How To Improve Your Focus And Concentration (7 Exercises)
With all the things going on in the world it is hard to maintain a steady focus on much of anything. Even if you are dedicated to important work you may have, the smallest thing may break your concentration and deter your efforts to complete work on a tight schedule.
Here are some exercises that can help strengthen and maintain your concentration and focus:
1. Count a Few Words
It may seem a little odd, but counting the words on the pages of a book is one exercise you can try. No, you do not need to read the words on the page. Simply start by counting the words in one paragraph, then two paragraphs, and until you’ve counted all the words on the page.
Do not write anything down, count using only your eyes, and without pointing at the words. It doesn’t cost anything and it is a simple exercise that can be done repeatedly in a short time.
2. Clear Your Mind
This is a philosophy that is very stereotypical of martial arts movies. But there is truth in what the teachers in those films tell their students. Emptying one’s mind of clouding thoughts is a proven way to help with concentration and focus.
The best way to do this is to clear your mind of everything running through your head. Suppress your thoughts as best you can, starting at about 5 minutes each time. Even if you don’t last the five minutes, do not hesitate to go at it again. With enough practice, clearing your mind will become a reflex.
With enough practice, you’ll be able to maintain a ‘clear mind’ state for longer periods of time. It is considered one of the more difficult exercises, but if you are able to master it, it will give you a concentration and focus that not many can rival.
When you have a consistent stream of tasks throughout the day, it is hard to quiet the mind. If there’s a time of day where your thoughts prevent you from getting a decent amount of work done, try exercising a couple of hours before clocking in.
You’ll see a difference in the level of focus and concentration you have throughout your shift. Companies in Silicon Valley are already incorporating exercise into their everyday routines.
A proper workout schedule will also have a positive impact on how restful your sleep is. You’ll fall asleep 15 minutes earlier and even stay asleep for 45 minutes longer than you normally do. And with proper sleep, will come a sharper, quicker-thinking mind.
4. The Water Glass
Water can be used in many ways to improve one’s focus and concentration. Put some water in a glass, and grasping the glass with your fingers, put your arms in front of you. Focus your eyes on the glass, ensuring that no movement from the water is perceivable.
Try this exercise for about one minute. If it wasn’t too difficult, try increasing the time to 5 minutes. Do this one arm at a time.
Some of us have a favorite sound, word, or phrase that gives us that unique boost of energy. If you have any such thing yourself, try this exercise. Repeat that favorite phrase, word, or sound to yourself for about five minutes and see your concentration increase exponentially.
Familiar sights and sounds are known to have a calming, endorphin-triggering effect in the human mind.
Once you’ve done this exercise successfully for 5 minutes, trying maintaining concentration for ten minutes.
6. Sit in a chair
Sitting in a chair to improve concentration is probably one of the easier exercises a person can do, but can be difficult in the beginning. Start by taking a seat in a comfortable chair and focus on simply sitting still, trying to ensure there are no involuntary muscle movements.
Start by sitting in a relaxed position for about 5 minutes. You might get the urge to move, but do your best to stay still. Keep practicing until you are successful. Once you are, extend the time you are sitting to 10 minutes and eventually to 15 minutes.
7. Concentrate on Things
Using a spoon, fork, or glass, focus on your chosen object while observing it from all possible sides. Do not form any words in your mind associated with the object. If it helps, focus on what can be perceived from the object without words.