3 Step Formula to Improving and Increasing Concentration
Lack of concentration and focus is a major problem in the 21st century. Due to technology we are more stressed out and distracted than ever before. This reduces our productivity and the quality of work that we do, which means we are having to work longer and harder to achieve the results we desire.
Luckily improving your concentration and focus is not actually that difficult if you can follow a simple formula. Below you will find an effective three step formula that anyone can use in order to see marked improvements in their concentration and productivity.
Step #1: Get an Adequate Amount of Quality Sleep
Sleep has a major effect on our ability to concentrate. In fact some of the worst disasters in recent history, such as Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and the Exxon oil spill, were a direct result of lack of sleep. Adequate sleep helps cognitive function in two important ways. Firstly it allows us to concentrate while we are studying and working and secondly during sleep cycles we consolidate the information we have learnt so that we can memorize it.
In order to benefit from the concentrate boosting effects you need both length and quality of sleep. Ideally you want to sleep between 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night. Make sure that you stick to a regular sleeping pattern, so that your body knows when it is time to switch off. In the hour leading up to going to bed switch off any electronic devices such as your computer, tablet or television. And finally try and make your sleeping environment as conducive to good quality as sleep as possible. Limit any external sounds or distractions, sleep in a comfortable bed and block out any artificial lighting.
Step #2: Select the Right Environment
Selecting the right environment will set you up for success. Whenever you are distracted by sound or movement your focus will briefly be taken away from the material you are studying. It then takes up to 7 seconds for you to refocus on your current task. These small, regular distractions add up and you will find that not only do you achieve less; the quality of your work will also decrease.
The correct environment for concentration is one where distractions are minimized. If you are working in an office consider starting your work day 1 – 2 hours earlier than when most people arrive. Perform your most important tasks in these early hours and you will find that you can get far more done and with a much higher degree of concentration. If studying or working at home, select a room where you will be closed off from the other members of the household and if necessary ask not to be disturbed. Libraries and study rooms can also be other good environments to perform concentrated work.
Step #3: Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is time management method developed by the Italian Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. This method uses timed intervals of activity in order to improve concentration and productivity.
The Pomodoro technique breaks down tasks in 25 minutes periods of work. During this 25 minute of work you concentrate on one task and one task only. At the end of the 25 minutes period you take a break between 5 to 10 minutes. At the end of four 25 minute periods you have completed one round. Between rounds you can take a longer break before beginning your next round.
The key to success with the Pomodoro technique is respecting the timer and focusing on only one task at a time. When the timer starts running you begin work and as soon as the timer ends you must stop working. By sticking to the 25 minute limit you brain will become trained to complete tasks within this time period. You must also focus on only one task at a time. Before beginning your work day, break down your work into tasks that can be completed in 25 minutes. Your brain is actual incapable of multi-tasking, when you attempt to work on more than one task at a time it is actually simply switching between different points of focus.
If you follow this simple formula of adequate sleep, the right environment and the Pomodoro time management technique, you will find that you concentration and focus will significantly improve. Not only will the quality of your work and study improves, you will be more productive so that you will have more free time to enjoy the things that you really want to do.
What are some techniques you use to stay focus? let me know