Tagged With concentration

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It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the things. All the people you have to get back to (usually with the sad starter-line “Sorry for the delayed response ...”). All the words you’re supposed to write. All the minutes you promised you’d run on the treadmill, all the meals you said you’d prep, all the closet clutter you’ve been meaning to get rid of for months.

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While we work hard to bring you different ways to hack your technology to make it more efficient and enjoyable, sometimes the most helpful hack of all is just staying off of it - especially our smartphones. So last week, I tried to find an app that would encourage more mindful phone use.

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Shhh. Hear that? No? That's surprising. Odds are, you can hear something right now: A siren, the hum of a fan, the blur of background conversations, the ticking of a watch. It's seldom our worlds are fully silent -- so seldom that complete silence feels shocking.

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You might find it hard to focus when it's too quiet. As this video from SciShow explains, that's because when it's quiet, a single sound is accentuated, diverting your attention. White noise can help with that, and there are other colours of noises, too, depending on the frequency.

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Whether you're trying to focus and get some work done, you need to chill out and relax, or you want something soothing to help you drift off to sleep, Brain.fm has tunes that can help you out. The compositions are completely original, so don't expect to hear songs you know, but they do work like a charm.

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The zone. We understand it as a state where one is at optimal productivity and/or creativity. For some it's elusive, for others all it takes is the right environment to get going. And while it's beneficial, the mere act of trying to enter into the zone could be the very activity preventing you from breaching it.

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Not eating while you're doing other things is pretty standard advice when you're trying to lose weight or modify your diet, but it's not just folk wisdom. A study by Bristol University confirms that eating at the screen doesn't leave you satisfied and might lead you to snack later.

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Writing things down, on paper or on-screen, is the best way to make sure you remember important info and tasks, but sometimes you've got to rely on your plain old brain to keep essential data sorted and handy. Whether it's a client's name, a password or combination you want stored only in your head, or answers for an upcoming test, there are plenty of techniques and tools to help you lock in important stuff and pull it out when needed. After the jump, we round up some memorable memory-boosting hacks. Photo by furryscaly.

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With the right type of thinking, you can vastly improve your concentration skills. Exercising your mind takes time and commitment but will ultimately translate to a sharper focus. To align your mind with your body and bring a heightened awareness for a much deeper concentration, go to a completely isolated room. Sit on a chair or on the floor with your spine erect. Breathe deeply and relax your body. There are many exercises you can attempt to improve your concentration, and the Ego Development blog suggests several. One such exercise requires full body awareness.

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Just in time for finals week, the HackCollege blog recommends studying to a continuous ambient music stream from SomaFM called Groove Salad. If you can't stand the drop-dead silence of the library but also can't concentrate with lyrics, ambient music's the ticket. Groove Salad, "a nicely chilled plate of ambient beats and grooves," will stream directly to your music player for free. Been tapping keys to it myself as I rewrite the Lifehacker book. Here are more good study music suggestions from readers.
Groove Salad

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The Ririan Project has an intriguing writeup on how to improve your concentration—watch television. Here's how it works: put two television or media screens right next to each other, each one showing something different. Try to listen to them both at once, attentively as possible. Once you've got this mastered, work on focusing on only one screen and ignoring the other one; this part of the process will take a while to really do well. The idea behind this is to improve your concentration and focus ability—sounds a bit unorthodox, but it really does work. How have you improved your concentration? Please share in the comments.

8 Little-Known Ways to Think More Effectively