You don’t have to overhaul your whole life to start thinking clearer, just making small changes will bring you results and an increase in concentration.
You can have all the intentions in the world of writing an amazing story, or finally finishing that refactor you’ve been putting off, but if you can’t concentrate, then you will either not bother, or wish you hadn’t when you check it over the next day.
Your concentration levels naturally fluctuate from day to day, and hour by hour, but this doesn’t have to be the case if you know a few techniques designed to bolster your mind and get your creative juices flowing in the right direction
1. | Taking a Break in Nature To Increase Concentration Levels
You may be familiar with this one as it is touted as a balm for writer block all around the internet. Many famous writers have spoken about their daily habits, and a frighteningly large number of them have said that they take daily walks through nature to get them back on track when their creative engine stalls.
But this technique isn’t just reserved for the upper echelons of the literary world, a walk through nature has been shown to have excellent mental health benefits as well as allowing your mind to relax before you subject it to another torturous round of work.
Think of it like allowing a rubber band to return back to its original shape, once you do its power returns and it doesn’t end up snapping whilst in use.
2. | Revitalise Your Environment To Increase Your Concentration in That Location
In this modern world, we have reading nooks, sun nooks and every other type of nook you can think of, so why don’t we deserve a work nook?
The answer is, we do!
By surrounding ourselves with low-distraction decorations and comfortable seats, we can minimise distractions and ensure that any concentration we build, we retain. A personal office is an excellent way to designate a time and place to do work, and so every time you walk into the room, your brain will automatically enter work mode. So don’t pick a room you like, or you’ll lose it forever.
3. | Start Doing “10 Minute Promises”
An old runners trick, you tell yourself that you will work for another 10 minutes, and then when that time is up you can stop. But when that time rolls around, more often than not you will want to continue for a further 10 minutes.
By setting rigid time constraints on when you can stop working, you remove the distracting thoughts about quitting and taking a break, instead you allow your brain to focus on precisely what it needs to. And what it needs to do is increase your concentration levels.
4. | True Concentration Is Found in Singularly-Focused Tasks
Spreading yourself across too many different tasks can place a lot of stress on your brain. Sometimes you can accomplish far more at the same time by splitting your time between every single task.
Start splitting your tasks into more manageable chunks and make measurable progress on each one before switching to the next; not only will you feel more accomplished for completing more things, you will be able to maintain much better levels of concentration throughout the whole situation.
5. | Boost Concentration Levels With Meditation
I don’t need to tell you the benefits of meditation, everyone in the world has been doing that for centuries, and especially in the past decade. Instead, I want you to consider how you can meditate in a better way to enhance the benefits you receive.
Would you benefit from a more comfortable environment to meditate in?
After all, meditation relies on your mind turning off and feeling at peace, how can you do that in a loud, uncomfortable environment distracting you every time you manage to slip away and find your centre?
Next time you meditate, spend 10 minutes arranging your space to optimise the benefits you can reap in the time you plan to spend.
6. | Don’t Neglect Sleep, It’s Essential
The more sleep studies that I read, the more I sleep.
Just like oxygen, water and food, sleep is one of those things we cannot live without. And just like all these other things, reduced levels affect you in major ways. Have you noticed that when you are watching your calorie intake, you are a little more irritable? Or when you are really thirsty you will ignore everything to grab that glass of water across the room?
The same mechanisms occur with sleep. Your brain will stop functioning at its optimal levels and start trying to rest during the day if it can’t switch off at night. Try increasing the time you sleep if you find your concentration waning in the mornings and evenings, these are the times you are most susceptible to sleep deprivation.
Your ability to concentrate is your bread and butter skill, it is the difference between a day of manic success or utter failure. Trying to incorporate these few techniques into your daily life is sure to increase concentration levels when you need them most.
And if that wasn’t enough, most, if not all, of these changes spill over into everyday life, and you will be reaping the benefits for years to come. But, to feel these benefits, you first have to start. And sometimes that is the hardest part.