Improved concentration can help in many aspects of our lives from work and driving, to paying attention during social interactions and outings (which can be difficult for people with anxiety). Concentration isn’t just enhanced productivity; it’s the ability to focus on the task at hand and living in the moment.
Cut the Noise
This can be both metaphorical and literal. Turn off your alerts, put your phone on silent, close the door to your office to cut out the chatter. Ultimately, you need to cut out your distractions. It takes time to focus and with so much going on it can be hard to “get in the zone.”
There’s a lot going on around you, and for the vast majority, there’s not much you can do about it. You need to remember to focus on the things that you have control of, things that are important to you and not get caught up in that which you have no business. If you’re at the grocery store and there are screaming kids all over the place, don’t worry about it, it’s not your problem. Crazy Traffic? All you can do about it is to make sure that you do the right thing if you are overly concerned with other people you may make irrational decisions.
Understand Your Objective
Remember your goals. It’s easy to get sidetracked in an age of endless digital media. According to Mashable, “YouTube users upload 48 hours of new video every minute.” Now just think about that, there are 60 minutes in an hour multiplied by 48 hours meaning that you’d need 2880 computer monitors to continuously stream new footage from YouTube. Even assuming that only a small percentage of that was even worth watching(it’s a very small percentage), you’d still have 100′s of computer monitors rendering the feat impossible/impractical/illogical/irresponsible. No one will ever be able to see all of the footage on youtube in their lifetime (not that they’d want to). And that’s just YouTube, not to mention all the blogs, forums, memes, gifs, games, and other digital media that it being published constantly.
Life is distracting. If you can always remember to keep your objective at the forefront of your thoughts, you will have an easier time accomplishing your goals.
Plan Out/Structure Your Time
When we structure our time into smaller blocks, it becomes easier to fulfill. Blog for 1 hour, aggregate data for 30 minutes, send out reports for 15 min, email boss status updates 15 min, take a small break. If you can think of your to-do items in terms of small blocks to accomplish one-at-a-time instead of facing it all head on, it will help you get started and refrain from becoming sidetracked.
Nothing ever works out perfectly. Expect to hit a few roadblocks along the way and budget them into your time. This way, when they do occur, they come as more of an expectation that they do a surprise. Don’t let roadblocks inhibit your progress, you’re going to get stuck sometimes, and as long as you don’t let it get you too frustrated, you’ll be able to work through it with relative ease.
Don’t let the anxiety of an approaching deadline turn yours into a pushy person. If you race to get everything done, you will inevitably skip over the finer details of your work causing your work quality to suffer and your stress levels to rise. Be patient; you’ll find that the world is a lot friendlier why you face it with a patient attitude.
While improving concentration isn’t always easy, there are a few things that can be kept in mind to help.