5 simple (and powerful) tips to improve your concentration

5 simple yet powerful tips to improve your concentration.

I used to have the attention span of a gnat. Then I learnt the concentration­enhancing secrets perfected by the world’s best learners and memory champions. In this short article, you will learn how to boost your concentration so you can achieve more in less time.

All competitors at the World Memory Championships get one minute of preparation time to help them get in the zone. This enables them to perform at their mental best.

In the right frame of mind, you can improve your concentration to absorb and recall information more effectively. You can see up to 50% improvement if you get in the mindset!

Here are five simple techniques to help improve your concentration:

  1. Stay hydrated.

Before studying or learning anything, down a glass of water. Keep more water next to you throughout your study session. The oxygen in the water goes straight to your brain, giving it the oxygen it needs for peak performance.

       2. Set a strict time limit  

Known as Parkinson’s Law or, more recently, the Pomodoro technique, you will complete a task within the time limit you have available. The shorter the time limit, the more you challenge your brain to achieve this goal. The result is higher levels of concentration. Use a stopwatch and not your cell phone, for obvious reasons.

  1. Have a clear goal to work towards.

You are at your creative best when you have a problem to solve. Make sure this problem you’re working on is more exciting than any temptation to become distracted.

  1. Spray a unique deodorant on your neck each time you want to perform at your mental best.

Use the “Proust effect” to help improve your concentration. The sensually rich writing of Marcel Proust inspired this technique. It means that memory is intertwined with and connected to the senses, especially smell.

The hippocampus, the part of your brain which processes memory, and the olfactory bulb, which processes smell, are adjacent in your brain.

That’s part of why when you smell a unique smell, it can often bring back memory attached it.

       5. Working 20 to 25 minutes prints of concentration with 5 to 7 minute breaks in between.

Six times world speed reading champion Anne Jones read one of the thickest Harry Potter books in 47 minutes. She then did a review of it on Sky News! She said one of her greatest training methods was using powerful 20 to 25 minute reading sessions. This kept her mind and concentration at their peak without burning out. Check out one of the best strategies to help with speed reading here!

    5.5. A final tip from Kenneth Atchity, who wrote a great book on writing used by top New York Times bestselling authors.

One of the greatest writers ever, Ernest Hemingway, used a linking strategy before going on a break. He would start to make progress before taking some time off writing. This could even be half­written sentences that he wanted to finish later. He knew he would stay excited about coming back to finish incomplete works rather than staring at a blank page. When you get back after a break, try a 20­25 minutes session of studying or work. Making some progress will energise your brain and increase your concentration when you come back.

So there you have 5 (well, 5.5) simple and powerful ways to improve your concentration.

Any ideas you’ve got to help you stay focused, leave them in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

About Daren Denholm

Daren Denholm went from nearly failing University to becoming the Highest Ranked Competitor at the World Memory Championships from Africa and the Southern Hemisphere for 6 years in a row! (2006 – 2011) He was also the only person in the world to compete in ALL 6 World Memory Championships during this time.