Do you ever wish your concentration was a little better? I know I do. My mind wanders all the time... On bad days, I find it really hard to concentrate on anything for more than 5 minutes! Sometimes you just need to focus, though, so I’ve been reading up on how I can improve my concentration. Here are my top tips...
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It’s almost part of the routine for most people to grab a coffee before they get to work, but you could be making it harder for yourself to concentrate. While it will give you that energy kick to get started, it doesn’t last long, and it also stops your body’s ability to calm itself down. This means you’ll find it a lot harder to concentrate!
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Low blood sugar will badly affect your ability to concentrate, as glucose in the brains primary energy source, and you work better with a consistent supply rather than highs and lows. Pick foods with a low GI rating, such as oats, baked beans and whole grains, as these will release glucose slowly over a period of time, and provide the energy your brain needs.
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When you are about to start working, think ‘Stop’ to yourself. Keep repeating the word in your head until you stop thinking about anything, or getting distracted. Then begin to work. This worked okay for me when I started to take it seriously...I must admit that shouting Stop at myself in my head did make me laugh for a while!
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Put an elastic band around your wrist, and anytime you feel your concentration begin to lapse, ping it. It should hurt just enough to stop you from wanting it to happen again, and to focus you on the task at hand. Just be careful not to cut off the circulation to your hand, or ping yourself too hard.
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Your senses are under siege every time you step out onto the street...from window displays fighting for attention to other pedestrians and making sure you are safe from the road, your head has to process a million and one things at a time. Take a break by giving yourself some time away from the urban environment. Set out earlier and walk a slower but less populated way, or take a trip to a park at lunchtime. Your head will thank you!
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Focus your mind before you start working. Close your eyes, or picture something such as this gorgeous flower. Then focus completely on that, letting all other thoughts and worries fade away. When your head is clear, let go of the image too, and do some deep breathing. Once you feel focused and clear, you’ll find it much easier to concentrate.
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If you are having one of those days when nothing works, try giving yourself short bursts to completely focus on your work, and then doing something else. While it might mean you take longer to get finished, being able to focus even for a little while will help you to finish the task to a high quality. I have to do this quite a bit...
Whether it’s my active imagination or that I’ve always got a hundred and one ideas, I find it very hard to concentrate unless I use these tips. Now I can focus on whatever I need to be doing, and enjoy letting my mind wander in my free time. I’m so glad they worked! Have you got a tip for boosting concentration? Please tell me it!
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