How Long Can You Concentrate?

Imagine this: You’re sitting in front of your computer, working on a project. Perhaps it’s a book, an e-mail, or an article. Or you’re doing research.

The phone rings. Do you answer it?

A new e-mail chimes. Do you immediately read it?

A text message arrives. Do you look at it and reply?

Your spouse or child enters the room. Do you stop what you are doing to see what they want?

The question is: How easily are you distracted?

The other day, I was reading that the average person can concentrate on one thing for only about five minutes. He’s got so many gadgets and gizmos that he can never rest or relax mentally. The cellphone or blackberry is always with him. He sleeps with it at his side. Cannot go for a walk without it. Or attend a movie or concert. Can’t eat a meal with his family without looking at his gadget.

I am NOT saying you should get rid of all your gadgets. I’m not saying to stop using technology.

What I’m saying is that peace of mind, happiness, and the ability to achieve your goals has a lot to do with how long you can concentrate on one thing. And if you can’t go for a walk, watch a movie, or have dinner with family or friends without constantly checking your tweets and text messages – if you can’t leave all your gadgets at home or away from your reach for extended periods of time – then you most likely have a lot of trouble finishing projects that require deep concentration and focus.

Here are some things I do that you may find helpful:

1. I put my gadgets in another room when I go to bed at night.

2. I do not bring my gadgets with me when I go for a walk.

3. I do not bring my gadgets with me when I am eating with family or friends – and if I do bring them, I do not use them when we’re talking.

4. If I am working on a project (like this very article), I do not respond to pings, pongs, pangs, or anything else. Everything can wait until I am finished with what I set out to do.

5. If I am talking to someone who allows himself to be continually interrupted by pings, calls, and tweets – I end the encounter. Because that person is letting me know that he values his gadgets more than me.

Now if you’re the type of person who likes his gadgets more than accomplishing something worthwhile – well, you’ll get no argument from me.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to try turning off your gadgets – or letting them ring or chime, unanswered, for extended periods of time – you’ll be amazed at how you will have eliminated a great deal of the unwanted resistance you may have to success.

In fact, if you really want to get more things done in less time – with next to no interruptions – then you’d better learn to do nothing more than concentrate on what you want in such a way that you feel as if nothing is blocking you whatsoever.

No resistance.

No turbulence.

No sandpaper rubbing against you as you go through life.

Instead, a resistance-free feeling flowing against your skin and through your veins.

You get up in the morning with things to do – and you get them done. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year.

Thousands upon thousands of days in which you git ‘er done because you know the power of a focused mind.

[Ed. Note: Matt Furey is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of self-development, fitness, and martial arts, and is the president of the Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation, Inc. If you’re nodding your head in agreement about the need to focus and concentrate – without resistance – you should check out Matt’s world-famous Zero Resistance Living Course. This is what the super-successful use to get more things done in less time.]

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