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There are few things I hear over and over again from students:
- How they are studying for so many in a day
- How they do not have even time for anything else in their life due to study pressure
- How they are sleep deprived
- How much they are stressed
- And finally, after all the sacrifices and hard work, their exam performance is not what they expect.
Here are few tips to study smart, improve your grades and yet have a life!
We all know that 2 hours of focused study will be much more productive than 4 hours of distracted study. And, the good news is that concentration is a mental skill that you can develop and improve. There are two ways to improve your concentration:
A. First, work on raising your brain's natural ability to concentrate or in other words, learn to increase your attention span.
B. Second, adjust the environment around you to make concentrating easier.
Improving your concentration takes a little time and effort, but it is worth it. In my personal experience with students, I have seen noticeable improvement in relatively short time.
A. Ideas for daily concentration boosting habits include
- Mindfulness meditation: Many studies confirm that 20 minutes of meditation or more per day improves concentration and attention span. Mindfulness meditation, where one focuses on one's breathing, is one of the simplest way of meditation. Start with ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes before bed. To begin with you may try a guided meditation. One can easily find audios for guided meditation online.
- Proper sleep: I am sorry to say this. Pulling all nighters will not help with your grade. Unless you are getting sufficient restful sleep, you are not going to be as mentally focused as you could be to study as well as answer questions in exams.
- Food for your Brain: The more you use certain skills, the more they are reinforced in the brain. So it makes sense that playing concentration games and games that require you to focus will improve your concentration ability. You need to be consistent in this. Play for about 10 to 20 minutes each day. Have fun, and get the benefits but remember not to spend more than 20 minutes a day. Your goal is to improve your concentration and not just keep scoring higher in the game! Try Lumosity and use only free version this will help you restrict your daily play time to 20 minutes and have maximum benefit.
- Eat healthier: Your brain needs the proper nutrients to allow you to focus. Eat more vegetables and fruits and avoid consumption of junk food as much as possible. Instead you could keep some nuts such as walnuts, almond or peanuts as in between munches. Lot of research has now proven that sugar is very harmful for our health. Reduce sugar and refined white flour in your diet as much as you could.
- Exercise: It is helpful in both reducing stress and increasing energy and focus. At least 20 minutes a day would go a long way. Going for a short jog of 20 minutes will make next 4 to 5 hours of study very efficient.
B. Optimize your mental state & environment
In addition to building the habits described above into your daily routine; also adjust your environment and your current mental state to improve your concentration when studying.
- Create a study space: Your brain loves routine. Create a place where all you do is study. An obvious choice is a secluded desk of some kind, but the trick is to make sure you only study in that spot. Studying in bed is a bad habit, for example, because your body is trained to want to sleep once you get into bed.
- Remove distractions: Turn off the ringer on your phone and take other steps to prevent interruptions. Don't study with the television on or with radio playing. Some studies have shown that soft instrumental music (no vocals) can help improve your concentration.
- Reduce background noises: If you have to study or work in an environment where it is too loud (classroom or open space) or too quiet (such as at home or at a library) you can get easily distracted by outside influences. With the right amount of background noise you can actually block out distractions and enhance your creative thinking.
- Use timer: Set a time limit when you need to study new material. For example, let's say you want to read one chapter in a book (and remember it). Decide in advance that you can have 45 minutes to read the chapter, and 15 minutes to review it. Set a timer to keep yourself honest, then pace yourself to keep within the allotted time.
- Stay motivated: If you see studying as burden, it's hard to concentrate. One way to stay motivated is to set up a reward system. Tell yourself you have to earn that hour of watching your favorite show later in the evening by first completing 2-3 hours of intense studying. That way, even if the material is dry, you have the reward to look forward to.
- Take breaks: Take a break every two hours. You mental energy will begin to decline after a long period of study. So every two hours or so, take a ten minute break. Walk around, eat a light snack, or just stare at the wall to relax your mind.
Concentrating is the first step to learning anything new. It only makes sense that if you improve your concentration, your memory will improve also.
How an expert can help?
If you want to get individualized expert opinion about how you are studying currently and what ways you can improve; you can always consult the expert. Once he/she knows what your current study methods are, they will be able to give you specific tips to improve upon. Most likely once you incorporate those tips you will be spending less time studying and your grades will improve. That's what is studying smarter and not harder means!!
My baby received synflorix in 6 week as first dose of vaccination and prevenar13 in 10 week as second dose. Can I go for synflorix as third dose. Will it make any difference.
My Daughter (Age 10 month) has been suffering from fever (101-102, by underarm) from last 3 days. First day her nose was running a lot. But next day onward her nose was ok. On third day there was no fever for almost 18 hrs but again at mid night she got fever. I am giving her Maxtra-P (60ml) according to doctor. Should I go for antibiotic? Is it viral fever or common cold.
Hello sir my son age 13 years. When he take bath in early mornings with cold water he gets some dots in full body and sometime he become unconscious.PLease do help
Hi doctor, My 3.5 month old baby girl suffering from cough and cold, could you please help me out with the medicine name and dosage.
Mera baby 30days ka hai since 4days usne motion nahi kiya. Aap suggest aur prescribe kare waiting for reply.
My son is 9 year old, he is speaking very fast and repeating words and very bad pronounce continue walking or moving body cant stable any place for 2 minute, some times he lost presence of others, less sleeping, poor health, short memories. Thanks and regards
I am a parent of 2 years baby boy when he was 45 days I accidentally pulled my baby penis while diapering from then I am fearing about his sexual life please help me.
My daughter is 12 years old. She is an achondroplasia child having ARRESTED hydrocephalus from almost 5 years. She is suffering from stomach ache and vomiting from last 20 days and severe head reeling from last 7 days. On admitting at the nursing home on 8th jan, she was given with antibiotics, anti vomiting, antacid and mannitol. The doctors there were expecting it to be increased pressure ICT and asked for VP shunt or consulting neurosurgeon. On consulting to a senior neurosurgeon, he examined the eye movement, hand movement, touching nose, leg touching movements and rejected vp shunt procedure as it is an attested case of hydrocarbons as per comparison of 4 CT scan reports over last 5 years. Presently she is having severe and continued head reeling and occasional vomiting. Need proper guidance as shunt or etv is not a permanent solution.
Hello mera abhi 4 oct ko baby boy hua h operation SE wo din me 20-25 baar poti karta h mujhe bahot tention ho rhi h please bataiye main kya karu.
My son born on April 1 2016. Now I am preferring lactogen for feeding. My question is -when to take solid food for my son and what to give. Please send some foods, fruits, vegetables, non vegetarians. After completing 6 month what milk can I prefer?
My girl is 1 year 6 month old. When she is take milk and biscuits then go potty regularly for 2-3 days. Before it takes mother milk and natural cow milk but recently (2-3 days) I shift in delhi so she takes powder milk. So please do something.
Try variety of foods as by this age increasing the variety the appetite/palatability improves.Add ghee generously if tolerated to increase the calorie value of diet.In compare to protein and carbohydrate calorie value of fat is thrice.
Give at least one katori serving at a time of- mashed roti/bread/biscuit mixed in sweetened undiluted milk or mashed roti/rice/bread/dosa mixed with thick dal with added ghee/oil or khichadi with added ghee.Add cooked vegetables in the servings.You can also give dalia/suji ka halwa/kheer prepared in milk or any cereal porridge cooked in milk.You can give mashed boiled potato also.
Give banana,papaya,cheeko,mango to meet the vitamin's requirement.
Give these servings 3 times per day. Feed the baby in your lap with your hands.Don't force.If needed give small amount and increase the frequency of feeds.