Every student has at least once been guilty of being distracted. (Including us!)
Recently, a reader, Dhanya, mentioned that though she tries to concentrate while studying, she fails to do so. Distractions always get the better of her! Her ICSE Class 10 pre-boards are starting soon, and she asked for our help.
Here are the few tried-and-true guidelines we gave her to help her concentrate on her studies:
1. Start by asking yourself why you get distracted.
Do you start
-playing games on the phone?
-surfing the internet?
What distracts you?
Identify it, and try to distance yourself from it. Keep the phone as far away from you as possible when you’re studying. Sit in a room that doesn’t have a T.V. in it. Uninstall the games for a few months if that’s what works for you.
If you get distracted by the phone, you may even give it to your parent/guardian. Ask them to keep it with them till you’re done studying. Or, put it in a different room where you won’t be able to see it or be tempted to use it.
On the other hand, if you tend to daydream a lot, then make sure you aren’t sitting in front of a window or the mirror. You may not want to face a boring wall, either, but definitely don’t stare out the window and start daydreaming. The next tip may also help curb that desire to fantasize.
On a side note: I spent most of my tenth grade studying in front of a window, because that’s where I felt I could get the best lighting. So, be flexible but also aware in case you have a tendency to daydream.
2. Keep a table clock or wristwatch in front of you (not a phone!). It will remind you that the seconds are ticking by, making you more aware of the time being wasted (especially daydreaming!).
With a clock in front of you, aim to study without distractions for 20 minutes straight.
Then, take a five minute break if required.
If you feel you are able to study for 20 minutes without getting distracted, then extend your study time to 30 minutes, etc. and so on.
Do take 5-15 minute breaks every hour, though, or whenever you feel that your concentration is lagging.
Note: This technique is called the Pomodoro technique.
3. Make a list of things you have to study and prioritize. Stick up this list where you’ll constantly be reminded of it and maybe even be guilted into studying.
When making this list, plan which tasks you want to or have to complete for the day, week, and month till your pre-boards. Accordingly, make a daily time table or study schedule.
You may find our PDF of pre-designed time tables helpful to make sure you are studying, revising, and giving importance to all subjects. Alternatively, you may also design your own time table by using the format available in our MS-Excel file.
You can access both here: Design Your Study Time Table.
4. If you’re getting distracted merely because you find studying boring, then there are a few things you can do to make the process more interesting.
How many times have you heard of this tip?
Reward yourself once you’re done with a task.
For example, once you have narrowed down on a list of things you have to do or study, pick up the first task on the list. Work on it for 20 minutes straight. Take a short break, get back to it again, or pick up a different task. Once you have completed Task A in its entirety, reward yourself with
- your favorite snack,
- fifteen minutes of reading your favorite novel,
- or whatever else you think will do the trick.
5. This may not usually come to mind when you think of ways to concentrate when studying. But, how about this? Start your studies with a prayer.
School assemblies across India usually begin with a prayer. There’s a reason behind it. It allows us to keep all other thoughts aside and focus our energy on God, a higher power, or whatever/whoever it is that you believe in. Meditation is another way schools choose to begin their day.
Note: Praying isn’t something esoteric. From my personal experience, I view it as a way of talking to God, and it doesn’t always have to be in Sanskrit. You can speak to Him is a language comfortable to you and begin by asking for blessings and the will and concentration to study and not get distracted. Try it out with faith, and we hope you see the difference.
Hope these tips help you prepare with full concentration for your ICSE Board Exams! We’ll keep adding more as and when we think of them.
In the meantime, if you have further pointers that you have been using to stay concentrated, do share them with our readers by commenting below.
We look forward to reading and implementing your study tips. 🙂
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