Usually when you start working on something it seems as though concentration is automatic, until you become distracted. Most of the time these interruptions are your own thoughts and can come as often as every few seconds. If there was nothing interfering with the task at hand and no thoughts pushing their way forward then you would have easy and complete concentration. What you need is a method to remove the distractions that are stopping you from controlling your focus.
The key is to start paying attention to your thoughts. The distractions that we think about usually involve something that needs to be done, re-done or undone!
Maybe there is a person you need to talk to, an upcoming meeting you need to prepare for, or a family matter etc. These distractions are only there because you have not set a plan out to deal with them.
Set a plan to deal with your pending obligations one by one. Prioritize your list and then you will better be able to concentrate on the job at hand because you know that you will eventually get to the other things.
Do this exercise a few times, and you’ll find it becomes easier to recognise what is just below the surface, irritating you and sapping your power of concentration. Set these mind irritations aside by setting time aside to take care of them and you will think more clearly and be more focused when you are working on something else.
Another simple technique is to honestly ask why you want to concentrate. Concentration is difficult if you’re bored. A cure for this is to stop and consider why it’s important to concentrate on the job at hand. Why is it important to focus your attention at this time on this task?
Answer the question honestly and then visualize yourself enjoying the benefits of the finished task. This will keep you focused on the end result and stop distractions from interfering while you work on the task.
I know of many students who study with loud music going on. To me that is a distraction. However, while I write this article I am listening to Lester Levenson speak about the Release Technique. So what is distracting for one person may not be for another. The key is to find your distractions and remove them!
If you are trying to concentrate while another person is performing some action that you find distracting then you should remove yourself from that environment or make preparations to ensure that distraction is not there in the future!
External distractions are easy to deal with simply by performing some action (like turning off the phone or radio etc.) or by changing the environment in which you need to concentrate.
The internal distractions take a little more work. However, by prioritizing steps necessary to take care of the subjects that are distracting you, you can eliminate them from your mind while you focus on other things and also eventually eliminate the distraction completely by taking care of it!
When you take care of the external and the internal distractions, you’ll be able to focus your attention and brain power like a spotlight.