This post is by Andy Boyd of edugree.com.
Many people are easily interrupted and struggle to stay on topic and task until complete. However, staying concentrated on a single task isn’t as hard as you might first believe. Following these simple tips will help anyone concentrate on a task to get it finished as easily and quickly as possible. Hopefully you can concentrate long enough to read the whole article!
1. Envision the task at handThink through the process you must use to finish the task. Are you writing a paper, studying for a test, or planning for an event? It doesn’t matter what the task is. Simply mentally walk yourself through the process so you know what it entails.
2. Prepare the work space in advance
Choose a work space that is large enough to accommodate all of the materials you will need to complete the job. Move all of the necessary materials into the space so they are easily accessible without having to leave. You should not have to leave the work space to get materials once you begin because this causes unnecessary distractions to occur. If you have mentally walked yourself through the process in advance, you will know what materials are essential to the completion of the task.
3. Remove all barriers to your concentration from your work space
The work space should not house a phone (unless you really need it for the project), television, or other distracting gadget. In fact, choose a time to work that others will not be around you to distract you or break your concentration—working from home is notoriously difficult for some, especially those who are naturally easily disrupted. If you must work in a public place, use headphones to eliminate noise and show others you are too busy to be bothered.
4. Begin the task by breaking it down into achievable pieces
Make a list of what needs to be accomplished. Then, rewrite the list in the order of importance. Breaking down the task into smaller parts can make it easier to concentrate since you are only concentrating on one idea at a time. It is also easier to concentrate when you know what piece you are working on and what piece will be coming up next. You don’t have to worry about what is coming up next.
5. Allocate each task a time
If the deadline or time frame of a project has you worried or stressed, this may cause you to lose your concentration. To avoid losing your concentration over this, you may find that it eases your mind to allocate given amounts of time for each task on your task list. Since you have already broken down your job into specific tasks to accomplish, go back to that list and allocate specific amounts of time to make sure that you don’t spend so much time on one part that you can’t finish the whole. Adhere to the timeline as closely as possible to take the guesswork out of when you will be finished.
6. When you begin the job, check off each piece as you finish it
This helps you see what parts have been accomplished and allows you to only concentrate on the jobs that are left. This relieves stress you may be feeling about the overall project and allows you to use all of your focus to concentrate on the current job you are trying to complete.
7. Don’t forget to schedule breaks periodically during your work session
Concentrating so hard on one task can easily be tiring. To avoid overtiring yourself or letting your concentration waver, schedule five to ten minute breaks each hour. During the break session, stand and stretch. Get a cold drink or snack and let your mind wander from the task at hand.
It is important that you don’t do anything during a break session to cause you to lose focus for more than the allotted five to ten minutes. Making a phone call or checking an email account during a break may not be smart since these could cause possible distractions that break your concentration or cause you to abandon your work.
What helps you concentrate? Share your tips in the comments.
Andy blogs about how you can advance your career through education and provides advice on drafting your resume on his blog. You can visit his blog at edugree.com.