According to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, concentration is “the action and effect of intensely focusing attention on something”.
For our daily life it is important to learn to concentrate. Concentration is the ability to fix our attention on a task and be able to perform adequately for a while, without distractions. The lack of concentration is something quite common, since we live in the middle of a continuous bombardment of stimuli. However, by putting into practice some simple techniques we can improve concentration and be more productive for a long time.
Concentration and memory go hand in hand. Therefore, if we learn to concentrate we can remember more things, be more effective in carrying out any task, make effective decisions, increase our mental agility and our precision, which will be beneficial to us in the face of any challenge in our daily life.
Physical, mental and visual fatigue, emotional discomfort, lack of interest and boredom, lack of practice or an inappropriate environment are some of the main variables that affect our ability to concentrate.
We give you some tips to achieve greater concentration and be more productive:
Get enough rest. A basic point to be able to concentrate well. We need to be rested. Sleeping enough hours gives us the necessary brain and cognitive recovery to be able to perform perfectly the next day. Sleeping well gives us a state of alertness while awake.
Avoid distractions and find a suitable place. It’s a bit obvious, isn’t it? When we try to focus on a task, it is a very good idea to try to avoid being distracted by unwanted external stimuli.
Visually plan your time and tasks. Plan your day by the hour and check it every so often. This will help you organize yourself, define your rhythm and make better use of every minute. It is also advisable to do the most important tasks first. In the morning, when you are cooler and leave the less relevant ones for the afternoon.
Train your attention. As concentration is a cognitive activity designed to focus our attention on a specific aspect, a very useful exercise is to train our attention. In other words, if we have greater control over our attentional processes, it will be much easier for us to concentrate. For example: practice mindfulness (full concentration). Observe your body. It does not matter when or what activity we are doing. Observing our body carefully at any moment and dedicating time to it (identifying our muscular tension, contact with the ground, the external sensations that stimulate our senses) helps to focus our attention, expanding or reducing the focus depending on the situation. Counting our breath is another simple exercise that helps us work and identify our level of focus.
You can also exercise playing chess, doing word searches, sudoku puzzles or any other game that requires concentration and memory.
Music, your great ally. Music has a positive effect on the hormonal system that makes the brain concentrate more easily and assimilate more information in less time, improving concentration, memory and cognitive abilities.