How to Improve Concentration

Two Methods:Focusing Your EnergyMeditating

Today’s hectic world forces people to multi-task, which fragments one’s ability to concentrate fully on one activity. Being able to concentrate your focus and energy is a skill that has many benefits including increased productivity, improved memory, and reduced stress.[1][2] The following methods will help you learn how to improve your concentration.

Method 1
Focusing Your Energy

  1. Image titled Improve Concentration Step 1
    Identify your concentration weaknesses. Consider what makes it difficult for you to concentrate or focus your energy on a particular activity, subject, or problem. Once you’re aware of your weaknesses, you’ll be able to proactively focus your energy.
    • There are many different factors that may affect your ability to concentrate. The Internet is a major source of distraction for many people. Other examples are email, phone calls, children, and chatty colleagues.
    • Poor sleep and nutrition and not getting enough exercise also affect your ability to focus on one activity. A recent study from Harvard University showed the relationship between exercise and the ability to concentrate.[3][4]
  2. Image titled Improve Concentration Step 2
    Plan and prioritize your activities. By actively prioritizing what you need to do and forming a plan around it, you will be able to successfully focus your concentration on one task at a time.
    • Make a list of your activities and rank each task by its importance. This list acts as a visual cue to you and your brain on where your focus should lay at any given time. If you find your mind wandering, you can always revisit the list.
    • A helpful hint is to allot a specific amount of time for each activity. Every person can concentrate on one task for approximately 50 minutes.[5] Scheduling and prioritizing your activities around this will help you to successfully concentrate on one task at a time. For example, if you need to answer emails, spend 50 minutes on the task in the morning and then move on. You can always schedule another block of time for email later in the day.[6]
  3. Image titled Improve Concentration Step 3
    Remove distractions and stress. Avoiding multitasking and constant sensory input will significantly help you direct your concentration to one particular activity.
    • Distractions come from different sources including the Internet, email, the telephone, or even other people. Shut down all non-essential electronics and, if you can, shut your door and tell family members, friends and colleagues to not disturb you unless it’s an emergency.
    • Eliminating anything that causes you stress and makes your mind wander is also important to focusing your energy. Stressful surroundings are one example. Make sure you are in an atmosphere conducive to concentration: find a comfortable place to sit, light your space properly to stimulate the brain, and practice good posture to keep your blood flowing. These factors will help you remain alert and focused on your task.[7]
  4. Image titled Improve Concentration Step 4
    Take breaks to refresh and refocus. By splitting up your tasks into workable parts, you automatically set up time for short breaks. Pauses will help you to refresh your mind and body and also prepare them to refocus on a specific activity.
    • A short walk is an excellent way to take a break. It gets you away from your task, circulates your blood and gets oxygen to your brain, lets your mind wander, and helps you relax.[8][9]
    • Feel free to push beyond a scheduled break if you like. It is one way to build mental stamina. But remember that you will need to take a break to successfully refresh yourself and your mind.[10]
    • Setting aside “worry” or “wander” time is also important. Give yourself a set time every day to let your mind deal with any problems you may have or just to do nothing. Having these types of breaks to recharge is as important as the small breaks you take between tasks.
  5. Image titled Improve Concentration Step 5
    Set up a flexible routine. Having a routine that you can amend as needed is another cue to yourself and your brain to concentrate on one task or activity.
    • Be flexible in this routine to accommodate for changing situations and interests. Flexibility will help you relax and keep you from burning out.
  6. Image titled Improve Concentration Step 6
    Reward yourself. Another technique to help you concentrate is to focus is by rewarding yourself. For example, you might allow yourself to go to lunch with a friend for successfully concentrating on emails or writing four pages.
  7. Image titled Improve Concentration Step 7
    Practice, practice, practice. Remember that you’re learning a new skill that requires a lot of practice to master it.
    • Make sure to place your full concentration on only one task at a time. If you find your mind wandering, you can use the “be here, now” technique to refocus. Whenever you find yourself focusing on more than one activity or thought, gently repeat to yourself “be here, now” until you can refocus your concentration.[11]
    • If you find it difficult to refocus after this, move on to another activity. Your brain may just need a change. After a certain period of time with one activity, people are better able to concentrate on a different task.[12]

Method 2

  1. Image titled Improve Concentration Step 8
    Learn about meditation. Meditation is one of the most powerful methods to improve concentration. Before you can start, it’s good to know some basic facts about meditation practice.[13]
    • Meditation is an active lifestyle practice that teaches you to direct your focus on one specific area.[14]
    • Humans have practiced different forms of meditation for thousands of years. It has had different purposes, from finding inner illumination to relaxing and learning to concentrate.
    • Meditation forces you to truly unplug from the world and focus internally. Having this unplugged time will teach you to concentrate. Another benefit is that it will help you relax, an important component of improving your ability to concentrate.
  2. Image titled Improve Concentration Step 9
    Prepare for meditation sessions. A daily period of meditation offers the chance to work specifically on directing concentration on one focal point.
    • Set up a daily schedule to meditate. Allot time every day for meditation practice. Start with 5-10 minutes and gradually increase your time as you become more proficient at meditating.[15]
    • Find a quiet and comfortable place where you’ll be uninterrupted. By eliminating any distractions and sitting upright, yet comfortably, you’ll make it easier to focus your attention on your breath and let go of any thoughts or sensations that arise.[16]
  3. Image titled Improve Concentration Step 10
    Develop your daily meditation practice. Once you’ve prepared a schedule and quiet place to meditate, you’re ready to begin developing your skills. Remember that meditation is an active process and not a time to completely chill out.[17]
    • Sit upright and still and close your eyes. Proper posture is a vital part of meditation. It allows your breath and blood to flow, which helps your brain learn to focus on one point. Closing your eyes will help keep distractions at bay.[18]
    • Breathe easily and evenly. Don’t control your breath; rather, let it come and go. An excellent technique to help your concentration is to focus solely on your breath by saying “let” on the inhale and “go” on the exhale.[19]
    • Be aware of physical and mental sensations. Let them come and go to help you relax and go deeper into your meditation practice.
    • If you lose your inner concentration during your meditation session, take a deep breath and refocus your energy inwards. It’s completely normal for this to happen, especially as you develop your meditation practice.


  • Don't overstretch your boundaries. It’s completely normal to lose concentration sometimes. Just try to refocus your concentration.
  • Remember to be flexible with your routine and plans.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (16)

Article Info

Categories: Homework Skills | Job Strategies