Concentrate On One Thing At A Time: Why Is It So Difficult To Do?


Concentration is undoubtedly a buildable skill. Like a muscle, I find that my own concentration levels require regular training if I'm to be able to use them to their best ability. After periods of working in a busy environment, I would find myself unable to switch into the stillness of concentration needed to read a book, or write, or draw, for half an hour. This sounds ridiculous, but it's true. My mind would not sit still and focus on one thing for that long.


This has been brought to my attention again this week, by the installation of my new TV. I finally decided to get one for my flat, and I watch everything on iPlayer or streaming services (having not yet found the right cable to connect to the aerial!) My rural internet can cope with this fairy well, but not to the extent that I can use my phone for browsing at the same time as watching a programme. Like the 'beep' in my car which tells me if I reach 70mph, the buffering TV display reminds me that I am multitasking and dividing my attention. Why is watching one thing not enough?!


Of course, some 'background TV' I'm pretty sure is made for multitasking; but these are dramas or documentaries that I love, but find myself missing bits of because I am scrolling on my phone. The atmosphere and world-building of the episode or film gets broken because of my insatiable need for more information, for action.

I'm cross with myself every time I do it!


I'd like to train myself to be content - and able to focus - on one thing. It's such a valuable skill. The questionable internet might be helping in some respects, but I'm also wondering if it's something to do with keeping my hands busy. I have an awful habit of picking my nails, and my Mum used to give me a hairband to play with to stop me doing it. Maybe I need a chain of meditation beads, or some 'automatic drawing' to do whilst I'm watching - as a halfway stage to 'wean myself off' distraction?!


I'd love to hear if anyone has any useful tips or ideas about this, so do send me a message or comment below.


Best Wishes as always,


Emily xx