That with concentration is such a thing. Whether at school, at work or at university: concentration is important. Through them, we become really effective, learn better and work more focused.
According to Wikipedia, concentration means “
the willful focus of attention on a particular activity
But what exactly is this
focus on attention
and what factors influence it?
Is it possible to learn mental concentration? If so, how?
Although it is extremely important to us, we are terribly unconcerned about it.
But don’t worry – from the definition of concentration, to an insight into biology, to the best tips for concentrated work. We have researched and summarized all important information for you.
Why is concentration important?
Maybe this seems familiar to you from your job:
You start a task and after a short time you literally sink into it. Everything around you is in the background. The music on the radio, conversations of colleagues, ringing phones – nothing can distract you anymore. Almost like dancing, your body works as if by itself. Fingers are tapping in front of you and your grey cells are in full swing.
You’re in the flow.
In this state, time passes like in flight and your effectiveness seems limitless. The power of concentration.
If you’ve experienced this before, you’ll probably know what’s going to happen next.
Bit by bit, your attention decreases again. The ringing phones suddenly come out louder for you and your chatting colleagues start to annoy you.
Flow? That was yesterday.
As fast as your concentration came, so quickly it went flute again.
Time and again, studies show that we can work just two to three hours of effective working time during an eight-hour working day in the office. The reason for this is that distractions are ubiquitous today.
In addition to eating, drinking and smoking breaks, these activities in particular demand our attention:
- Checking social media
- Reading messages
- Conversations with colleagues on non-work topics
But it is not only that that is to blame.
Concentration requires a lot of energy and our brain is simply unable to sustain a state of full attention for a long time. So it is perfectly normal to lose concentration after a certain period of time.
The good news: How long you can concentrate can be trained. Things like the right diet are also important.
But why do we need more concentration at work? After all, the only one who has any of it is the boss!
Don’t worry, this is not an appeal for more performance in the workplace. After all, there are more important things than increasing gross national product.
First and foremost, your well-being and health, for example. Because more concentration in everyday life makes you more effective and satisfied.
You are less easily distracted, save time and energy and can better focus on achieving personal goals.
In short, you have a better quality of life.
What exactly does concentration mean?
Ok, so concentration is important. But what exactly you are talking about when talking about “concentration”.
Let’s first look at the exact definition:
The Latin word “concentra” means “together to the center”. More generally, the dictionary defines concentration as “targeted guidance towards a thing” or a “concentration of forces”.
Converted to psychology, concentration means something like the willful bundling of attention to a particular activity.
Concentrated work is more strenuous, but also more effective and promising.
But what is the physiology behind this process?
What does concentration mean for your brain?
Concentration shows what our brain is capable of. The actual process is extremely complex and several parts of the brain work together in one network.
Concentration begins in the thalamus, where our sensory impressions are processed. If you concentrate, your brain hides most of the incoming stimuli and lets only the most important information get through. This process is supported by the prefrontal cortex and the messenger substance dopamine.
If you focus your attention on something, something like a filter is created in the brain that only lets through relevant information.
What is good and what is bad for concentration?
So your brain is really good at pooling your attention. Nevertheless, there are things that make the work of your gray cells easier. On the other hand, there are influences that cause your concentration to decrease earlier.
We have summarized all of them under internal and external factors:
- Distractions and interruptions
Even if your brain hides unimportant information in the attentive state: Sometimes you are interrupted involuntarily and then find it difficult to return to focused work.
- Overstimulation of the senses
All the charms are included here. From noise levels to smell and temperature. If you want to concentrate, you should make sure that you work in a pleasant atmosphere.
Focusing on one thing is often hard enough. Paying attention to several tasks can cause your concentration to decrease. So better get your work done step by step and focus on one thing.
The right diet gives your brain the optimal fuel for longer concentrations. In addition to sufficient drinking, you should mainly take omega-3fatty acids. Amino acids and vitamins also help. Therefore, it is best to use nuts, fish and legumes.
The best way to concentrate is when you are relaxed. Persistent stress causes your concentration to decrease more and more. So try to stay balanced. Dedicate yourself to your hobbies and exercise regularly. Best in the fresh air.
Sufficient sleep is a key factor in the performance of your brain. The ability to concentrate is no exception. So always make sure you get enough sleep if you want to work focused. Even smaller naps in between keep your attention span up.
Is it possible to learn concentration?
The range of your concentration is of course limited. Nevertheless, you can increase your concentration in everyday life through certain exercises and practices. Here are a few tips:
- Be sure to absorb enough unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids through your diet and get used to drinking water regularly. When it comes to vitamins, vitamins B6, B12 and D3 in particular keep your brain on fire. By the way, you should avoid sugar. It reduces your concentration performance.
- Puzzle games keep your brain on its toes. Whether on the computer or at the living room table: solving puzzles is like a workout for your brain. Logic puzzles and skill games such as Mikado are particularly suitable.
- Meditation can help you get into inner balance. If you connect them with breathing exercises,it will be easier for you to arrange your thoughts and your brain will be supplied with additional oxygen. If meditation is nuptitless for you, you could also try painting mandalas.
As you can see, concentration doesn’t just mean you’re more effective in the job. Rather, the ability to concentrate is important for your everyday life and an enrichment of your quality of life.
If you have trouble concentrating, but hops and malt are far from lost. Try a few exercises or puzzles and make sure to take enough nutrients and vitamins. So nothing stands in the way of effectiveness.