May 7, 2008

Improve your concentration using this simple strategy.

Our mind often wanders away from its task. Someone just walking into the room or a noise or a song coming from just outside the window can affect our concentration. That momentary distraction can lead our mind to dwell upon associated memories or related thoughts. How do we prevent our minds from wandering and concentrate on our work?

The Kansas State University Website provides some useful strategies. The simplest and most effective strategy to counter distractions and concentrate on the job is a strategy they call Be Here Now.

Be Here Now

This deceptively simple strategy is probably the most effective. When you notice your thoughts wandering astray, say to yourself

"Be here now"

and gently bring your attention back to where you want it.

You may notice that your mind often wanders (as often as several times a minute at times). Each time just say

"Be here now"

and refocus. Do not try to keep particular thoughts out of your mind. For example, as you sit there, close your eyes and think about anything you want to for the next three minutes except cookies. Try not to think about cookies...When you try not to think about something, it keeps coming back. ("I'm not going to think about cookies. I'm not going to think about cookies.")

When you find your thoughts wandering, gently let go of that thought and, with your "Be here now," return to the present.

You might do this hundreds of times a week, if you're normal. But, you'll find that the period of time between your straying thoughts gets a little longer every few days. So be patient and keep at it. You'll see some improvement!