What's Your Concentration Quotient

What's got your attention? One or twenty things at a time? Are you operating in the moment, or are you worrying about tomorrow? Or maybe you're upset about something that happened 10 years ago. Productivity and concentration go hand in hand, so improving your powers of concentration will definitely help you deal more effectively with the tasks at hand. Take this quiz from The Time Management Workshop, by Patricia Haddock (AMACOM 2001) to find out how well you're able to concentrate.








People frequently interrupt me.
Strongly Agree    Agree    Disagree    Strongly Disagree


When I am interrupted, it's hard to return my attention to the task at hand.
Strongly Agree    Agree    Disagree    Strongly Disagree


When people interrupt me, I am reluctant to cut them off so I can go back to work.
Strongly Agree    Agree    Disagree    Strongly Disagree


My attention wanders frequently.
Strongly Agree    Agree    Disagree    Strongly Disagree


I find it difficult to concentrate.
Strongly Agree    Agree    Disagree    Strongly Disagree


I often ask people to repeat what they say.
Strongly Agree    Agree    Disagree    Strongly Disagree


I daydream a lot.
Strongly Agree    Agree    Disagree    Strongly Disagree


I often feel frustrated at the end of the day because I haven't accomplished anything.
Strongly Agree    Agree    Disagree    Strongly Disagree


I often feel scattered and ineffective.
Strongly Agree    Agree    Disagree    Strongly Disagree


My office/cubicle makes people feel comfortable when they visit.
Strongly Agree    Agree    Disagree    Strongly Disagree
 
Tips to Improve Your Concentration

Control Your Environment: Identify the environment obstacles that prevent you from developing concentration and focus. Analyze the lighting, chair, clutter, noise level, poor airflow, temperature, etc.

Identify and Eliminate Interruptions: Close your door when you need to concentrate. Set aside time each day for dealing with routine matters, and encourage people to meet with you at that time. Let voicemail answer your phone for a part of the day. Don't encourage socializing. Remove visitors' chairs from your office; turn your desk so you don't face the door. Don't be an interruption to others.

Improve Your Listening Skills: Let people finish speaking before responding. Demonstrate that you are paying attention (nod, say, "I see."). Pay attention to body language. Establish rapport. Concentrate on facts and behaviors. Use silence to draw out a response from a reluctant speaker.

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