In my memory courses people always admit to having problems with concentration. It counts for my other courses too! Have you ever read through pages of information at work and suddenly find that you have no idea of what you have been reading?

What can we do to increase concentration?

First of all: Relax. Take deep breaths. Breathe in while you count slowly to four, hold it while you count to four, and exhale while you count to four. While doing this, focus on the breathing only and thereby shut down incoming thoughts.

To practice to focus on one thing only, you can empty your mind of thoughts by doing the following exercise:

  • Visualise a calendar.
  • Choose a month and focus on the numbers of that month. Pretend each number is a button.
  • Start with the last number of the month, and press the button. When you press it – in your mind’s eye – you hear a calming sound from a harp, which makes you feel more and more relaxed.
  • Press the next button, hear the calming sound and feel even more relaxed.
  • Keep pressing the buttons until you reach number one. If thoughts or any other distraction happens, restart with the last number.

When you have finished this little exercise, you program yourself to concentrate by telling yourself, that “I easily concentrate on my work/study/reading. I am a great learner and I comprehend in a flash the information I need, and I have fun doing it.” Visualise the benefits of doing it and how you will feel when finished.

You are now ready to concentrate on the material you want to work on. Consider the following points to support concentration:

  • Be or create interest in what you want to absorb. (Ask yourself, “What is the benefit of knowing this?” – “What will happen if I don’t acquire this knowledge?”)
  • Make sure the room has the right temperature (cooler is better than hot).
  • Work on the material on the time of the day when you function best.
  • Vary your activities and take breaks. (Work on easy material when you have finished the difficult one).

Every 30 to 40 minutes you should take a short break. If you are working at a computer, get out of the chair and make exercises. Have competitions with yourself, and celebrate when you have achieved your target. Remember that we make it a great day. We are at cause and we have the choices to program ourselves to having a hard time or an enjoyable time.

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