Concentration

Postby Fresco » Tue Nov 04, 2003 10:57 am

Hello,

I'm new to this board. Nice to meet you all!

My question is: How can I make myself to remain concentrated for a longer period ?

In conversations I often lose concentration after about 10 minutes. I start to stare and I hear their words but I no longer really listen. I also have difficulty to keep my concentration in watching movies and attending classes in college.

Are there certain books on the subject ? Is this a common problem with many other people ?

Please reply. Thanks in advance.

Francis
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#1

Postby Roger Elliott » Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:31 pm

Hi Francis

A big welcome to the forum to you!

Can you tell us when this started, and whether anything else was going on at the time?

Could you also say how much sleep you get on average per night?

And finally, tell us about any situations where you find it easier to concentrate for longer, such as watching a film?

Roger
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#2

Postby Fresco » Tue Nov 04, 2003 7:53 pm

A first started noticing this about a year ago when I was starting to try to improve my conversational skills. I had learned to active listen and that technique worked very well but it made me aware off my loss of concentration after some time.

I sleep at least 7u30min at night, but often 8-9-10 hours. It's a bit irregular.

I can't tell any situations where I find it easier to keep my concentration longer. Even when I'm wathing an interesting movie I'll lose concentration, after an hour.

It's just that I need a break after a period of concentration. And I feel that I need those breaks more often than other people.

I think perhaps there is a way to train my brains to concentrate longer. Like there also is endurance training for the body.

Francis
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#3

Postby Roger Elliott » Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:17 pm

OK, thanks for that Francis. Next question:

When you say you 'lose concentration', can you explain what happens?

Say you have been watching a movie for an hour and you lose concentration. What exactly occurs? How do you know you have lost concentration? What tells you?

When you notice you have lost concentration, what do you do?

Hope you don't mind all the questions - they're for a good reason :wink:

Roger
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#4

Postby Fresco » Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:14 pm

What happens is that I suddenly realize that I'm not following anymore. I just wake up, not that I was sleeping. My mind must have been wandering off to other stuff, I guess.

I'm just played an online internet game and I'm angry at myself because it happened again and I lost the game. I played on "auto-pilot" the whole second half of the game.

When I do notice that I've lost concentration I'll try to pick up the thread again. Or I may take a break if possible (not possible in attending classes or in conversation).

I hope this is helpful.
Francis
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#5

Postby Roger Elliott » Wed Nov 05, 2003 8:04 am

You must have one expert unconscious mind to be able to keep playing Fresco! ;)

OK, next questions. When you wake up in the morning, how do you feel?

How old are you?

When you stop concentrating, what do you start thinking about instead?

Do you know if you dream much?

Roger
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#6

Postby Fresco » Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:24 pm

When I wake up in the morning how do I feel ? Euhmm.. I don't know. Sometimes tired. I find it hard to give an intelligent answer to this question. In the first place I feel annoyed by the beeping sound of my clockradio. Then I just go downstairs and have breakfast.

I am 23 years old.

I don't know what I start thinking about when I lose concentration. Sometimes one word or sentence that I hear or read can trigger associations with something else I'm interested in.

I think I am a dreamer. Not extreme, but a bit more than other people. I remember recently I was in a choir rehersal and the girl standing next to me suddenly gave me a push saying: "Wake up" (in a friendly, witty way). I was just standing there, not listening to the explanations of the choir leadster. I guess I was dreaming there, but I don't remember what.

I do know that when I'm studying, my mind will start wandering at the moment that I meet an obstacle. A difficult paragraph for example. Something that needs a little more effort to understand.

I hope this will provide you with useful information.
Thanks for asking questions.
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#7

Postby Fresco » Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:03 pm

RogerE are you still there ? I would like to know what you think or give me advice.

Francis
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#8

Postby Roger Elliott » Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:41 pm

Hi Francis

Sorry I have been quiet - I was away for a couple of days.

Your description is excellent, very clear and it seems like you have a good understanding of what is going on. But what to do about it?

As you say, you seem to have a tendency to 'dream', which is a useful ability in itself, but more useful when you can use it when you want to, not all the time! ;)

So how can you maintain concentration when you know it is the best thing for you to do?

Well basically, you have to give your brain the message that what you want to focus on is highly important. And how do you do that?

Well, put simply, you need to arouse some sort of mild emotion that compels you to continue paying attention.

So, some examples:

1) You are listening to someone and your attention starts to wander. You could get a little irritated with yourself and make yourself concentrate out of politeness. Or you could deliberately become fascinated with what the person has to say - ask questions, make agreeing noises - anything that keeps you involved and gives your brain the message that "this is important"

2) You are reading a paragraph that is tricky and your mind wanders. You could try reminding yourself that self discipline is a highly valuable ability and you have to practise it at every opportunity. Go back to the start of the paragraph and start again. If your mind wanders, start again and so on until you get the whole paragraph. If you give yourself no choice but to finish it, in time you will do it first time.

I think sometimes we need to treat parts of ourselves like children who have to be shown the right way to do something. If a kid understands that the only way he can get our to play is to do his homework, he'll do that homework much quicker. Once your brain gets the message that every time it wanders it has to start from the beginning again, it will soon shape up!

3) You are studying and you are losing concentration. You could try motivating yourself by thinking how bad it would be to fail the exam. Or how good it would be to pass well. Forcing yourself to think of consequences is a good way to motivate yourself. Ignoring them is a good way to let yourself 'off the hook'.

I hope this helps. As with all things, gentle, persistent, unrelenting effort. :)

Roger
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#9

Postby Fresco » Fri Nov 14, 2003 11:05 am

Thanks for your tips. I'll really make an effort of using them. Also the questions you asked made me think more about this and helped a lot too.

Thank you for the effort of really trying to understand this and give helpful advice.

Francis
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#10

Postby Roger Elliott » Fri Nov 14, 2003 12:18 pm

You are welcome Francis - and we hope you'll stick around :)

Roger
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#11

Postby SmartBob » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:10 pm

Hi Francis,

I saw your thread on the forum. Were you able to get out of this problem?

bob
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#12

Postby Desert fox » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:19 pm

WOW - Roger really knows his stuff - I'm sure Francis is doing fine.
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