back to work with the utmost commitment.

Establish a plan

One of the most common reasons for the difficulty in maintaining the right concentration is the lack of programming: having in mind all the steps of a given process helps to focus better on what needs to be done, rather than wasting time to understand where you are. arrived and how far we still have to do to reach the goal. Having the various steps of a working or study day very clear, focusing on all the necessary details helps to stay focused, thanks to the awareness of what lies ahead and the efforts needed to take each step.

Practice meditation

Many studies show that dedicating yourself to meditation is one of the most effective concentration techniques: it reduces stress and anxiety, improves mood and attention span, social relationships, emotional stability and the ability to memorize information. Meditation also allows you to learn to regain concentration when the mind is captured by the distractions that inevitably meet: by meditating you learn to recognize the exact moment when the mind begins to wander, to bring it back to focus on what it must be addressed to. 'caution. Knowing your mind helps you understand when you need a break, what pace of work it can endure and what are the things that make it distract you. Being aware of this allows you to prevent distractions and increase concentration.

Plan, analyze, gratify

By following these three words like a mantra, you train your brain to stay focused and track your progress. First, before turning on the computer or opening a book, you need to spend five minutes planning the activities of the day, physically noting the goals you want to achieve. Using pen and paper – not the computer – engages more brain functions and trains it to recognize the activities noted as extremely important. During the day it is therefore important to stop for about a minute at the end of each hour to retrace the work done and analyze the results achieved in that hour.

Examining what one has done and congratulating oneself on the result achieved allows you to connect a positive emotional experience to work and progress, increasing concentration. A short break to enjoy what has been done helps to leave more focused and with momentum. At the end of the day, it can be useful to spend five minutes planning the next day, just as at the end of the week you can plan the next one. In this way it is easier to develop one's ability to concentrate from one day to the next and from one week to the next.

Make lists

Keeping the classic and inevitable to-do list is a great way to objectively analyze things in order to set the right priorities in a day. Planning, delegating to other people and identifying the best way to use the time available increases concentration and productivity. You can write the list of things to do already the night before, in order to start the day prepared on what awaits us and what needs to be done, so as to be immediately focused on the right priorities right from the sound of the morning alarm.

Do exercise

It may seem strange, but getting up from your desk and doing physical exercise brings significant benefits on a physical, mental and emotional level. Even short exercises, lasting about half an hour, can lead to an improvement in concentration: a short walk can increase concentration for the next two or three hours! When you find that you can't keep your attention level high, healthy exercise can increase your confidence and ability to focus on even the most challenging things. The greatest entrepreneurs, from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg, are prime examples of the benefits that exercise can provide. Physical training also improves the quality of sleep, and better sleep means more ability to concentrate during the day.

Take the right breaks

Sometimes, staying at your desk at all costs can be counterproductive: our brain is unable to constantly maintain a high level of attention and needs even short breaks to be able to guarantee the right concentration for longer periods of time. There are numerous concentration techniques that you can try to regulate periods of concentration and moments of pause such as the tomato technique, which divides an activity into blocks of twenty-five minutes, followed by a five-minute pass, while after four blocks, you takes a longer break, of about thirty minutes, or the 52-17 method, which alternates 52 minutes of study or work with a 17-minute break. No matter what you do during the break, the important thing is to disconnect from what you are working on: breaking concentration allows the brain to recharge in order to return to work fresher.

Go green

A good dose of greenery can help to increase concentration: according to several studies, exposure to the natural environment, including green spaces, can significantly increase concentration levels and productivity, at university as well as in the workplace . Based on a very interesting experiment, students who looked at a flower meadow on a roof in the middle of a mundane task showed levels of concentration in the second half of the task compared to those students who, in the middle of the task, had looked at a normal concrete roof.

According to other researches, enriching a bare office with plants has generated an increase in worker productivity equal to 15%: the presence of greenery has increased satisfaction in the workplace, improved air quality and increased concentration levels. If you cannot create a green space in the office, you can still benefit from a walk outdoors or a lunch in the park: these small tricks can have a significant impact on your ability to concentrate.

Final tips

Improving concentration is not as difficult as you might imagine. There are many techniques and tricks that can be adopted, and all of them can give small but significant contributions to strengthen memory and concentration. If you have followed all the advice in this article but are still struggling with the inability to concentrate, you just have to throw yourself into a good coffee. In fact, caffeine affects the alarm and control centers of the brain, with effects on concentration and attention.

Category: Welfare
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