How I Can Improve My Concentrating Skill
This assignment is for my research paper class in which I will propose a solution for my current problem; how I can improve my concentrating skill so that I can be more creative and use my time more effectively. I will also carry out an interview with a counselor whose opinion I will seek on how I can improve my concentration skills.
I have been having a serious problem as a student in this school; my class concentration is at its lowest ebb. Instead of doing my college assignments, I have been spending most of my energies in some other stuff that are not quiet important to me like education is. And therefore I have decided to write this essay on how I can improve my concentrating skill so that I can be more creative and use my time more effectively.
My concentration problem has affected me to such an extent that I had to go to the library and search for relevant materials to assist me regain my class concentration back to normal. My first search landed me in the university of Cambridge student and staff counseling services website. The site has several ways in which persons like me can be assisted. According to the site, concentration is defined as ‘the ability to direct one’s thinking in whatever direction one would intend’. They recognize that all of us have the ability to concentrate some of the time but at other times our thoughts are scattered leaving our mind to race from one thing to another. To deal with such times, they advice that we need to learn and practice concentration skills and strategies, in order to concentrate therefore we have to learn a skill and as with this skill needs repeated practice day after day until we achieve enough improvement such that we feel we are able to concentrate when we need to (University of Cambridge).
Our ability to concentrate depends on a number of things including but not limited to commitment, enthusiasm for the task ahead, skill at doing the task, our environment, our physical state and our emotional and physiological state. If we are able to improve on the above concentration skills, then we are able to achieve our goals. The obvious step is that improving one’s concentration improves memory and to concentrate means to focus on the particular subject intensely. Thus by focusing, I will be able to easily memorize new facts easily or be able to recall previously memorized information (University of Cambridge).
According to one doctor Pascale Miechelon, concentration and memory are two mental skills that are directly related. She attributes this to the fact that memory complaints have nothing with the ability to remember things but a failure to properly focus on the task at hand. Many of our actions are performed automatically but focusing our attention is effortful. She gives a one to one step on how to improve concentration (University of Cambridge).
Improving concentration methods include:
- Focusing on the task at hand. When in class I have realized that I should just focus on what am being taught, I should ask questions and be attentive. When am reading a book, I should try to memorize what I have just read to a friend or even a teacher.
- I should generally avoid and try to eliminate any distractions. I now realize that I should tune off anything else except the subject matter in class. Although I may have fees problems, I should focus on what am being taught at that time and worry about fee problems later.
- I should try to avoid double tasking. I know that currently am volunteering at a local hospital, am taking three classes and having a part time job at a local restraint and as such I should try to balance my time so that I do not exhaust myself on the job. I have learned that when one tries to do several things at once, they have to divide their attention and as a result concentrate less on each individual task.
- The doctor also advices the use of meditation. Studies have shown that meditation can be a good brain tool that affects concentration skills. Therefore, if I use meditation the right way, I believe that my concentration will considerably improve (Dr. Michelon, Pascale).
On the backdrop of improving my concentration, I also realize that I have to take initiatives to improve my memory. Dr. Michelon gives the following tips on how we can improve our memory;
- The first point is to pay attention and concentrate.
- I also realize that I should relate to the information am learning. According to the doctor, the more personal the information becomes, the easier it is to remember it. Thus I should develop a habit of asking myself how it makes me feel. I should also ask myself where else I have heard what the teacher is teaching us and where it can be applied. I should further ask myself whether there is something in my personal life that is related to the piece of information I am being taught.
- I should also train my brain to repeat information; come back to it more than once. Studies have shown that repeated information is easier to recall.
- Lastly but not least, I should elaborate on the information and think about it. According to the doctor, things that are concrete and have a clear meaning are easier to remember than vogue and abstract stuff. Therefore, I should try to attach meaning to the information am trying to memorize that will help me to recall the information easier on a later time. The brain as a result will have more cues to look for (Dr. Michelon, Pascale).
I also had an interview with a counselor who was really helpful in helping me improve my concentration. This is the one on one conversation with the counselor.
Question: where can I begin if I want to improve my concentration?
Answer: start building into your daily schedule habits that lead to increased brain power.
Question: what are some of the daily schedules are you talking about?
Answer: some of these daily schedules include meditation. Mindful meditation for even 10 minutes a day greatly improves concentration. Proper and sufficient sleep ensures that the brain is mentally focused. The food we take should also contain brain enhancement supplements and other vitamins for memory. Engaging in brain games ensures that certain skills are more reinforced in the brain as well as improving ability to concentrate.
Question: how can I use my environment to help enhance my concentration?
Answer: the environment in addition to building the above described habits, it is also to adjust the environment you are in to improve your concentration when studying. Remove distractions like turning off your phone ringer. Do not study while the television is on or while the radio is playing. Another simple instruction is to create a study spot. This is because the brain loves routine and if you create a space where you use it to study.
Question: how can I measure my progress?
Answer: it is important that you ensure what you have read about concentration and what you have been told are put into practice and that they are working. If you feel less distracted while studying and that the mind does not wander while you on your books then there is positive changes. Also, if there is improvement in class marks then definitely the change is positive.