Life Skills – Improve your Concentration

Are you fed up of starting new projects or working towards new goals that never get finished/achieved?

What about being frustrated at being stuck in a rut and not moving forward?

If yes, why not take a mo’ and concentrate on your concentration life skills?

There’s a lot to be said for good concentration skills. They help us become more successful because it’s easier to:

  • finish things faster;
  • memorise things more easily;
  • study, learn and comprehend faster and more efficiently;
  • achieve better results;
  • acquire more control over our thoughts and Inner Imps and control self-sabotaging thoughts;
  • function more effectively in every day things;
  • find more inner confidence and happiness;

You might well sit there saying, “I don’t need this, I’ve got great concentration”. Well, get your Inner Imp Honesty to take a sneak peak at this list of warning signs that you might be lacking concentration. If you still believe you’ve got great concentration skill afterwards, “good on ya mate”. If not, take a look and see just how you could get your concentration life skills to sit up and pay a bit more attention:

Warning Signs of Lack of Concentration

  • You’re reading a book and you’re still on the same page after 15 minutes.
  • You’ve read the same sentence/paragraph 3 times already.
  • You’ve read something multiple times and still don’t know what the XXXX it means.
  • You’re continually losing things.
  • You’re often overwhelmed by negative thinking and self-sabotaging thoughts.
  • You keep giving up on New Year’s resolutions or fail to achieve goals you set yourself.

All the above are signs that your concentration life skills could be wandering about a bit aimlessly on occasion.

The good news is, the power of concentration is a life skill that can be gradually developed and strengthened in a practical way though systematic daily exercise. Here are some CANDo tactics.

Tactic 1

Make friends with a daily to-do list. Often, we can’t concentrate because we bogged down with thoughts of “must-dos”, “could-dos” and “should-be-doings”.

“Oh I mustn’t forget to ring XX.”

“That letter needs posting tomorrow.”

“I think I’ll call XX and arrange to play/go out with him.”

“I must pay this/that bill.”

Jot things down on a list the minute you think about them and get them out of your head so you’re free to concentrate on the thing you’re doing. Prioritise these things and jot down the ones you need to do today. Wake up Self-Discipline have him flex his perseverance muscles and get him to make sure you finish everything on today’s to-do list before you hit the sack.

Tactic 2

Take the reins and be boss of your Inner Imps. Advise them loud and clear that you will not permit them to distract you any more with too many issues or anxieties. Every time one of them interrupts you, give him a stern look, wag your finger and say no, no, no.

Tactic 3

Concentrate on one thing at a time and give it 100% effort. Do this by putting every thing other than this one activity/thought out of your mind. To help you, have a quick peak at what other thoughts your Inner Imps are shoving their hand up with and either address them or put them on a list to deal with another time. Multi-tasking rocks but only when Self-Discipline can keep you focussed when it matters.

Tactic 4

Switch autopilot off. Often we don’t really focus on things actively, we simple react to things that are happening around us and our daily lives.

Tactic 5

Be a bit of a Buddha. Consciously involve yourself in every little thing you do. Be in the moment with that one thing and really think about just it.

  • If you’re washing up, don’t let your mind wander to last night’s dinner or an unpaid bill – BE in the washing up.
  • If you’re reading a book, don’t let your Inner Imps interrupt you with other things – BE in the book.
  • If you’re writing a presentation, don’t think about the meeting you’ve got in an hour – BE in the presentation.
  • If you’ve got an assignment don’t think about the other things you’d rather be doing – BE in the assignment.

You can liken having the essential life skills for success to success in sport. If you don’t practice swimming, running, shooting, high-jumping, rowing, diving or weight lifting, et al, regular you will not continue performing at the same or a better level.

Life skills are no different.

Concentration skills, communication skills, time-keeping skills, etc., etc., all need constant training and practice to maintain and/or improve their effectiveness.

Practice, practice, practice, persevere, persevere, persevere.

The choice is yours.

You can either be a slave to your Inner Imps and mind by letting them pull you in all directions or become master of them. They’re gonna throw a few tantrums when you start paying attention to things other than them but you need to start disciplining them.

CANDo Kick-Ass Call to Action:  As well as the CANDo tactics trying this mental exercise might help. Try starting off with just 5 minutes a day and then work up to longer periods of time.

Find a quite place where you’re not going to be disturbed. If you live is a household like mine, that might mean getting up a bit earlier before the hoard awakes – figure out what’s right for you.

Sit crossed legged on the floor – try a cushion under your butt if it makes it more comfortable. Sit up straight and take a few calming breaths, then try to relax your body – don’t let your back bend though, keep it straight. In turn – probably best to start with the tootsies and then work up to the head – think about each part of your body, tense and then relax it until you’ve worked and relaxed all your bits.

Once you’re completely relaxed, sit for 5  minutes without thinking about anything. Easier said than done, believe me!

Put your whole attention into doing this mental exercise. Force your Inner Imps to stay in line and make sure none of them start day-dreaming. If someone wanders off, bring him back and start again.

It will be difficult at first but keep at it and you’ll be really training your mind. Persist with this mental exercise and employ the tactics above and you should start seeing results.

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One Response to Life Skills – Improve your Concentration

  1. Det Nilam November 8, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Practice and don’t give up your dreams – was always my motto.

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