Tag Archives: concentration

Toolbox 29: 7 Ways to Improve Concentration

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.


Like everyone else I’ve been watching the corvid-19 numbers go up. My stress level has gone up too. I can’t seem to stop it.

I’ve tried to make myself focus on other things to bring my stress down and return to—if not a positive attitude—an inner calm.

I know sitting in the sunshine or taking a nature walk helps, but I want to get back to writing.

I’m unable to concentrate

From my reading I’ve discovered that I’m at odds with my brain. It’s doing what it does best. Absorbing my environment and bouncing around like Tigger. In fact, when I try to focus, my mind fights back by distracting me, encouraging me to do it tomorrow, and making me feel too lazy. All in the name of it keeping its freedom.

Apparently is an evil genius and I’m not. Who knew?

How did this happen?

The world today comes at us through the internet, our phone, and the people around us. We have taught ourselves to read quick blurbs. Pop into a conversation to comment and pop out again to do something else. We jump around mentally and it works fine, usually.

But what if you want to focus on revisions, or filling a blank page.

There are ways to fight back. Try this to gauge your level of concentration. The goal is to quickly say aloud what colour you see in every word you read.

Was there a problem?

This has inched up on all of us.

To improve, we’d have to do some exercises.

But first some Tips:

  • Schedule a block of time and try to be consistent.
  • Know that you’ll easily be distracted so remove temptation temporarily.
  • Use a timer for your focus sessions. For example, twenty minutes on and five minutes rest.
  • Be patient and expect it to be harder than it looks. Understand that like physical exercise, it will take time to improve.
  • Keep the mood as light as possible.

The Seven exercises:

  1. Try sitting in a chair for 15 minutes.
  2. Breathe deeply concentrating on one scent at a time.
  3. Concrete on opening and closing your fists for 5 minutes.
  4. Follow the second hand of a clock for five minutes.
  5. Open any book and count the words in a paragraph and then double/triple check your work.
  6. Read something long or intense slowly. Savour the sentences. Look for deeper meanings.
  7. NOT ALONE, TAKE ADVANTAGE AND try attentive listening: don’t interrupt, paraphrase what you heard, focus and stay engaged.

I don’t know how much this will help and suspect it’s like a computer. Garbage in; garbage out. I’m going to give all of them a try and see what fits best.

Are you having trouble concentrating? What are you doing to stay focused?

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