Why do people find it so hard to concentrate while studying or while at work? Perhaps, it is because the distractions around are too much to resist. It is our perennial problem, where the thing we have to do is much more boring or less interesting than other things around. I remember those days before my school exams, when I used to find things as mundane as the chirping of the birds more exciting. This is because we feel that our work, or our studies are boring. Hence, the first thing to do is to banish this notion altogether. Only then will the distractions be what they are: something that ought to be gotten rid of!
Ways to Improve Your Focus
Make the Work Exciting
Now, the general assumption is that the one work in hand is worth a lot less than two other in the bush. But why not make it exciting for you. Psychologists claim that if you are really interested in what you are doing, if you're really, as they say, 'into it' then you will refuse to see the distractions around you! So, to learn to concentrate on work, you first need to make the work exciting. Once you find the work more exciting, then suddenly all the distractions will wither away.
Set Yourself a Target
The next thing you need to do is to try to quantify your result. What would you like the end product of this focused effort to be? Sit down and visualize this end result. Is it something you can do? Is it within your scope? Is it something that you will feel sufficiently rewarded of at the end? If the answer to all the above questions is 'yes' then it seems like you have set a tantalizing enough target for yourself to achieve, and hence, you will put in an honest effort towards the same.
Set Long and Short-Term Goals
The target might be a pretty long shot, so why not set short-term goals, so that you get a feeling of achievement each time. Effective goal setting is a good way to break up your target into shorter goals, and ensure that the progress is according to the plan. In case it isn't, then again, you can revise your target to something more achievable. The drive to achieve the targets and goals set for yourself will keep you focused.
Keep all the Distractions Away
I know as well as you do, that when you're working, anything can distract you. So, keep them all away. Tell your friends to call later, and keep the phone away. Tell the people around you to talk softly. Turn the TV and the music player off, and stay as far away from them as possible. Since you need to keep yourself focused on the work at hand, keep all the distracting stuff out of your sight.
Learn to Concentrate
Meditation is a great exercise to improve your concentration. Meditation need not always be in that rather arduous yoga position. You can sit in a comfortable position, and try focusing on an object in front of you for a set amount of time. This will help to improve your concentration.
Rewards are just as important as anything else! If you have completed your goals, give yourself more than just a pat on the back. Treat yourself to something you feel you deserve. This will help you feel compensated for your efforts, and spur you on to keep accomplishing your goals!
So, these were some of the best ways of staying focused. In these times, where people at work and at school are getting more and more competitive, it is essential that you maintain your focus, so that it gives you an edge over them!