Concentration is the ability to focus on only one thing at a time. Concentration is one of the crucial things required while doing anything, whether you're studying for college, reading a book in leisure time, or even playing a game like Cricket or table tennis.
Many times, it can be seen that you have the practice to do something, you have the ability to think creatively, but just because you can't concentrate, you're not able to do something effectively. So it's always advantageous to anyone to be in the habit of concentrating properly to be able to do things effectively. Here, I've mentioned 3 easy methods, of which, after a little bit of practice, you should feel the effects almost immediately.
Tratak. 'Tratak' is a method given in yogic meditation to enhance your concentration. Tratak is done by placing a lighted lamp or a burning candle at the level of the eye and staring at it without blinking. This can be achieved by keeping the lamp or the candle on a table or any raised platform and sitting in front of it on a chair or a stool. Sitting in this position, you have to look into the flame of the candle/lamp and stare at it without blinking your eyes. After a little while, close your eyes and you'll see the image of the flame in front of your eyes. You have to focus on this image and try to imagine it in detail. After a little while the image will fade and disappear. Once it disappears, open your eyes and again stare into the flame. Repeat this process a few times for 10 to 15 minutes. Doing this process again and again will train your mind to keep its focus only on one thing at a time.
Calling the dog back. I had once gone to visit my friend who lives in a coastal city 3 hours from here. In the morning we went on the beach to take a stroll. His dog Comet accompanied us. On the beach, me and my friend were walking besides each other and Comet was walking just in front of us. However, after every little while Comet would get excited looking at the seagulls and other birds sitting some distance away and would run at them. My friend would then call him, "Comet, come here!" Comet would hear it and turn back. But again, after a little while would get excited and run again. And my friend would again call him, "Comet, come here!" This happened a few times and I had this realization that our mind behaves in the same way. Has it ever happened to you, that you're studying or you're reading a book and something that you read made you think of something indirectly related to it and then your mind went wandering? After a little while, suddenly you realize that when you're studying Economics, your mind is thinking about a date you're going on the following weekend! You may often feel frustrated when this happens. But there is no reason to feel frustrated. You can train your mind to be steady. Whenever you realize that your mind has wandered off, you have to call it like you would call your dog, "Mind, come here!" No matter how many times the mind wanders off, you have to call it back to where it should be without getting frustrated. Gradually, you'll find that you are able to keep your mind steady for very long periods of time.
Crazy balls. Sometimes, you'll find that you feel very restless when you try to concentrate. Your mind quickly changes its focus from one thing to another without being steady on any one thing. You may find that, unknowingly, both your hands are playing with each other continuously at such times. This is happening because there is undirected energy inside you that is finding a way out. The solution is - crazy balls or bouncy balls. They are of about the size of ping pong balls. The size, texture and feel of these balls make them perfect for this purpose. All that you have to do is that, whenever you're trying to read something and you're feeling this way, hold one ball in each hand and let the fingers play with the ball, press the ball. This way, the balls will absorb the undirected energy and help you concentrate better. This method is very effective even when you're into a habit of fumbling while talking to someone or saying too much of "uuuhh ummm" in between the words. At such times, you have to try to talk continuously to people in your family while playing with these balls and your habit of fumbling will go away.
I have been using the above-mentioned methods for a few years now and I've found them quite helpful. Once your mind learns to concentrate, it stays steady for some time, but again when you do things that disturb your mind, you may again find it difficult to concentrate and hence you'll have to use these methods again. I hope that you find them useful and helpful. :)
The author is a music lover for music lovers and has started a community for music lovers named VirtuosoBox