Focus is important – without it, our minds just wander aimlessly. And then we’re left just scratching our heads wondering why we’ve got nothing done. Again.
But how can you improve your focus and concentration without brain ache?
1. Use the Pomodoro Technique
Work at the project for 25 minutes without distraction.
Then have a 5 minute break – leave your desk, stretch your legs, that kind of thing.
Then repeat the cycle.
After 4 cycles, have a longer break – typically around 30 minutes.
Then repeat the earlier process.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much you can get done in a little under 4 hours. But they’re all productive hours and you’ll be focussed during that time.
You might get a “cold turkey” reaction if you’re not checking your emails and Facebook pages and SMS messages every minute or two but you’ll gradually adjust.
Meditation can be relaxing – a lot depends on the precise style of meditation you’re undertaking.
The traditional form of meditation is to focus on one object, possibly chant a mantra of some sort to keep your mind occupied and gradually learn to relax more and more.
If you’ve got the time and inclination then that’s a good idea.
But we’ve been trained in the Western world to expect things fast – most of us haven’t got the time or patience to spend years learning how to meditate,
Fortunately, modern science has come to the rescue.
Scientists have studied the different brain patterns that are achieved by experienced meditators and have figured out a way to artificially stimulate our brains to achieve the same state just by listening to a specially designed audio,
It’s a lot easier than years and years of practice.
And it works just as well – it’s the method I personally use on a daily basis.
Zen 12 has condensed this into a 12 minute session – the amount of time that anyone can spare – and it gets great results, improving your focus and concentration during the day as well as helping you to relax and unwind when you choose.
Very much the best of both worlds.
3. Hypnotise Yourself
I’ve been a fan of hypnosis for a long time.
It reaches the parts of our minds that more conventional techniques find it hard to get to.
Our subconscious mind controls most of the things we do – you don’t consciously tell your body to breathe in every few seconds or expel the “used” air after enough oxygen has been transferred to your blood; you don’t tell your heart to pump or your toenails to grow. Or lots and lots of other things.
Those are all controlled by your subconscious.
And it also controls a lot of other things you do – including whether or not you’re focused and concentrating when you need to.
Hypnosis can bypass your conscious mind and help effect deep, lasting change with next to no effort on your part.
Which (being naturally lazy) is why I like it.
You could choose to go to a local hypnotist – they’re great for a really personal experience – but a lot of people find that a downloaded MP3 works near enough identically to a personal session with the added advantage that it’s cheaper and can be played over and over again.
If you’d like to help your subconscious mind help you improve your focus and concentration, check out this excellent hypnosis download.
4. Use binaural beats for concentration
Binaural beats are kind-of scary when you first encounter them.
They literally change your brain’s state.
Fortunately, the experiments to find the best binaural beats frequencies to do this have been researched and experimented on elsewhere, so provided you get hold of a professionally created binaural beats track they’re perfectly safe.
I use them for meditation on a near enough daily basis and have experienced positive benefits for over a decade.
But when I want to focus and concentrate – rather than relax and chill out – then it’s a different set of frequencies needed. A bit like different ingredients in a recipe.
The scientific part has been done for me – all I need to do is put on my headphones and play the relevant track.
Then in a matter of minutes my concentration improves – which is good because I often get distracted. Using computers and the internet does that, even with ad blockers and pop-up blockers because they don’t stop everything, especially not the urge to check Facebook again.
The best set of binaural beats for creativity and focus that I’ve found is here. If you’re somewhere that you can play the track through traditional speakers, it’s one that doesn’t need headphones but personally I prefer to go into my own personal space.