Did it ever happen to you when you have been reading and then getting to the end of page asked yourself “What I’ve just read?” Instead of understanding words and memorizing information your mind was just concentrating on something else? Or there might be a situation when a person is talking to you, but when you’re expected to reply, you have no idea about what your conversant has just said. Your mind was just wandering somewhere else.

If that often happens to you, you’re not alone. There are millions of people suffering from ADD (attention deficit disorder). This condition makes it hard to focus on things and memorize information, which affects everyday activities, complex task and overall performance. Luckily, it can be treated to improve symptoms: individually elaborated strategies can help you to keep your mind from wandering.

Anchoring your attention is a crucial ability, because if you lose attention, you miss important information, so if you feel that you start losing your focus, try some of the following practices. Remember that first and foremost, it’s necessary to stay aware: you should catch yourself every time your mind tries to wander.

How to keep your attention while you’re reading?

If you are reading a book or a page and realize that you don’t comprehend the words, because your mind is drifting away, you should place your finger at the paragraph in the book where you stopped focusing. Now decide whether you will proceed with reading, or spend your time on other thoughts. If you understand that reading is more important, try to suppress the thoughts that made you drift. Or you can just jot down the thought, or a few key words connected to it, or a picture to remind you about it. This way, you delay the thought, but don’t lose it, and may continue thinking as soon as you finish reading. The note will be a visual reminder of your thought, and you won’t forget it as soon as your reading is complete.

Your mind is drifting during conversations? Don’t hesitate to ask

It’s okay to ask a person to repeat what was just said. If you catch yourself at drifting away during a conversation and realize that you have no clue about what has just been said, try again. Not only you get necessary information, but also let the other person know what is said really matters to you.

Practice active listening

Make an effort to pay maximum attention to what is being said, and restate speaker’s words. While someone is talking to you, reply paraphrasing the sentences and words during the conversation. That will keep you involved and help to make sure that you memorize and understand important information conveyed to you.

Physical Strategies

Some gestures and movements also help to increase your involvement into conversation. Slightly nodding your head and keeping eye contact you can affirm to yourself that you maintain attention and focus on the speaker and what is being said.

There’s another interesting strategy. If you feel a bit bored during a conversation, or listening to a speaker in a meeting, or a lecture, you need to grit your teeth, move toes around in your shoes and try making something else that would be unnoticeable for others, but can get your focus back.

In order to maintain alertness, you can hold something in your hands: a pencil, eraser, a paperclip, etc – whatever happens to be within reach. Just make sure it won’t irritate the others.

Don’t give up

If you experience setbacks, don’t despair. From time to time, your mind will still drift – it cannot be 100% eliminated. However, practice makes perfect, and these strategies will sooner or later start working for you. Don’t emphasize negative moments. Instead, use humor and look at things in a positive light. The secret of your success lies in finding the techniques and strategies that will work for you and practicing them as much as needed to reach desired results.

Although ADD (attention deficit disorder) is a condition that cannot be cured totally, many of its symptoms can also be relieved with the help of special medications. Visit a doctor and ask to prescribe products that help to concentrate and stimulate brain activity. Products for both kids and adults are present on the market. When taken correctly, they can make significant difference and improve overall performance without causing serious side effects.