Learn to Concentrate

John D. Rockefeller once said, "Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one's aim". The ability to concentrate on the task at hand is a chief ingredient in finishing it.

Concentration helps you to achieve a clear mind. It improves your thinking. There are other benefits that you will experience once you learn to concentrate. You will find:

* Improved memory

* Vitality

* Greater will power

* Greater self confidence

* Better comprehension while reading

* Decisiveness

Learning to concentrate takes discipline. Try the following tips to improve your concentration.

1. Take care of your body's physical needs. Be aware of the hunger and your body's need to rest. Avoid starting a task when your body is telling you to eat lunch or to go to bed or to the toilet.

2. Keep a to-do list. The simple task of writing down things that you have to do will take it away from your mind. This transferring of data from your mind to the paper will help to free-up the mind. It will allow you to 'forget" about other things and help you focus on the task at hand.

3. Keep a small notebook handy. Write down your thoughts and things that cross your mind and then let it be until you have finished your task.

4. Develop "tunnel vision". A good peripheral vision is good when you are driving but having tunnel vision will help you to concentrate. Cup your hand around your eyes; this will act like blinkers to shut out everything else from your vision except the book or paper in front of you. Do this often enough and the very act of bringing your hands to cup your eyes will trigger you into concentration mode.

5. Don't procrastinate. Do not do tomorrow what you can do today. The act of putting off thins that you can do now will lingering in your mind. R. D. Clyde said, "It's amazing how long it takes to complete something we're not working on."

6. Take a break. Know the limitations of your mind. Once you have reached, take a break. Sip water or just stand-up. Stretch your hands, roll your neck and close your eyes for a moment or two.

7. Build mental stamina. Use the " just-a-little more" principle. When you feel you have reached your limitations, stretch it. Run the extra mile, read the extra pages. Do this every day and you will soon discover that your powers of concentration improving.

8. Practice concentration exercises every day. There are various mental exercises that you can do to improve your concentration. Here is one; hold a pencil about a foot from your eyes and look at it. Think of nothing else but the pencil. Look at it, the shape, color, the texture. This is not as easy as it sounds. Your mind will start to wonder and you must pull it back. Do this for a minute in the beginning and slowly stretching it to five minutes.

The mind is not easy to master. An iron clad discipline is needed but the pay-off is worth the while.

A. Majid is the founder of Self Help 101, a website that is dedicated to self improvement.

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