top view photo of two person's hands weaving

Concentration Hobbies

Do we really have a problem concentrating?

Some of us perceive ourselves as having difficulties concentrating. We usually adopt this notion of ourselves in our primary education.

ADHD is a common diagnosis in many Western countries. In his lecture “Changing Education Paradigms”, while not denying the clinical existence of Attention Deficit Disorder, Ken Robinson suggests that the commonness of ADHD diagnosis might have underlying reasons.

Robinson’s claim is simple: in an era of constant stimulation, we demand children pay attention to “boring stuff at school”. Surely, this conflicted expectation will cause difficulties.

Instead of prescribing children anesthetizing drugs to get them through education, Robinson suggests doing the opposite: changing the educating system so it will be “waking them up to what they have inside of themselves”.

In other words, Robinson suggests that the problem might sometimes not be with our concentration skills, but with our interests and engagement in what we do. The title of one of his books puts it best: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.

Hobbies can remove barriers to focus, and help us improve our concentration skills

This conflict between an over-stimulating environment and a dull institution demanding our attention doesn’t end in primary education – it follows us through higher education to our workplaces.

As adults, it’s up to us to find our passion, and hobbies can be a great opportunity for doing so.

Another aspect that might affect our concentration is stress or restlessness. Hobbies can help us relax, thus allowing us to better concentrate. In fact, focus is a core aspect of mindfulness, which is recommended by Harvard Health Publishing as a tip to improve concentration.

Hobbies can even induce a flow state: a “mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.” Flow state is sometimes described as “being in the zone”.

Removing barriers such as lack of interest, engagement, and mental availability is an essential basic step toward better focus. But we can go further.

Concentration is a skill, and as such it can be practiced and improved. While dedicated techniques and tips can be found, they are usually daunting, and as such – ineffective. Immersing ourselves in an enjoyable activity is probably a much better way to improve our concentration skills.

While every pastime leisure activity that we are passionate about and engaged in can have us focused like we didn’t imagine we could, this page highlights hobbies that especially require concentration.

Explore the list and find a hobby to reassess your concentration skills, and sharpen them.

Explore all hobbies →