How to Increase Your Concentration for Long Hours in front of the ComputerBy
When you work online, it means long hours in front of the computer. I don’t care how much coffee or sugar you consume; you’re not going to make it if you don’t have some solid strategies for keeping your brain in concentration mode. All of us could use a bit more of that, so here are some tips to help you focus better on the tasks at hand.
Multi-tasking Is the Enemy
First of all, let’s define concentration. It means keeping your mind on one thing at a time. It’s the polar opposite of multitasking, which means doing a bunch of things at once. The problem with multitasking is that you can’t do any of those tasks well, and that’s why we need focus. Stay with one thing until you’re done with it and don’t try to juggle.
So Long, Distractions
What distracts you? There’s something different for everyone. It could be external (kids shouting, Facebook) or internal (thinking about a member of the opposite sex who titillates you). The first step in eliminating distractions is to discover exactly what they are. Make a list from most to least distracting. Make time to indulge in your distractions and keep work and play time separate.
Identify Your Best Time of Day
No matter how much of a scatter-brained wreck you are, there’s at least one time of day when you find it easier to focus. For me, it’s late morning. That’s when I’m best able to shut everything out and focus. Monitor your concentration throughout the day and discover your good focus times (first thing in the morning) and bad ones (right after a big lunch). Then, schedule the toughest tasks for the best times.
Your Prioritized Daily List
The night before, create a prioritized list of things you need to get done the next day. When you start your day, start at the top and work your way down. This eliminates a serious distraction most of us face – organizing your day. Do the thinking beforehand and spend your day crossing tasks off your list.
Call me a new age hippy if you want to, but nothing I’ve ever found works better than daily meditation. Sit for five to twenty minutes daily doing absolutely nothing. Don’t even think. When thoughts arise, let them pass without becoming attached to them. This will help you be in the moment and focus your attention there, even when you’re not meditating.
There are all kinds of concentration and brain training exercises and they really do work. One of my favourites is to count down from 99 in multiples of 3 (or any other arbitrary numbers). You’re counting down and calculating at the same time, and it takes an incredible amount of concentration to keep it up. After that, focusing on work tasks is easy!
Finally, take tons of breaks. During these breaks get up and get away from your workspace. Don’t think about work and the things you have to do. Breaking up your day extends your focus by hours.
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