5 Highly Effective Tips To Improve Mental Focus & Concentration Skills
Did you think distraction-free learning was only for the top scorers? How is it that what takes you an hour to learn, they are able to wrap up in half the amount of time & still achieve higher scores? So what’s the trick here? Do they have a secret strategy to achieve razor-sharp focus? Is this a result of some ninja-level self-discipline?
If such questions have run through your head, let us assure you that even the best of minds face distractions at some point. There is only so much reading & focusing one can do before their mind wanders. Moreover, living in a digital age, where students prefer using iPads, laptops & other electronic devices to study, beating diversions has become more challenging than ever. You could be studying your favorite subject but distractions can come about any time & tamper with…oh look a new show on Netflix!
Most students between the ages of 6 & 16 have an average concentration span of 12 to 48 minutes. This is a steep time frame, especially when you have a vast syllabus to cover. So, what’s the solution? Well, you can spend your time daydreaming & creating imaginary scenarios of topping your class. Alternatively, you can actually make these daydreams come true by learning how to cope with distractions for good. An effective way to optimize your time & focus is to develop the right study habits & identify effective mental strategies that work in tandem with your learning capabilities.
Would you like to understand the best way to deal with distractions & improve concentration?
Let’s take you through the top 5 tips to enhance your focus while studying: :
1. Set Up A Distraction-Free Zone
Start by laying out everything that you may need during study time. Books, stationery, notepads, laptop, your favorite indoor plant – whatever it takes to ensure that you don’t need to get up once you are on the learning bandwagon. Keep your desk tidy, organized & clutter-free.
It is best to put all your fancy gadgets – phones, TV, play stations, etc- in another room so that they are out of sight. This should help you keep distractions at bay & optimize your mind & body to focus better. Don’t let anyone burst your ‘study bubble’!
2. Aim For Short-Term Objectives
Do you struggle with procrastination, especially during long study hours? We don’t blame you. It is nearly impossible to pay 100% attention throughout a study session of 3 hours. So what can you do to maintain focus? Well, you need a bait. Wait no, we aren’t calling you a fish. What we mean by that is, create a reward-based timetable where on completing small achievable goals, you give yourself small treats like 5 minutes of scrolling, listening to your favorite tunes, going for a walk, etc.
Such bite-sized study sessions with rewards waiting at the end of them act as great motivators to help improve concentration levels & also make study time fun.
3. Do A Quick Health & Nutrition Check
Learning is a demanding mental activity that can be quite taxing. It is important to get the right amount of sleep, eat nutritious meals & all that good stuff. But, what about crispy french fries & cheesy pizzas? You obviously don’t want to offend them, right? Well, maybe you don’t have to abandon them altogether but perhaps limit your consumption? This is because concentration levels are strongly linked to your diet & fruits & green leafy vegetables are concentration’s best friends.
Similarly, caffeinated drinks & high sugar foods can tamper with your sleep & make you hyperactive. This also directly results in poor concentration levels. Instead, switch junk food with healthier meals, improve your sleep patterns & see how it influences your ability to focus.
4. The Magic of Deep Breathing
There is a strong connection between breath & a steady mind. Practicing a few minutes of simple but intentional deep breathing exercises just before a study session can help you relax & significantly raise concentration levels. Just make sure you don’t relax too much and er…doze off.
Maybe you struggle with learning challenging topics or subjects that you don’t particularly enjoy & this keeps you from paying attention? Developing a mindfulness practice as part of your routine can calm the nervous system & optimize your mind & body to function smoothly & focus better. Try it out & notice how you feel!
5. Make It Fun With Memory & Concentration Games
Let’s be honest, if you are easily distracted, trying hard to focus without an effective method or strategy to go by is probably a waste of time. Instead, why not turn study time into fun time by playing concentration games that can help strengthen your attention span?
Games like word & jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, chess, sudoku & even brain teasers are great tools to help you sharpen your memory and increase your focus. Besides, you can explore other memory games & play them consistently during break time to boost your concentration levels.
Focus, like any other skill, can be improved upon with just the right amount of tweaks. It is important however to remember that there is nothing wrong with your attention span. You have simply trained it a certain way which can totally be reversed. Your ability to focus is like a muscle that needs to be built & with the right kind of training, it can work for you even beyond your current study goals.