Do any of you ever find that it can be hard to concentrate?
I know that I do. There are times that I can get really focused on something and I just go. Everything around me seems to just fade into the background and all I hear, see, and think about is what I am working on. I can get so much accomplished during these times. The problem is that for every time I have extreme focus and production like this, I have 10 other times where I find that I have a hard time trying to concentrate on what I am doing. My focus is lacking. Everything around me seems to capture my attention except the thing I am trying to work on. During these times I seem to get very little done and the work I do mange to get done seems to be lacking.
In a world full of distractions, the person who can focus their attention is the one who stands out in the crowd.
So, how can we develop our ability to focus?
The answer is simple: A little at a time.
I have found that the best way to develop your ability to focus is to play the concentration game. The game is not complicated at all. You simply decide on a set amount of time to work on your primary task. During that time, you are only allowed to work on that task. At the end of that set time, you take a break and go do something else. You can come back to your primary task after your break and do another set time segment of primary work.
By giving your mind and body a rest from your primary task, you will keep your mind and body fresh and it will be able to work much better in short segments. You can accomplish more in three 30 minute segments of focused work than you can in 3 hours of unfocused work.
Let me give you some examples.
Let’s say you have a room in your house that you need to clean. Set a timer for 15 minutes and get as much done in 15 minutes as you possibly can. At the end of those 15 minutes, simply stop and do something else. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in only 15 minutes of focused attention.
Let’s say you have a bunch of studying that you need to do. You can study in hourly segments by studying for 50 minutes and then taking a 10 minute break before returning to another 50 minutes of uninterrupted study. During that 10 minute break you can do whatever you want. You can check email, get a snack, or go take a short walk.
This was a method that I utilized while in vet school. The amount of material we covered and had to learn was enormous so by using this technique, I was able to accomplish more through doing less by using the concentration game.
If you can’t do a full 50 minutes of uninterrupted study at a time, then start with shorter segments. As you exercise your ability to focus, it will grow and allow you to engage for longer periods of time.
The benefits of concentrated focus are great! You will accomplish more, learn more, and be better equipped to serve if you can pay attention when needed.
Try it out and see!