Concentration is the key element to productivity. Manage to concentrate on whatever you do right now, and you get it done faster, better and it’s easier.
Experiments have shown, that we are able to fully concentrate for approximately 15 minutes at the time, then the mind needs a short break. People who train hard, can increase this span to much longer times, but full, 100% concentration can not be upheld indefinitely. Chess players know how difficult it can be to concentrate for long time spans. We seem to reach a saturation point after which the brain overloads and refuses to focus on a single goal or task.
The trick therefore is to work in phases of high concentration and then do something else that releases the pressure on the system and lets you breathe for a few minutes and then work with a spell of concentration again.
The very same problem of upholding the concentration applies to listening. We tend to listen to others for a short time and then our thoughts wander off….. Misundertandings are the results. If you want to increase your listening skills, concentration is key.
In her audiobook ‘Listening: The Forgotten Skill’ Madelyn Burley-Allen shows you how to acquire active, productive listening skills and put them to work for you – professionally, socially, and personally. With her time-tested techniques, you’ll learn how to:
- Eliminate distractions and improve your concentration on what is being said.
- Locate key words, phrases, and ideas while listening
- Cut through your own listening biases
- Interpret body language clues
- Ask constructive, non-threatening questions that elicit real information
- Get others to listen to you
- Master a whole range of listening skills that you can use on the job and in your personal life
Sure Listening is only one area where concentration is VERY important. Just ask yourself how often you are drifting off in your thoughts whilst talking with others and whilst you really should be listening. Maybe you should make an effort too?