A lack of the ability to concentrate is one of the best ways to waste a lot of time dedicated to studying. Concentration is key if you want to get the best out of studying and it requires quite an effort. We are all susceptible to distractions and temptations of multitasking like using our phones etc. It’s possible to spend an entire day multitasking, feeling exhausted, context switching and getting nothing done instead of making progress. Well, here are six proven ways to increase your concentration while studying.
1. Commit To Your Tasks
First of all make sure you gain interest in what you are studying. This will boost your commitment to achieving your goals which will alternatively increase your concentration. You can also come up with commitment devices like say a friend, to slap you every time they see you not concentrating or drifting your focus. :D. The key is making sure there’s a consequence for not getting your work done, then you will be more motived to stay focus on that work.
2. Distraction Sheet
Write down a list of what constantly distracts you and try to avoid them in as much as possible. It’s all about eliminating possible distractions before they appear. Like a reminder.
3. Make A Plan And Record Time Log
Come up with a detailed plan. A list of what you want to study and achieve. As you make the plan do not forget to include a time frame for that matter, like what you want to have done in an hour and so on. Do only one thing at a time. What’s more important is to record your activities and time spent when executing your study plan. For example:
“Read 1 chapter of the History of Western Philosophy – 8:00-8:30 – half an hour” or “Make a call to Tom – 10:00-10:15 – 15 minutes”.
By the end of the day, check them and reflect on your performance. A detailed plan and time log help you keep track of time and maintain a high level of concentration while studying. Remember to put short breaks in between your long study sessions. You can try another excellent time management method, the Pomodoro technique.
Meditation is all about shifting attention to one particular thing. While meditating your mind tends to wander, but the process of bringing back your mind to the initial point of focus helps improve your concentration. Your focus “muscle” is just like the other muscle in your body. When it gets more exercise, it becomes stronger over time. So it’s necessary to practice meditation frequently.
5. Healthy Food, Exercise And Appropriate Place
They are well-known but important. One can’t focus on an empty stomach. So before you even start thinking of increasing your concentration you need to watch your diet. Eat healthy foods and of course drink plenty of water. Diet is a primary key for the brain to function properly. You also need to do exercises to enhance proper blood circulation in your body. Avoid a lot of starchy foods before study sessions, they give quite an amount of energy which sometimes cause drowsiness.
You can’t possibly be able to concentrate much in an environment full of noise, without much ventilation, stuffy, crowded and all. You need to choose an ideal place for study. An environment where there is almost zero disturbance and study conducive. You also do not want to choose a place that is going to make you drowsy and sleepy. So basically choose a place where you will be comfortable, sober, and more likely to focus. Another thing is trying to find a place where your friends are less likely to find you to avoid possible and frequent distractions.
6. Try Some Useful Apps
Beeminder: You will pay a penalty to Beeminder if you go off the road.
Forest: If you don’t touch your smartphone for 30 minutes, a seed you planted will grow to a tree. If you touch, the tree will die.
FocalFilter and StayFocused: These two things can block some time-wasting websites or limit the amount of time that you can spend on them.
I hope these will help you increase concentration while studying.