Concentration. Some of us have a lot of it. But most of us have too little. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As with many things, if you overthink and overanalyze them too much, it can become very easy to turn something very simple into something very complex. My intention behind writing this article is to give you a simple explanation of how to improve concentration and how you can take control of it, pointing your focus in the direction you want to achieve your goals and live a more productive life.
What You Concentrate On Is What You Get – Feed Your Mind
Whatever you are “feeding” your mind is what you are focusing on. If you are watching tv, you are focusing on it. If you are looking at that big zit on your coworkers forehead, you are focusing on it. Many of us don’t consciously control our focus. We are not choosing what we feed our minds. Instead of making these decisions, we wander around life aimlessly and we focus on whatever happens to catch our eye at the moment.
How many times have you lost yourself in YouTube or FaceBook simply because you couldn’t control your focus?
Example: Your friend emails you a funny video. You click on the link and watch the video. It puts you in a good mood and you get a good laugh out of it. Then out of the corner of your eye you see a title that catches your attention: “Alligator Doing Trapeze”. Sounds interesting, maybe I’ll check it out. You watch the video and then another title catches your eye: “Best Extreme Sports Wipeouts.” Well I have to see that.
This continues on and on, watching video after video, until you realize you have lost 90 minutes of your life watching these videos that are not serving you or carrying you towards your goals in the slightest way.
Now look, I believe it’s important to enjoy life. And for some people, watching videos like these are part of the process of enjoying life. But my main point here is that many of us have a tendency to get carried away or lost in things that are simply wasting our time. Have fun, but in moderation. You still need to make time for your goals, and if you really want to make things happen in your life, productivity needs to be a priority.
So how can we control our focus instead of our focus controlling us? One of the first steps is realizing some of the ways you might be losing control of your focus.
Do you binge watch Netflix?
Get lost in YouTube?
Surf forums like Reddit for hours a day?
How many hours a day do you spend answering emails?
How To Improve Concentration – We focus on what is in front of us
All of the above activities tend to be things we focus on and get lost in because they are easily accessible and right in front of us.
If you’re in a gun store, you can’t really help but focus on guns and ammo.
When you’re in a fishing store, you can’t help but think about and focus on fishing, bait and tackle.
When you are on a golf course, you think about golf.
It’s pretty simple, but we usually don’t think about how to use this to our advantage. If you have a long term goal you are working towards, it’s important to create a space, workshop, or office that is filled with reminders of your goal.
One way to do this is through pictures, post-it notes, videos, and other small reminders. The idea is to create a space that is so saturated with images, sounds, and feelings related to your goal that focusing on it becomes effortless. It’s a great way to put you in the mood to start working and making progress.
I’m a huge fan of imagery. I not only write down my goals, but I draw them as well. And my drawing skills are atrocious. I suggest you do the same, even if you are as bad at drawing as I am. Even by drawing a stick figure equivalent of your goals, you can create powerful associations in your mind.
Take these drawings, or just take pictures off of the internet, and make them easily visible. Write reminders on post-it notes and put them in places like your bathroom on the mirror, or on your steering wheel in your car.
Pick a song that you play without fail before you start working on your goal.
If you are a fisherman, put pictures of Swordfish and Mahi Mahi and Wahoo all over the place along with your favorite rods, reels, lures and bait.
If you want to be a business tycoon, put pictures of what problem you are going to help people solve, what your business does, where your business is going to be located, and some of the goals you hope to achieve.
If you want to be an author, surround yourself with books of your other favorite authors, things you like to write about, and things that inspire you to write.
The whole idea is immersion. We focus on what is in front of us. So find out what you want to focus on, and put it in front of you. Make a space, or multiple spaces that whenever you enter them, remind you of your goal and instantly focus your mind on how to continue moving forward.
Make your inspiration space, or whatever you want to call it, like the gun store or the fishing store. Give yourself no choice but to think about that which you want to achieve. When you simplify things like this, more ideas of how to improve concentration are easy to come up with. Whether it’s your office, a special room in your house, your car, or even a reminder in your wallet or phone, do something to put the things you value in front of you and in your range of focus.
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