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Two obstacles to being able to concentrate your thinking, and some suggestions

An item in Bloomberg Bus. Week, Sept. 26, 2011 at 81, points out that there are two aspects of concentrating. “One is to get rid of extraneous thoughts, the other is to focus on the task at hand.” Fine, but how do you clear your mind of distractions? Recent research suggests two ways: dwell on the undesired thoughts for a short, fixed time and then buckle down or postpone the unwanted thoughts until a specific time. Both seem to mollify the tug for some people. For me, quiet is the key as well as sitting in a familiar spot for thinking – my desk.

You can improve your focus by keeping glucose levels normal and not making decision after decision (which depletes mental energy). Adequate sleep, health and food create the best conditions for concentration. Also, you can practice keeping your mind on a topic such as by mental exercises. My trick when writing and trying to think of one more argument or point is to stop, then say to myself: “Rees, think of one more thing.” It works (usually).

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