Our world today is filled with distractions that demand our attention every few seconds. The constant messages, notifications and popups have a huge impact on our physical and mental health, making it difficult for us to concentrate on any task. In such a fast-paced world, attention is our most important resource. But we are largely unaware of the key role it plays in shaping our everyday lives.
To help you harness the power of concentration for personal and professional growth, and overcome distractions through simple, research-based and time-tested exercises is How To Improve Concentration (Penguin Random House India) by Guinness world record holders Maths and memory experts Aditi and Sudhir Singhal with digital wellness coach Bala Kishore.
An extract from the book:
TEST YOUR ATTENTION
Here are some interesting tests to ascertain your level of attention.
In order to complete the test quickly, you must first go through the questions carefully. It’s a very simple test. Your aim should be to complete it as fast as possible.
- Without looking at your shirt, count the number of buttons on
- How many zeroes are there in the number 10000000000086?
- Circle this
- How many ‘/’ are there in the following pattern?
- Count the letter W in the group of letters given below:
WMMWMMWMWWMWWMWWMM MMWMMMWMWWWWWWMWM MWMWWMMWWMMWWWMWMW MWWWMWWMMMWMWMWMW
- Calculate the answer: 7 – 4 × 2 + 3
- Count the number of vowels in the sentences given below:
- Observation is a skill that takes time to hone.
- Keep practising, even if you think you will never improve your concentration.
- Draw a star on the upper-right corner of this page.
- Convert these four numbers—6, 10, 13, 5— into letters using the coding given below and write the letters in the reverse
1=A, 2=B, 3=C, and so on.
- Now that you have finished reading all the questions carefully, do only question 4.
If you solved all the 10 questions, we are sure the last one made you laugh. Just because you did not pay attention to the instructions given at the outset (In order to complete the test quickly, you must first go through the questions carefully) and you unnecessarily spent so much time and energy on tasks that weren’t even required.
In case you had read and followed the instructions carefully, and solved just question 4 to get the answer ‘18’, then congratulations! You did have your attention focused solely on the test.
Find the number of times the following words appear in the grid below to test your attention. The words are hidden and can appear horizontally, vertically, diagonally or backwards.
RUN, BUN, BONE
RUN: 8 times
BUN: 10 times
BONE: 4 times
Try paying full attention to Tasks 1 and 2 given below:
Task 1: Count the number of times the number 9 appearing above.
Task 2: Count the total number of times the numbers 2 and 8 appear in the above sequence.
You can judge your attention according to your score. The closer your score is to the right answer, the better attention you had while performing the test. This exercise helps you to test your attention on a particular task and also your attention span. Many people quit after the third or fourth line due to their short attention span. So if you were able to make it till the end, no matter what your score is, you have a good attention span. Moreover, this test involves our frontal lobe and parietal lobe, which deal with working memory, attention and visual interpretation among other things. These types of exercises are used in military training to improve attention span.
Task 1: 22 times
Task 2: 49 times
Count the number of times the letter F appears in the following sentence:
ONLY FEW PEOPLE
ARE AWARE OF THE
FACTS OF THE FAMOUS
LEANING TOWER OF PISA
How many did you find?
There are six F’s in the above sentence but most people count only three. Why? We often don’t correctly process the word, OF. We have probably read the word ‘of’ so many times in our life that we process it as one unit, overlooking the second letter/ sound.