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Student Tips: Controlling Your Attention

Your productivity, happiness and success depend on your ability to control and to direct your attention.

Concentrated Student

Nowadays, it seems that the whole world is created to distract you more. Companies like Google or Facebook find weaknesses in your perception and use them to influence your behavior. Think about it: every new notification, each new email, each website you visit increases your time of using their product.

It is time to bring your attention back. Here are three ways how to save it and to concentrate on things that are important for you.

  • 1. Conscious Meditation

    In traditions of Buddhism and in modern psychotherapy, they use meditation to develop one’s consciousness that helps to stay in a real moment totally.

    The point is you need to sit silently, keeping your eyes closed, and to watch after what happens to your body and mind attentively.

    Meditation lowers one’s stress level, helps to relax and to get far from all the distracting factors. Things are quite simple: you sit down and concentrate on something single (most often – on the way of your breathing). Of course, you’ll be distracted by something, flying in the sky, thinking of anything. The goal of meditation is not to help you get rid of thinking activity at all. You just need to look at it during the actual moment of time.

    If you can’t meditate at all, try to concentrate your attention on a single feeling or stimuli when you go in for sports or do any simple routine job. This is how you can train your brain about controlling attention.

  • 2. Single Task

    No to Multitasking

    Multitasking is not that effective, especially if to talk about mental activities. Moreover, it can hurt your brain. Every time you switch from one task to another, your brain feels unnecessary stress, and your ability to concentrate on the new task decreases.

    When you are concentrated on doing one task for a plenty of time, such consequences do not appear. Doing a single task at a time helps you to work more productively and teaches you to concentrate your attention on a single subject for a long time. Its effect is somehow similar to that of meditation: the more you practice, the better you become and the easier is for you to consciously direct your attention onto things you need.

  • 3. Regular Step Away

    Student with Smartphone

    When you switch your smartphone on to enter social media, and when a 10-minute internet break takes the whole hour, your brain creates a new habit that becomes stronger with every consequent repeat.

    That is why it is so important to limit your usage of digital devices. Try to make a regular step away from those distracters. For instance, check emails and notifications during a certain period of your day, and avoid taking a smartphone or laptop at all once or twice a week.

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