Improve Your Concentration Video

Video Transcript

Learn how to improve your concentration, in this short video.

You need to be able to concentrate if you want to get ahead in your career.

When you can focus intensely on your work, you get more done. And, when you put your entire attention and energy into a task, it often means that you're doing your very best work.

The good news is that there are lots of things that you can do to improve your concentration.

Start by looking at your workspace. Make sure that you're completely comfortable. After all, if your chair is uncomfortable, or your desk isn't at the right height, your attention will be on how you feel, and not on your work.

If you work in a space where noise is a distraction, try listening to instrumental music, or "white noise" on a set of headphones.

Next, look at how you work. Do you take frequent mini-breaks to check emails or return phone calls? If this sounds like you, keep in mind that it can take several minutes to regain your focus every time you stop working on a task.

Instead, set specific times to check email and return calls. If practical, close your email program and turn off your phone to avoid temptation. Also remember that, while it's important to stay focused during the day, no one can stay focused constantly.

You'll actually improve your concentration by taking regular breaks, say, every 60-90 minutes. When you do this, stand up and stretch, or walk down the hall to get a glass of water. While it seems counterintuitive, stopping what you're doing to get up and move around will actually help you get more done in the course of the day.

Last, if your colleagues are a distraction and there's a task or project that you really need to focus on, think about working somewhere else. Book a meeting room, move into an empty office, or even head to the local coffee shop to work.

Now, read the article that accompanies this video to find out more about improving your concentration.

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Comments (11)
  • Over a month ago Sarah.P wrote
    Hello all,

    The ability to concentrate is a key skill if you want to get any meaningful work done.

    Learn how to focus on your work, with this week's Featured Favorite article.

    Best wishes
    Sarah
  • Over a month ago Midgie wrote
    Hi Michel,
    I so agree with you about taking breaks being counter-intuitive in today's culture! It's worth trying (or a variation of it) just to force oneself to stop working very regularly and consciously, because in today's culture this is totally counter-intuitive. So many of us are driven to do more, and more and more ... yet we are driving ourselves to the ground. And, we are driving ourselves into actually being less productive, efficient and effective. The idea of 'less is more' is a good thing to aspire to, and part of that is actually taking breaks to 'recharge / refuel' before refocusing once again!

    We've previously had a discussion here about taking breaks, and the Pomodoro Technique - viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5180&hilit=Pomodoro&start=15 - and thought you might be interested in taking a look.

    This is something I coach athletes on which is very counter-intuitive in that I encourage them to relax to improve their physical performances. By relaxing, this allows the body (and the mind) to be more fluid, flexible and do what they have trained it to do ... without having to force anything. The tighter and tenser they are, the less effective they perform. Same goes in the workplace with a mental performance!

    The down-time of breaks, not just a quick switch off before getting back to things, allows the body the rest it needs to refuel (physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually).

    Yet, the key is finding out what works for you and what your ideal performance times are, and your down times are!

    What do you think?
    Midgie
  • Over a month ago Elessar wrote
    Hi Midgie,
    I definitely agree with your suggestion of regularly getting up and drinking a glass of water or something similar. But in the sense of an actual break (not just 30 seconds) to help your brain disconnect. I also still think 60-90 minutes is way too much for most people. You're right in saying that it can vary, but even if you manage to stay entirely focused on one task for that much time, you won't be productive for such a long time. Therefore a 3-5 minute break every 30 minutes would easily be compensated by a higher productivity after the break. And when I do that, I feel less tired. The Pomodoro technique will certainly not fit everyone's needs, but I feel that it's worth trying (or a variation of it) just to force oneself to stop working very regularly and consciously, because in today's culture this is totally counter-intuitive.

    Michel
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