7 Simple Exercises That Will Strengthen Your Attention and Concentration

By | 11.03.2017

No matter if you want to increase concentration and focus while studying or doing your professional work, If you practice these exercises, you will achieve the strength necessary to pursue your goals more efficiently. 

In times of Twitter, Facebook notifications and Whatsapp conversations, we are increasingly dispersed. Many things are going on around, and it is tough to be efficient in accomplishing our tasks. To concentrate effectively, it is important to know what care is about and why we get distracted. 

7 Simple Exercises That Will Strengthen Your Attention and Concentration

Types of care

Brett Mckay, In his student days, the teacher used to tell him that he was on the moon? Do you have trouble concentrating on a conference? Are you distracted by a 20-minute Ted Talk? Relax that does not mean that you have serious concentration problems because focusing on just one thing is just one of three types of care according to Brett Mckay, an expert personal growth coach.

For Brett, our attention serves to shape our lives, it is what ends up molding the character, we can even understand what a person values by looking at what he or she cares about. That is why before we begin to practice exercises, we must know how we relate to the attention.

Involuntary Care

When a loud noise distracts us in our home or office, our involuntary attention is the one that makes us aware of what happened. It is an instinct that in the past helped our ancestors to survive, was a necessary alarm that protected us from danger.

However, in our era, we were bombarded by traffic noise, phone notifications, TVs on and background music. Now not only warns us of danger, but it also shows us things that attract us, as a goal scream on the television or a new photo on Facebook.

Voluntary care

If involuntary attention helped us survive, voluntary attention made us thrive, win wars, and build cities. It is the one that helps us to focus on processes where we have a conscious control, instead of reacting to the first stimulus that appears. This is a task that requires a lot of will, the idea is to decide which impulses to ignore and which to attend. Although it looks complicated, you do it all the time when you read a book, play a video game or have an appointment.

Do not forget that we have a finite amount of voluntary attention, at some point, we are going to exhaust ourselves, and inevitably we will be distracted. But do not worry, the purpose of this article is to show you how you can train our voluntary care.

Default mode or ‘mind wandering.’

We are not always paying attention to traffic noise or concentrating on a particular task, you can be reading Personal Finance while thinking about what will do the weekend. Our mind is most of the time wandering, this gives our systems of voluntary and involuntary attention a respite. We are in the default mode when we do mechanical and everyday tasks; Like taking a shower or walking.  

A study by academic portal Sage Publishing, suggests that this method increases creativity by up to 40%. A group that participated in a brainstorming after being rambling had a remarkable difference before another that was concentrated in a single activity.

Have you started to wonder why great ideas throughout history often happened while someone was out for a walk?

Some Tips for Managing Different Types of Care

It is important to learn to detect why you can not focus on a task, sometimes because you are in an environment with many distractions, in others, you may be exhausted. Here are some tips for managing different types of care

  • Do not forget that your voluntary care is exhausted, it is advisable to work for periods of 45 minutes. Although not all works the same time, so it is best to prove in your case how long it can last concentrated.
  • If you are too distracted to intentionally ‘mind wandering’ time, you can do some activity like cleaning that allows you to walk freely, then return with better voluntary attention.
  • Keep your goals clear so it will be easier for you to focus your focus on what you want to achieve.
  • Plan your week, you need to start deciding what you want to care for during the day.
  • Taking a walk in nature can help you refresh your attention, another option may be to take a nap.

Practical exercises

Now that you know the tips, we have the solution for you to start improving your concentration, using some tricks. At least, start practicing them once a week and tell us the results. These are:

  • One task at a time: when you write your next tweet, answer a call while looking at the economic indicators, you will be using your voluntary attention on different fronts, which means that it is less efficient. Ideally, do one activity at a time and start with the most complex. 
  • Word Count: Choose a magazine, or a book, and look for a long paragraph. Count mentally how many words you have, do not use any visual aid, just your mind.
  • Create a list of distractions: When you do not manage to maintain your voluntary attention because you are still thinking about other things (mind wandering), have a list of simple and mechanical activities on hand. That way you can take a break and return to the main task with more focus.
  • Count to 100: it is a universal meditation technique, you can display one number and then move to the other. Surely you will have a lot of distracting thoughts, it is normal, the important thing is to let them pass and continue counting. You can also try counting upside down or in English.
  • As if it were a muscle: try to memorize poems or read great readings, you will realize that it will become easier.
  • Count the steps: When you go out you can count five steps, then start again and count to six. Keep doing this until you reach 
  • The Chair: Sit down and try to stand still for at least five minutes, without making any movement.

You may also be interested in reading the articles to improve your life, learning about growth hacking

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