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We all know what concentration means: giving your close, undivided attention to something.
But it's one thing to know what it means and another to be able to concentrate on your studies!
Many students complain that they just can?t concentrate, in other words, their minds race from one thing to another and their thoughts are all over the place - except on their studies. If you feel like this, you?re not alone. But what?s to be done?
Firstly, you should know that everyone has the ability to concentrate: think of a time when you were totally engrossed in something you really enjoyed, for example a movie, a book, a game of rugby or netball. You can concentrate: the trick is to use the right strategies to unlock your natural ability to concentrate and apply these to your studies.
Tips and strategies to improve your concentration
Choose the right place to study
Your choice of study space can influence your level of concentration. So, to promote concentration:
Choose a dedicated study space in an environment conducive to study.
Make sure you have a good chair, a table or desk, somewhere to store your books, a PC, adequate lighting, and good ventilation.
Make sure your study space is tidy, organised and a pleasant place in which to work.
Put a 'Do not disturb' sign on the door.
Leave your cell phone outside or turn it off.
If you like music in the background, that?s okay, as long as it?s not a distraction. (Research on productivity with music versus without music is inconclusive.)
Draw up a study timetable and stick to it.
Accommodate your day/night-time energy levels.
Get into a routine and make study a habit.
Divide your work into logical sections that have a beginning and an end: our brains are holistic and you?ll find it easier to work on something that forms a whole than something that's left hanging midway.
Set yourself a time limit before you start, for example: 'I?ll summarise Chapter 2 in 40 minutes'
- By doing this, you're setting yourself a goal and,
- when you set a time limit, your subconscious mind starts working on completing the task in the time available.
Study for about 30-45 minutes, review what you?ve learned, then take a 5-10 minute break. Why? Because research has shown that we
- remember best when we study for shorter periods, and then recap and consolidate what we have learnt, as opposed to longer periods when we have to struggle to stay focused and alert.
- learn better at the beginning and end of a study period. (Think of a movie: it?s often easier to remember the beginning and the end than the middle). So, take regular breaks and build lots of beginnings and ends into your study.
Before you begin studying, take a few minutes to think about what you?ll achieve.
Write down your goals for the study period, i.E. Summarise pages 40-65, complete the outline of Assignment 1.
Make sure you have everything you need: your notes, stationery, water, a healthy snack, etc.
Use active learning to keep you focused.
If you have a lot of reading to get through, try the SQ3R method.
Build in variety
Change the subject or study strategy every few hours ? this will lessen the chance of your becoming bored and stale.
Use your study break for exercise (or perhaps housework); this changes the pace and helps to get rid of extra adrenalin.
Alternate reading with more active learning exercises, for example: mindmapping or writing model answers.
Just say 'Stop'
Every time you notice your thoughts wandering, tell yourself to 'stop' and then consciously bring your thoughts back to your studies.
Repeat this each time your mind wanders, and re-focus.
Initially, you might have to do this many times each study session but with practice, you'll find that you are able to focus for longer periods at a time.
If you find it almost impossible to re-focus, it could be that you need a break:
- Take a five-minute break, have a glass of water, and try again.
- You could also try switching to another subject or topic, or using a different study strategy.
Don't waste your time and energy trying to stop yourself from thinking of something, that?s almost impossible. Instead, write your thoughts down on a piece of paper and put it aside to deal with during your ?worry time?! (See below.)
Schedule worry time
Allow yourself to worry but only at certain set times during the day.
Decide beforehand when and for how long you?re going to worry, for example: set aside ten minutes 'worry time' before Shortland Street (or whatever your favourite programme is). Then, when something distracts you while you're studying, or if you start to feel anxious about something during the day, write your thoughts down and set them aside, telling yourself you?ll deal with them during your 'worry time.
It?s important to write your 'worries' down - it?s far easier to refocus on your studies if you know you won?t forget whatever it is that?s troubling you.
Stick to your worry time(s) and use the whole time you set aside. If you don?t have enough to worry about to fill the time, make a conscious decision to reduce the length of your worry time.
Keep a list of your worries ? if something keeps coming up, deal with it! Rather spend some time sorting the issue out than allowing it to keep distracting you and preventing you from reaching your goals.
Last, but definitely not least, to help you concentrate and remember, learn actively. Active learners do something with what they have learnt. They
put what they have learnt into their own words.
compare what they are learning with what they already know.
link new facts to what they already know.
apply what they are learning to their own situation, and
use the new information.
I have diabetic neuropathy and was prescribed duzela 30, I r duzela 30 is a medicine for antidepressant and diabetic neuropathy, want to understand is this a mood change medicine (like anti depression) or it is more of a nerve pain killer or just strengthen the nerves and ensure there is no further damage?
Can I take cod liver oil tablets after drinking milk. Does it cause any reaction which is is harmful for us? As I have heard that eating fish with milk causes white patchy skin.
I have constant fever from 3 days at night. At noon I feel like ok but the time get worst with night. so, what should I do?
People who regularly work out can go on about its benefits and also show off a toned physique. However, a bad or improper movement can be more harmful than no exercise at all. Read on to know some common exercise moves that are best avoided for their potential harmful effects.
- Dumbbell punches: By holding dumbbells and punching them forward into the air, you are just spending your energy with absolutely no return from it. It is good as a conditioning one if done for a long time, but does not help the shoulders or the arms. Bicep curls and triceps extensions yield much better results than these punches.
- Shoulder Shrugs: The only muscle that gets worked here is the trapezius, which is at the top of the shoulders and the neck. The arms and the back do not get any benefit and shoulder shrugs can actually cause postural problems and increase shoulder tension. Best avoided if you are not a professional bodybuilder.
- Thigh machines: One of the most ineffective machines in the gym, the poor posture and no workout for the abs is one of the reasons the outer and inner thigh workouts should be avoided. Better results can be achieved with squats and lunges, which also help more muscles and help in losing weight.
- Plank rows: While plank rows or board lines work very well for core strengthening, it is not as effective for back and arm strengthening. Better results are achieved with the usual lines for these areas.
- Lat pull-downs behind the neck: This can be very harmful for people who have even minor shoulder joint problems. The idea is to build arm, torso, and back muscles by pulling a weighted bar down the front and back of the chest area. This can cause misalignment, shoulder impingement, or a tear in the rotator cuff, and in severe cases, even cervical vertebral fracture.
- Military Presses Behind the Head: Similar to a lat pull-down, here also, a barbell is lifted up and down behind the head and can cause the same problems as the earlier one, including fracture of the cervical spine.
- Squatting on a bosu ball: These colorful equipment are very alluring but can be really dangerous and can cause ankles and knees to be injured, causing meniscal tears or disruptions.
- Crunches: When improperly done, crunches produce the same position as one achieves while working on the computer - head forward and rounded shoulder. Crunches are meant to be done by pulling up on the head and not using the abs, as most people incorrectly do.
Make sure you get a trainer's advice on the right ways to work out so as to get the maximum benefits and avoid injuries.