Where is your concentration?

images_074 Yes, here I am searching for my concentration. As you can see, there is a lot of scraps of paper, twisted paper, eyes staring into space, and nothing getting done. I am in that lost phase of work. I can’t focus and my mind strays to other projects, which are not complete. What is going on? OVERLOAD. One word says it all, but why? We will look into this situation and it is shared by many. A study from Microsoft, about a year ago, discovered we have an average attention span of eight seconds. EIGHT? So, I began counting 1, 2,…..up to 8. Sure is not a long time. Our brain takes in most everything and do you realize how fast it works to keep us going on different projects? No wonder we get lost, confused, when there is so much to do and so little time. We need to step back…STOP, LOOK, LISTEN.
With the stop part, look around where you are and count the ways of instant gratification.  I can name just a few from my desk:  television,  channel changer (or whatever you want to call it), microwave, cell phone, coffee maker, any device that helps us get something faster and faster. Our brain picks these up and gets habituated to the stimuli. This is where we need to STOP from time to time and maintain your concentration. Give the brain a break. Take some deep breaths and slow your thoughts and heart rate down. Inhale in slow motion, and exhale in slow motion. LISTEN to yourself as you list the tasks you need to do. There are scads of them, but do they need to be done immediately? If there are a lot, make a list and do it the ‘old’ fashioned way…prioritize. When you stop to make the list, you are in a sense giving the brain a breather. As you prioritize, the list may get smaller and you can incorporate some tasks.
We have wrapped ourselves around multitasking and then find we need to go back and make corrections. A cell phone is a nightmare when it is turned on 24/7. You may not answer, but always look to see who is calling or who has called and this distracts you from what you are doing. Then we have to look back to what we were doing and sometimes the thoughts are not there or we cannot put them back in the same pace. Bless our brain, it can’t handle more than two big tasks simultaneously. A part of out brain is designed to work on one task while another part of our brain focuses on another task. There is no room for a third task.
Yet we can help ourselves by deep breathing and keeping our mind in the present instead of letting it wonder. This can be accomplished by turning off the cell phone or putting it on a ‘do not disturb’ notification, and then hiding it in a drawer. You will not fall off the earth. Now, think again at the difference between your days and your nights. (It might be backwards if you have a night job.) We all know to dwindle down the TV, the computer, and begin to relax before we fall into bed. At night your breaths become less labored, more relaxed, and your brain gets energized. You wake up to a new day with energy and the ability to make this YOUR CONCENTRATION DAY. How many times have we been told….stop and smell the roses. With our level of activities daily, now is the time to give those roses some sniffs.
This also applies to exercise. We need this to keep our bodies and mind working and in good order. Sometimes, we work frantically hoping to gain the results of a slimmer body, more curves, bigger biceps. Then after a couple of weeks, the gym doesn’t look so inviting. We want instant gratification.  But, do you stop and ask yourselves, how long it took you to get out-of-shape? No. Slow down and get your only body in shape physically, mentally, and spiritually. Time is a great healer of all ails, but it takes time, perseverance, and you will gain results as well as your brain.

Happy Concentration. Healthy You. A Happier You.





Are you an expert multi-tasker? Stop whatever you are doing NOW and think about this question. Trying to get everything done, as in 1, 2, 3, can push you in too many directions. Are you eating the right meals, getting at least eight hours of sleep (not the toss and turn kind) each night? Do you have to introduce yourself to your family?

Maybe you are a person who can only acknowledge yourself by the items on your long to-do-list. This makes you feel important; even more important if other areas of your life are in a mess. Then you get stressed out and focus on problems, not solutions.

Stop. Breathe. You do have choices and you can control your life. No, maybe not what happens, but how you react to things you call emergencies. Think about time; there are only 24 hours in one day and you need family time, friend time, work time, and sleep time. If you don’t take care of yourself, all your precious lists will not work.

Learn to say “no.” For a lot of us, this is not in our vocabulary, but we need to learn the word and the meaning. Think about all the people you know and when a project needs help, who do they ask? The busiest person. Check your calendar and offer assistance, only if it fits into your schedule. Be honest and ask to do something at a later date.

Pressure. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Give yourself a break. You do not have to write the whole article at one time. But, if you find yourself on a “roll,” then go for it. Sometimes our writer minds do not have a turn-off valve, and when characters are romping through our head….we must let them fill the pages.

Free time and you do not know what to do. You are used to going, going, going; pushing, pushing, pushing, and when you have silence and space you are lost. Call a friend. Meet another writer for coffee. Watch a funny television program with the family and laugh. Or, grab the book you’ve wanted to read for a long time. Get caught up in someone else’s story.

Give yourself permission to relax and you will find more energy, feel better and notice the difference in your writing. We all need a RE-BOOT every now and then.

Take yours now, and enjoy your life.