I am a quiet and reserved person. In gatherings/meetings, I’m perceived to be very attentive because I always look very focused. However, I’m not always attentive, I seem to have a short attention span. It’s usually difficult to concentrate on a subject/topic for so long as I’m easily lost in mine own world of imaginations. Probably you are like me or you know someone like me.
1. Love and Accept yourself the way you are
Understand that you are not alone and that you are not a strange being. I know how it feels when people around you do not understand you. I know how it feels when you are asked to summarize a speech or give reports on what you just heard or listened to and you couldn’t just place it. You may be called a pretender at some instances but just put your mind off it. There are a lot of people like you, so just admit who you are and learn to love yourself.
2. Work on yourself
Yes, you can work at being attentive. I must confess, it is not an easy task. It takes deliberate efforts, so you must be determined. Whenever you find out that you are off your environment probably daydreaming or lost in thoughts, all you have to do is to adjust quickly. Do not get mad at yourself. Do not worry about the information you had lost as that can also make you miss out other information. So, focus on grabbing the information you can get now because you cannot shift the hands of time to get the ones you have lost.
3. Pray about it
Do know that you can pray about anything. At the start of a sermon, fellowship, meeting; ask God to help you to be attentive. Do not see it as an awkward thing to ask God. Why? Because God knows you and understands you perfectly, even more than yourself.
4. Write as you listen
Cultivate a habit of writing down the lessons, insights, inspirations, messages gotten from what you are listening to. This would help you to be on track and aid to minimize distractions on your mind.
5. Good Posture
You need to be in a good sitting or standing position especially during your quiet time, prayers or personal study at home. This would help you concentrate better.
6. Eliminate objects of distractions
Are there some objects that gets you easily distracted? This varies from person to person; therefore, you need to discover these objects.
When you see your mobile phone, do you think of persons you ought to call? text messages you forgot to reply? articles you haven’t read? etc. If yes, then your mobile phone is a distraction.
When you sight your house keys, do you worry if you locked the door properly? if your spouse/children took their spare keys etc. If yes, this is also be an object of distraction.
These are just few examples. You can keep the objects/items where you won’t sight them to enable you concentrate better.
7. Always be with a personal Diary or Notepad
Sometimes you could get distracted by a new idea or inspiration that pops up on your mind while listening to a sermon or praying. You may even get more distracted by trying not to forget these ideas. It is advisable you always have a personal diary or a notepad/Jotter with you to jot down these ideas/thoughts/inspirations as they drop on your mind.
8. Accountability Partner
When possible, sit beside a person who truly understands you. This could be a friend, spouse, relative etc. Such persons would always check up on you and be able to bring you back from your imaginations when they observe you have drifted from your environment.
by Christiana Okafor
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