How To Improve Your Concentration and Focus | Hacker Noon

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The World is full of distractions, the more you try to ignore a string of distractions the more you find yourself tangled in those strings of distraction. We are never taught how to manage our time nor our finance. It is the thing that we have to manage or learn on our own. The truth is people actually never learn to manage their time. They just do things whatever they have or according to their priorities. But within these priorities, people tend to get lost in their thoughts, urges, or fictional societies. In between these priorities, it’s really complicated to stay focused and do things. We easily get lost and get distracted. Staying focused for a longer time is tough for your brain. Especially when you are doing intensive work or in short the thing that releases a few dopamines.

Your time is fully in control of yours. It fully depends on yourselves what to do how to do and when to do. A majority of the people have less control over their time, perhaps the control of their time is in tangled thoughts, urges, atomic habits they practice every day, unscheduled events, and many more. People don’t realize every human even Bill Gates and Elon Musk has exactly 24 hours for a day, 365 days for a year. Thus it depends on an individual how they engineer their time.

Know your Time

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Every individual has exactly the same time but the behavior of spending their time is different. Whether you want to read a book or browse a Youtube feed, it depends on you what to do. Whether you want to be lost on Facebook feeds or Quora’s page, it depends on you. Your time is all yours. Whether you want to attend all those parties / meet up with friends or you want to spend time for yourself, realizing the mistakes and planning to improve yourself, it all depends on you.

To be able to focus on things you might need to give them time. For that, we will discuss Time Blocking technique.

Time Blocking + Deep Work Technique

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The famous time management technique followed by Elon Musk. It is popular among Entrepreneurs, Scientists, or in short the Outliers.

To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.” — Cal Newport (Book: Deep Work)

Our world is full of distractions, whether it is a little sister/brother screaming “baby shark” in the hall, or the sound coming from your kitchen. It directly affects your attention. It’s hard to focus on study or solve problems.

Our brain is very weak at performing multiple tasks at the same time. Being able to perform multiple tasks is excellent. But that thing is only limited to performing a task or physical task. Perhaps to study a book or solve problems you will require a full concentration on that particular thing. You may solve two problems at once, but it will take a moment to regain that ultimate focus you’ve built performing the thing for some amount of time. Have you noticed, when you work for something that you really really love, you feel unnoticed about your time? 1 hour is like 10 minutes.

This is true for most of the people who adore Sleep. You sleep for 7–8 hours, but you feel like sleeping for just 2–3 hours.

When we perform work that is mentally intensive, like coding or solving mathematics problems or even studying. Our brain needs ultimate concentration to be able to understand the thing or use transfer learning to solve a problem. In between solving problem switching tasks destructs the building of concentration you’ve built over the time that was required to solve the problem. Thus, for a new task, you will again have to build up a concentration from scratch to be able to understand the new task.

Rather switching tasks instantaneously. Give a certain time for Task 1 and a certain time for Task 2. Suppose you want to read a book daily. If reading a book for 1 hour or 50 pages a day is your goal. Set a time and focus only to read a book. For that particular time, you are only into the books, you are not allowed to browse the Internet between the completion of a single page. Thus you will lose the level of concentration when your attention is dragged by something. So concentrate on books for 1 hour.

I don’t browse the Internet or read books while cooking. Cooking takes a lot of time so, I rather untangle my thoughts and think about the things that I don’t want to do. I think about the ideas or how can a problem be solved while cooking.

Adjusting the Environment

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The secret of intense focus also depends on what’s in your environment. If you living with a small sister/brother who constantly asks you to help them browse the weirdest thing on the Internet or a mother who constantly requests you to help her on a household task. You will never be able to concentrate if your attention is dragged by some weirdest noise around your house or gossips outside your room. You’ve to adjust your environment to be able to have an intense focus on something.

How can you adjust your environment, this all depends on you. You know about your place better than me. Engineer your room, desk according to your needs and productivity. You don’t require a $5000 room setup or Noise Cancelling Headphones to be productive, perhaps what you need is a quiet room and willingness to encounter your distractions and to complete your task.

However, if you cannot manage a quiet room or ignore your talkative little sister then you can find one quiet place. Go to the stairs, or make a time for studies when no one is around you.

To suppress an unexpected sound from outside. You can play calm music or concentration music based on your music taste whether you like Lofi, Electronic or Calm music.

Some gadgets you should consider investing in

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It’s true, the right gadget can increase your productivity. You just have to be comfortable for a long hour of intense work.

To make your room, even more, quieter you can wear headphones to suppress some distracting noise.

(But as I said, you don’t require Expensive Gadgets to be productive, it depends on your will to be productive)

https://devson.medium.com/the-illusion-of-being-productive-with-perfect-gadgets-4b35c5f44eec

Instead of using a dining chair to study, invest in a good office chair, according to your budget.

Invest in a good and large desk.

However, you don’t require $400 Headphones to be a productive master. As I have already said, the essence of being productive comes from your mindset, not the gadget you have.

And, that doesn’t mean you should invest a huge amount to build a perfect desk. There are no perfect things, as I believe “Perfection is the enemy of progress”. Engineer your room with the old stuff you have in your storeroom.

Meditation

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Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry your more calmly through your day and may help you manage symptoms of certain medical conditions.

When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload on your brain that builds up every day which contributes to your stress. It’s true when you performing multiple things a day, your brain stores a huge amount of information that breaks your concentration easily.

The world is full of distractions and we are always dragged into the middle of distraction. Whether it’s a call from an old friend or rejection from someone or a protest or an accident in the street. This incident is a seed where most of us grow in our minds, perhaps thinking it repeatedly we make it a tree.

So, it’s always necessary to remain calm and block negativity or emotions that hurt us and our concentration.

Know your limits and take a break

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We are not a huge computer. We are not made to do a huge amount of tasks continuously for long hours, even if we are able to perform a task continuously, in the long run, it will directly affect our productivity. Thus, we will burnout.

Before you burnout, it’s always to take a step back and stay away from your work for some time. If possible, meditate on the long breaks or visit your nearby parks each evening or morning.

If you are tangled in a problem, don’t worry about it. You don’t require that extra hour of work to solve the problem. It is just a fully loaded brain that is struggling to absorb new information, with a loaded brain you will not be able to solve a problem.

Review your day

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It’s important to track your progress and failures so that you would improve your mistakes and the odds of failing again. We won’t do anything perfectly somehow or somewhere we will be missing something, so it’s always better to learn from mistakes. Review your day each night before signing off for bed. Improve the distractions that you followed on the day.

And we are uncertain about the future. Whatever we plan, organize sometimes we fail to meet our expectations. Uncertainties will always occur, so it’s better to plan your time wisely including uncertainties. For example: Suppose you have the plan to read a book for an hour each day, but you failed to wake up early. So instead of escaping the time to read the book completely spend at least 10 minutes or 5 pages of the book.

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That’s it.

Please share if I was able to trigger one of your neurons.

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