Ever have trouble focusing on a single task? Find your mind wandering during a presentation?
You can learn to focus your mind more sharply by practicing these exercises, designed by Gini Graham, author of 30 Days to a More Powerful Memory.
- Create a memory trigger for yourself. At times when you need to commit something to memory – a discussion you’ll need to recall at a later time – use some kind of cue to remind yourself to stay alert to the pending discussion.
- Use a physical trigger to keep yourself focused. Periodically reactivate your focus by tapping your fingers, or another trigger that feels right to you.
- Take a mental picture to improve your memory. Test yourself on how well you observe your surroundings. Look at an area, turn away, test yourself, and turn back to see how well you did. Did you remember colors, shapes, quantities of items?
- “Record” what you hear for future reference. This excercise refers to mentally recording sound, like your mental snapshot. Make a real recording of something, and use the recording to test your own mental recorder.
- Experience objects. Don’t just see them; try to truly experience the object in every way possible. This will help with perception overall. Once you’ve experienced an object, you will remember more about it than previously possible.
These exercises may seem a little silly, but they really do help sharpen your focus. With practice, you’ll be able to command your own ability to pay attention in unusually difficult circumstances (Sunday sermon, anyone?).