Improve Concentration With a Quick Mindfulness Exercise

Hey guys, in today’s post I wanted to share a simple technique that has helped me improve my concentration and focus.

A few months ago, I spoke to Nigel (a good friend of mine and a psychologist by profession), and complained about my lack of ability to focus on my work. I explained that my mind was constantly wandering and I was struggling to complete even simple tasks. Stroking his impressive beard and nodding his head, he told me to try and start every work session with a mindfulness exercise.

The Three Steps Involved in The Mindfulness Exercise

Nigel used a set of questions and all I had to do was answer them:

  1. Name the first five things you can see.
  2. Close your eyes, and name the first five things you can hear.
  3. Finally, eyes still closed, name the first five physical things you can feel.

With that last question, you can include the clothing on your skin, sensations, the weight of your own body etc. You can stop there if you want, or you can continue the exercise by repeating it, but reducing the number of things you name from five, then four, and so on until you name just one thing for each question.

That’s all there is to it! It’s extremely simple, and yet that’s what mindfulness is all about – being focused on the present moment and being aware of all your senses.

This exercise helped me calm my racing mind and allowed me to focus on my work with a lot less difficulty. Of course, the more you practice, the more effective it becomes.

Mindfulness, Headspace and Meditation

If you’re interested in learning more about exercises like the one above, I strongly recommend that you try Headspace, a meditation app that I find extremely beneficial. It has guided and unguided meditation sessions, led by Andy Puddicombe. The sessions range from a minute all the way to an hour, so it can fit perfectly into your schedule even if you’re extremely busy.

If you’re interested to give it a try, Headspace provides users with a free trial that gives you ten sessions of “Take Ten”. I’ve purchased the premium version and I absolutely love it, and use it every day as part of my morning routine. It really helps set the tone for the day, and I encourage you to try it.

I’ve included Andy’s Ted talk below if you’re interested to learn more about mindfulness and meditation. That’s all for this time, and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment or drop me an email using the Contact page! See you in the next one!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Headspace in any way, but it is a product that I often use and recommend for meditation.