Personal Development

10 Ways to boost your concentration

Steven Aitchison
Written by Steven Aitchison

I have been thinking about ways to help my son with his concentration levels, as he gets distracted easily. I used some techniques, which I had tried when I was younger, and made some new ones up, more fun ones.

This gave me the inspiration for this article.

Concentration can be taught and learned and can aid us in so many ways. A few benefits of developing your powers of concentration are:

  • It benefits short and long term memory
  • Helps us to focus better
  • Gives us inner strength
  • Choose your own thoughts (instead of drifting)
  • The ability to decide quickly
  • Greater will power


10 concentration exercises

  1. A candle flame – sitting in front of a candle and concentrating on nothing but the flame for 5 – 10 minutes will enhance your powers of concentration considerably.
  1. Stumbleupon – Stumbleupon 100 sites without stopping for a break. Great for traffic to your blog as well.
  1. Have a freezing cold shower – One of my favourites. Have a freezing cold shower. To take your mind off the cold think of all the things you are grateful for in life and your mind will be taken off the fact that your bits are almost frozen solid.
  1. Do one thing at a time – I have a huge problem with too much stuff going on in my head at once. I have so many ideas about different things it’s hard to concentrate. When I focus on one task at a time, it helps my concentration enormously.
  1. Get rid of worrying thoughts – Sometimes as you are trying to concentrate on a task other worrying thoughts will pop into your head; like you remember you’ve got to pick up some work from the office, you’ve got a meeting at the school, etc. To get rid of these distractions write them down on a piece of paper. This way you do not dismiss the thought altogether and you are telling yourself it is important enough to write down.
  1. Count from 100 backwards down to 1 – This may sound simple enough, and it is, however it takes a bit of concentration to do it.
  1. Recall a photograph – Study a photograph, which is unfamiliar to you. Do this for 5 minutes and then try to recall as much as you can about the picture.
  1. Spell words backwards – This is great for kids as well and has the added bonus of helping them to spell.
  1. “I went to the shops and bought…..” – This is a great car game and is a great one for concentration.
  2. Do mathematical calculations – When I am driving, I like to do some mathematical calculations in my head e.g. I have 20 miles to travel, I am travelling at an average speed of 50 miles per hour, how long will it take to get to my destination. Nothing huge but things like this are great for your concentration skills.

I hope this has helped you. If you would like to add more concentration exercises why not leave a comment.

Some Amazing Comments


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  • the above article is great specially the candle one.i have tried playing chess before studying,u guys have no idea how concentration and focus it draws..good luck

  • I dont find these exercises useful anyway. however these may provide a good begining to a person but what if if he is facing difficulty in midway. i too have have this problem.I start any subject with my full concentration at begining but i lost interest in it after a while. if u have any suggestions for it . pls reply. I need answer for my problem. reply to

  • Hey,i’m a student of class 12th & my concentration power is this much weak that i can’t study continuosly for atleast 1 hr.pls somebody help me.i’m too worried about my studies.hope for an early reply. :(

    • hey dude dont worry just keep ur cool and eliminate ur fear of failure and just think everything is easy . dude just try to play piaono(musical keyboard)

  • while studying and doing any other task one should not do multitasking as it harms IQ & memory also!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Guys one simple habit increase your concentration i wanna share to u

    its just count number in reverse order

    First start from 50 -1

    After u can increase up to any level

    Thank you guys all the best

  • you could get him to read books, real books. It’s amazing how terrible many kids cognitive abilities are because few of them read for recreation anymore.

  • Hi – I looked at your suggestions for improving your concentration, and I’d like to add my two cents.

    First off, a candle flame is a useful point of focus, and the longer you concentrate on it the better. The point is to focus on your thoughts though, and not let them wander off anywhere.

    Funnily enough, I don’t think surfing to 100 sites is a good way to improve your focus. If anything it’s likely to overstimulate the mind with lots of useless junk. Best avoided – IMHO.

    A freezing cold shower is a good way to shock the central nervous system into wakefulness, so this is a brilliant way to start the day, or to help you focus, but it won’t necessarily help your ‘powers of concentration’.

    “Do one thing at a time” – This is the POINT. This is the whole idea. This should probably be number one on your list.

    Writing lists is a great way to keep yourself focussed on what’s really important and what needs doing.

    “Count from 100 backwards down to 1” – Any number activities, especially ones which force you to think are useful for developing concentration. The reason is that your concentration relies on you having a strong short-term memory.

    Recall a photograph – I don’t know about this.

    Spell words backwards – Again, I don’t know if this is useful.

    “I went to the shops and bought…..” – This is a classic.

    Do mathematical calculations – This is the best. Probably should be number 2 on the list.

  • hi nice post , i have some problems with concentration as well,specially with thinking about multiple stuff at the same time…i really had some days when my memory was weak and i could not concentrate on simple things….
    “There is time enough for everything in the course of a day if we do but one thing at a time, but there is not time enough in a year if we try to do two things at a time.”
    so now i am working on this problem,thanks for the tips,also exercising in the morning , and mental games helps improve concentration and clear your mind,
    and for priyanka,you should organize your sleeping time and make sure you get enough hours everyday , also Google for foods that contain elements necessary for concentration and memory and make sure you have them everyday,i hope you can solve it with no need for a doctor.

  • these things may be helpful. but i ve a better option. and quite advance one. it is muslims way of prayer. it is a regular 5 times pray. one has to imagen that he is sitting in front of God and looking at him. although he cant see the God but HE is looking at him. and all other thoughts are baned.for a little time you are at peak of concentration. it is a good mood moderator and helps to calm the mind.

  • For additional knowledge and concentration skills, DO NOT SKIP MEALS, it is important,if you eat three meals a day you will have a healthier body. A simpler way to maintain well-balanced blood sugar levels and keep your mood, energy and concentration high. This will also increase your tolerance to stress.

  • I have exams next week [what a shame.] and i think some of these timps could help, so thanks.
    Oh, and BTW, Vitamin B boosts your concentration, especially B-12. Also, brainteasers like Countdown [personally, i hate the program] and Sodoku are supposed to help. Never tried any of them but they sound half decent.
    Thanks for the tips. although, I dont get the ‘Stumbleupon’ one. How do the webistes help?
    X 😀

  • hey my concentration and memory is very very memory is weak n so it affects my concentration as has gone worst!!
    I’ll definitely try doing these exercises.
    Please if you could post me some tips to have a memory boost.

    • Hi priya,
      i would like to suggest somthing.
      1)simply sit in a calm place and thing about any one object(ex: candle).close yre eyes and try to thing about the object atleaset 15 min.

      This will work

      bye take care

  • I like the StumbleUpon suggestion because it not only helps you concentrate (doing one thing for a long period of time), it benefits bloggers as well. I haven’t really tried the flame trick but I’ve heard that eating chocolate does wonders for memorization. How has your son fared since the exercises?

  • Hey Steve,

    I liked that you asked me how I eliminated worry. It’s nice that you care about your reader’s ideas. I should have been using that technique with my readers all along.

    I haven’t fully eliminated worry, but it doesn’t intrude in on my life as I used to let it. I wrote a piece on it – Freedom Comes From the Mind
    check it out when you are browsing the internet.

  • […] Concentration skills are evermore a requirement for success. Unfortunately, not all of us have exceptional high levels of concentration. Although changing and improving can take a long time, it is possible as usually happens with mind skills, and Steven at Change your thoughts comes up with 10 ways to improve concentration. Now, if I can only manage to include them on my to-do list… […]

  • I’ve done a lot of work on myself to practically eliminate worrying thoughts. What a great help it’s been for my happiness.

    I tried the photograph exercise and I liked that everytime I tried looking at the same picture I could always find something that I missed, even after 5 tries.


  • One concentration exercise. Try listening to your heart beat and nothing else. Feel your sense of awareness in your heart, rather than mind

    Good points, but, I’ll give the cold shower a miss :)

    One question: How does stumbling 100 sites improve traffic to your blog?

  • […] YouTube 10 Ways to boost your concentration » This Summary is from an article posted at Change your thoughts to change your life on Saturday, November 17, 2007 I have been thinking about way to help my son with his concentration levels, as he gets distracted easily. I used some techniques, which I had tried when I was younger, and made some new ones up, more fun ones. This gave me the inspiration for this article. Concentration can be taught and learned and can aid us in so many ways Summary Provided by Technorati.comView Original Article at Change your thoughts to change your life » Recent Discussion Topics […]

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