Thursday, November 10, 2011

TECHNIQUES TO IMPROVE CONCENTRATION

1.Intend to Concentrate: Humans tend to do what they tell themselves to do. Therefore, it’s easier to concentrate if you set a specific length of time to study and consciously tell yourself that “I will concentrate” for that length of time
 2. Ready to Concentrate : Have everything you will need before you begin to study: pencils, pens, paper, notes, textbooks, reference books, etc.
3. Use Concentrating Promoting Activities: Study with a pen or pencil in hand and condense what you read into organized notes.  Rewrite and better organize lecture notes. If you study by rereading and suffer from poor concentration and poor recall, you are normal.
4.Vary your study activities: If your study style is not to focus on one subject for long periods of time, then vary what you do.  Read and take notes for awhile, formulate questions and answers for a time,
Recite and review to break the monotony. Another example is to do math problems for awhile, then read another subject, review that subject, and then go back to math.
5.Find a Non Distracting Study Environment: Study in the same place and use that place only for studying.  Remove potential sources of visual and auditory distractions or remove yourself to a less distracting study environment.
6.Set Up a Specific System of Studying and Learning: An effective step-by-step plan for studying and learning makes concentration easier. For example, take main ideas and turn them into questions and place them on one side of a notecard.  On the other side, use the details that clarify and explain each main idea as answers for your questions. Frequently and regularly look at the questions and practice reciting answers aloud from memory. Then, turn the notecard over to check your answer. If right, move on to the next notecard. If wrong, don’t move on until you read the answer aloud and quiz yourself again until you get it right.
7. Eat Regular and Well balanced Meals: Research suggests those with healthy diets earn higher grades.  Avoid quick uppers such as sugary snacks because quickly rising and falling blood sugar levels negatively affect concentration. High fat foods cause sluggishness and drowsiness. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables.
8. Get Plenty of Night Time Sleep: Fighting sleepiness lowers concentration
9.Set Daily, Weekly, Monthly,Year Goals: It is easier to concentrate and feel motivation when you have goals and can see yourself progressing toward those goals.
10.Take Regular Study Breaks: It is normal for concentration time to vary individually from 5 minutes on up. Take a short 5-minute break when concentration wanders
11.Deep Breath When Tired
Relax for a minute and inhale & exhale.  Do this for 4 to 5 times. Now once again start to count the numbers as guided here 1…, 1…. 2…, 1…. 2…..3….., (One, one two, one two three, one two three four, like that) Do this up to 100 & then vice versa i.e., in descending order (hundred…..ninety nine….ninety eight….) like that.

OTHER TECHNIQUES
  • Practice time management
  • Learn relaxation exercises.  
  • Rehearse and practice situations.
  • LAUGH A LOT
  • Learn practical coping skills.
  • Decrease negative self talk.  
  • Learn to feel good with a workable result – Don’t be a perfectionist.
  • Build a network of friends. 
If one starts to speak on a topic and if we like it our mind starts ficusing on this and concentration starts developing. So one can say that the areas or topics or situations which we have interest or like it he or she can concentrate.  Hence  interest is the foundation of concentration.  If we’ve interest we can concentrate, if we can concentrate we can listen/observe. If we can listen/observe we can remember/recollect easily.
The environment of study should be soothing, the seating posture should be right, relaxed, comfortable,  and there should not be  disturbance with bright light.

Things that Affect Concentration

Now a days we can hear a common complaint that one can’t so easily remember names,faces, even other important information.  When, they have not at all heard the matter, how can they remember or recollect?   Can anyone remember or  recollect anything which he/she has not heard known?  Certainly not....When  the reason for poor/not listening,  was examined the first answer which we  got iwas  poor attention  due to lack of concentration.As concentration is the backbone of all other success skills like memory, observation and listening skills, one should strengthen his/her power of concentration.

It is important to understand the difficulties that prevent concentration before we attempt to improve it. Each individual is different; some things may hinder one person's ability to concentrate but not bother another. Nonetheless, concentration can be seriously reduced by the wide variety of distractions caused by both internal and external sources
Internal Causes of Concentration Problems
1) Physical Factors:
  • Exhaustion
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Unbalanced diet and hunger
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
2) Medical conditions
Physical illness
Anxiety
Depression,
Attention Deficit Disorder
Bipolar disorder
Learning disorders such as dyslexia can also affect your concentration.

3) Psychological Factors:
  • Boredom
  • Daydreaming
  • Overload
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Mental Burnout
  • Avoidance
  • Intimidation
  • Lack of motivation
External Causes of Concentration Problems

1) Environmental Factors:
  • Noise /Distractions
  • Television
  • Telephone, internet, and email
  • Poor lighting
  • Temperature
  • Visual stimulation
  • Pollutants
  • Activity
3)  Personal Factors:
Personal issues and interruption from other people such as family, spouse, friends, or colleagues Person's sustainable level of concentration is dependent on a combination of the following factors:
  • Dedication or commitment to the task at hand
  • Interest in the task
  • Skill and ability to perform the task
  • A content emotional and physical state
  • An appropriate environment with few distractions
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  •  Boredom
Once a these factors are carefully balanced, it becomes easier for the mind to focus its attention on a select few stimuli and block out unwanted or irrelevant thoughts. While this process may not last very long at first, it can be possible to improve concentration problems. With practice and focusing techniques, concentration (like any other skill) can be enhanced.


Understanding Concentration

One day Sumukh was asked by his mother to bring 6 types of cereals, 5 kinds of fruits and cooking colours, after buying some cereals he called his mom.  Till finishing the purchase he kept on calling his mother almost 4 times.

Rakesh was gifted a wristwatch by his father.  He was looking the watch for more 3 minutes that was observed by his father, and he asked the time.  Rakesh again looked the watch & then he told the time.
Sumukh introduced his friend Karthik to Rakesh, telling “ this is Karthik, my friend…”, At the end of the conversation Rakesh asks Karthik, “ May I know your name”?
 
This is not only the problem of Sumukh, Rakesh. Even we have also faced the similar situation and it’s due to lack of concentration. So, now we have to find all the possible ways to strengthen the ability of concentration. Before that, we should know what’s concentration and its  significance.

What is concentration?
Concentration means focus of mind.  In simple words concentration is nothing but being alert and without any diversion in mind.Concentration also means keeping one’s mind & thoughts on one thing with focused attention on the same thing/aspect.

Importance of Concentration
  • Necessary to complete many tasks
  • Inability to concentrate results in frustration and stress
  • Good concentration will enable you to remember more
  • Concentration is one of the major tools to achieve success in any area. 
  • Remembering & recollecting ability, which is nothing but so called memory