Remember the college or even school classes and the vital part of class, attendance sheet. The name is called and prompt goes the reply from students - 'present'
Physical presence of an individual is what we can measure easily, hence we are so obsessed with it. But the question is how important is a physical presence? Instead of just a physical presence I think the present tense is very important and magic is to be in a present tense not only physically but mentally.
Everyone stays in present tense physically, but the real trouble lies in mentally being in present tense. I believe that the concentration is nothing but being in present state mentally.
Concentration is a very important factor for anyone's performance in school, in sport and even in office. When we read or interact or do anything and we don't concentrate or don't be there in the present tense mentally then we no doubt miss the learning of that moment. We become less efficient and actually waste that moment.
Why is it so difficult to be in the present tense mentally? I can't even attempt to answer this question but this is what happens when we try to concentrate -
1) Distractions: We pay more attention to the other non important factors in our surrounding than what is important to us at that moment.
2) Live in the past or day dream: While performing one act, instead of we being in that moment we pay more attention to may be a similar experience which we might have had or may be we start day dreaming, may be preparing for the success party before it is all over.
3) Prepare our story: While listening or learning instead of paying attention to what is new to us, we start correlation of the thing with our experience and many times with our merits or challenges. Instead of acquiring, we start building walls in our mind...'this is a piece of cake for me' or otherwise 'this is not my piece of cake'.
How do we prepare ourselves? That is a million dollar question, some tips though are -
1) Always be aware: Always be aware, check whether your brain is with you, whether it is in that moment with you. If not, then accept it and try to bring it back.
2) Engage yourself: One more way is to engage yourself in what is going on, is by asking relevant questions and setting a target for yourself.
3) Take a break: If these tricks of being in present are not working, take a break, and come back with full energy and try to master your brain. But don't run away from the situation.