Every student wishes to be on top of their focus game when sitting for a study session to reap maximum benefits but often at times, we find our minds wandering away from the subject and a job that usually takes you 30 mins to finish takes 90-100 mins because we are distracted and not focused.
Have you ever felt that even though you try very hard yet you are not able to concentrate on your studies? You are not alone. Concentration has become a huge topic in recent years, largely because technology-related interruptions have been making it harder for us to sustain concentration for longer periods.
What is concentration?
Let us start by clarifying what is concentration and how should we define it as an entity. In simpler words, concentration is the ability to control your attention and direct it towards the task present in front of you. In our modern-day world, it is almost impossible to focus with so many distractions/stimuli around us [Pop-ups, ads, notifications, etc] but we can train our brain to zone out of these distractions and help increase concentration and focus.
Tips to Improve Concentration For Studying
If you are a student looking for easy hacks to improve concentration, you have come to the right place.
Clean space with good lighting
If you want to study for long hours, setting up the workplace for the long haul is of utmost priority. Having a clean workstation, an ideal posture, and a comfortable chair that offers good lumbar support. This will ensure you start on a fresh positive note and set you up for the long session. Having a bottle of water next to you also helps because it is one less excuse for you to get up from your workstation.
Even before you begin your session, you must have a clear idea of what you want to achieve for today! Set realistic smaller goals at first and then proceed ahead when you feel confident that you can take more workload.
Unrealistic goals and timelines will lead to disappointment and will dent your confidence levels.
We must have heard stories of people who sit at a stretch for about 10-12 hours to study. Studies have shown that this is the most effective method if you want to study. Instead, try to keep like 45-60 mins sessions with breaks in between. A 45-15 split should do wonders. If you feel like you can’t sit for 45 mins, try smaller sessions with proportionate breaks and repeat the process multiple times. Remember the numbers of hours don’t matter, the quality of it matters.
Have a Good Sleep
In a study by NASA, the pilots who took a 26-minute nap reduced their lapses in awareness by 34 percent compared to those who didn’t nap. Moreover, those who napped showed an improvement of 16 percent in their reaction times. Importantly, their performance stayed consistent through the day and didn’t slack at the end of a flight or night. So you might find yourself being distracted very easily if you didn’t get your quota of sleep. Say goodbye to 20hour cramming sessions! Do not sacrifice your sleep may what comes, and have a quality 8-hour sleep. If you are finding it hard to sleep, you can read “How to sleep fast” and get some quality sleep.
Watch your Food
Have you noticed you feel drowsy after eating “certain” kinds of foods like desserts, rice, etc?
This is because of the sugar rush drowning out and this is certainly not good for our study schedule.
Try food with low GI (Glycemic index) like oats, porridge, fruits that slowly release their energy throughout the day and keeps you energetic. You can avoid spicy, oily foods that cause stomach burns as it is difficult to concentrate with an upset stomach.
Practice Focus Meditation
There are certain kinds of meditation exercises that help your brain focus more. Brahmari Pranayam has been said to be one of the most effective hacks one can incorporate in their regime. Meditation helps you relax and helps you tune out the distractions. It also helps in calming down the racing mind, which in turn does wonder for your productivity & focus levels.
To summarize working hard is not just enough; to get ahead of the competition you must study smarter and better. Ensure you have a proper study schedule; you eat the right kind of food and have sufficient sleep along with planned breaks to keep your concentration levels at an optimal level. Do not stretch yourself out or force along cramming session and it will leave you drained and you’ll have a tougher time finding the mood to get right back in.
You can read this article on How to concentrate on studies if you want to learn about advanced productivity hacks such as the POMODORO technique.