Concentration is an elusive state of mind. Ironically, the more you think or worry about concentration, the less you're actually concentrating on the task at hand. That's why strategies to improve concentration usually approach it indirectly, by focusing on the elimination of distractions.

While there are few "quick fix" solutions for improving concentration, the first step is usually the same, whether you're having difficulties or just want to enhance your present ability. A thoughtful analysis of what distracts your concentration will often indicate the most effective course of action for improving it. A summary of typical disruptions is presented here to provide a framework for understanding your particular situation. For more detailed information on how to improve concentration, contact The Dyslexia Association of India™ at

What Disrupts Concentration

Study Location

Students, especially those living in large families, often find concentration difficult because of noise, siblings, or an uncomfortable environment. For a lot of children this presents a unique challenge. Knowing where to find a quiet, comfortable, and distraction-free place to study is one of the simplest and most effective means of facilitating concentration. Your room is an old favourite, and sometimes the study room in your house where there is no TV or an empty lounge, even your school classroom, or common library meeting room can work well too.

Physical Distractions

Irregular sleep, exercise, and eating patterns can be the unsuspected cause of concentration difficulties. Many students don't realize the strong connection between physical health and intellectual functioning. Finding a regimen that works for you and sticking to it can help to maintain your brain at its physiological peak. Time management strategies such as planning study periods around your body's energy highs and lows will ensure that your physical ability to concentrate will be at its best.

Self Talk

Many children are not aware that as we perform tasks, including studying, we talk silently to ourselves. "Self talk" can be motivating — praising accomplishments, helping to sort out what to do next, monitoring progress and achievement. However, if it becomes overly evaluative or critical, self-talk can have a negative effect on concentration. Have you ever started to write a essay, then given up in frustration because you can't even get through the first paragraph? An overly critical "inner editor" may be the culprit. Comparing your abilities to that of other students and having unrealistic expectations about how long or well you "should" be able to concentrate may also contribute to negative self talk. With coaching, you can learn to manage this distracting internal chatter.


Students who recover from academic difficulties and go on to succeed at school often define their ability to turn things around in terms of motivation: "You must want to be here." "You must know why you're here." Sometimes difficulties with concentration can be attributed to uneasiness about a particular subject, a teacher who may not be reaching out to you, or just being at school. Strategies for dealing with difficulties in motivation range from a simple goal setting exercise to a detailed self-appraisal. You can also explore the concentration-motivation connection by talking to us at The Dyslexia Association of India™. Just send us an e mail or call us at the number on the website and you will be surprised at how much we can help and the extent to which we may be able to share with you what the path ahead is.

Personal Issues

You'll be one of the lucky few if you can make it through School without having to cope with studying through some personal disaster. Even something as commonplace as a breakup with a friend or the silent treatment from your close friend or friends can cause a major disruption in the ability to concentrate. For the most part, these disruptions are short term, and the ability to concentrate normally returns quickly. Serious situations, or minor ones which seem to carry on, warrant outside help. Consult the Dyslexia Association of India™ for, confidential assistance with personal issues.

Some students find that designating a time to think about a problem can help reduce the amount of time that their mind spends wandering. For example, when you notice that you're not concentrating, say to yourself something like, "I'll think about that at 4 o'clock." Then, at 4 o'clock or whatever time you choose, sit down and think through whatever is bothering you. Using a strategy like this can help you to stop blaming yourself for not concentrating and get you quickly back to work.

Remember brooding will not help. What you may be thinking about may have been forgotten by the friend who may have ‘hurt’ you. Carrying your hurt home will not help you anyway and neither will wasting time thinking about it. If you feel very stressed out, try to reach out to someone in the family you can trust. If you feel that they will ‘freak’ out and misunderstand you, call us and meet us. Nothing is so serious in the schools years that it cannot be managed sensibly by you.

Your mail goal in school is to improve your knowledge and broaden your academic and personal horizon. This will equip you with the necessary material evidence to follow the path that will give you happiness and satisfaction and ‘yep’ get you paid for it.