More and more people are complaining about losing retention and memory. They say they feel more ineffective when it comes to fulfilling specific tasks. “I am losing my memory” or “I have become mentally slower” are phrases that many people repeat to me frequently. On many occasions, these sensations are explained by having reduced the time we give to concentrate on a specific task.
In this article I mention some “tricks” to help the ability to concentrate and retentive improvement.
Multitasking: enemy of concentration
I also have that tendency to want to cover many things at once. In reality, mental multitasking is only an apparent sensation since, in practice, the brain can not be doing many different intellectual tasks that imply simultaneous concentration at the same time. We may sometimes get the impression that we are in “multitasking mode” when, in reality, we swap from one task to another very quickly. The execution of several simultaneous tasks does not usually provide the best results.
However, when we try, for example, to learn a text from memory we need the brain to maintain an ability to concentrate on that task for a longer period of time. In that interval, different regions of the brain are coordinated to get “hands on” mentally and without interruption.
If you can get a half-hour followed by memorizing a text, you will be above the current average calculated on the mental concentration “monotarea”, which is estimated at approximately 10 minutes (considerably less than a few decades ago).
Mute electronic devices
It is estimated that on average one person looks at the mobile every 5-10 minutes. There are also many who claim to be permanently connected to email or pending alerts on social networks. These practices take their toll on cognitive ability: according to some European scientific studies, the IQ has fallen back to levels of 100 years ago in only 37. And precisely one of the causes of this decline is explained by the invasion of new technologies of the last years.
It is estimated that an average American receives a bombardment of 34 gigas of information and 100,500 words a day. In most jobs (particularly in collective work environments), staff activity is interrupted every 11 minutes.
In contrast, according to recent statistics, 71% of companies seem to value emotional intelligence more than the IQ. In particular, self-confidence, creative problem solving, adaptation to the environment and flexibility to adapt to work teams are valued.
Regardless of these adaptation capacities, to memorize the text more effectively it would be convenient to silence the devices of our environment for a time longer than 11 minutes.
Create a warm atmosphere with green spaces
The contact with nature is comforting and relaxing. Some studies show that it also promotes brain development. In other articles of this blog have commented the benefits for the brain and mind to be outdoors.
For example, it is known that walking in nature is wonderful for the head and that outdoor exercise keeps the brain younger. A new scientific study conducted in young children has shown that exposing children to images of green spaces stimulates brain development and promotes memory. Also in the elderly.
Take breaks to go for a walk in a park or, if you are lucky, close to the sea, it greatly helps the mental agility.
You can also create a clearer and more natural space in the chosen place to concentrate, placing plants, relaxing photographs or aromatic essences. It has been shown that the aroma of rosemary or lavender flower relaxes and improves mood and concentration. It is also convenient that the furniture is comfortable and with the appropriate light.
Get brain muscle
The brain can also be trained to improve memory. Some studies show that people who are accustomed to memory exercises through games (puzzles, memory tests, juggling, conjuring games, etc.) indirectly improve their ability to concentrate and memory.
Another way to improve the intellectual capacity is achieved by ensuring that the diets are balanced and little copious (fresh foods rich in fiber, nuts, etc.), and doing physical exercise on a regular basis. In addition, mind-body exercises (yoga, mindfulness, meditation, controlled breathing, etcñetera) can be enormously beneficial.
At the beginning of this article, I set out to record the time it takes meI wrote it, and the number of times my mind was interrupted with other tasks unrelated to the writing. The total obtained: 45 total minutes for the execution of the task (part of the documentation was already prepared), with two interruptions of 2 minutes. For this, I have needed to concentrate a lot to know when I lost concentration. It has been a challenge of mental duality.