Focus Without Distraction for Exam Preparation
You are all ready to finish the chapter you were trying to do from the last three days. Due to lack of focus you couldn’t do so but today, you sat in your chair with a determination that no one can stop you from completing that topic and this is the first step in your exam preparation.
You started studying with full zeal. Everything was going as per the plan until, you find yourself in urge of picking up your mobile phone which just made a sound of a WhatsApp notification, it might be of your best friend who is inviting you to go out for dinner or may be a meme sent in a group. Nevertheless, you controlled yourself and continued with your studies but after some time, you again hear the sound of your phone ringing, it’s your best friend calling you. He/she might be calling you for some hot news about college or about your mutual interest. You stopped yourself again as you had already made up your mind to not get distracted from anything that comes your way not knowing, that it slowly weakens your determination of studying and at last you gave up when your mother comes up to you with hot fritters she just cooked as it is raining outside and what’s best than having this in this weather.
We often lose focus while studying not because we are less determined but because of the distractions we have in our surroundings.
We must analyse that and then should find a way out to tackle it.
In this article, we are going to discuss the kind of distractions we face in a day to day basis while exam preparation/studying and will discuss the ways to tackle them.
What can be the Distractions in exam preparation?
- MOBILE PHONE:
One of the main distractions in today’s world, especially for a student is a mobile phone. Smartphones of today offer so much that no one can get bored and hours can be easily passed just by scrolling a few social media sites. Calls from friends or family on the other hand is also one of the reasons for distraction in exam preparation.
2. INTERNET: Internet nowadays is one of the most important tools one needs to excel in career or generally in life. There is plenty of information available and one can learn anything from there. You don’t need to go anywhere to learn new skills, as it’s all there and is just a click away. As there are plenty of advantages of it, there are certain disadvantages too. These are that, it offers infinite entertainment, you don’t have to go anywhere else to entertain yourself and it’s so captivating that you won’t even realise that you spent an entire day in it. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and snapchat are few social media sites which are eating a lot of precious time of a student and not able to concentrate on the exam preparation.
3. GAMES: For analytical and logical thinking games are proven helpful. It also helps in focusing as it required a lot of focus in playing most of the games. All this is nice if done in a limited way. One needs to know when to stop as at times it becomes very captivated also. It often serves as a distraction while studying, especially for boys. Now a days, one game which is catching fire is PUBG, this game is everywhere, and one can easily spend entire day on it without feeling bored.
4. PLACE WHERE YOU SIT: Surroundings play an important role in focussing on your exam preparation. Studying in a room which is prone to disturbance is one of the main reasons of distractions. It could halt your studies or at least reduce the pace with which you are studying.
5. WRONG TIME MANAGEMENT: Time management is one of the key reasons which lead you to live a hassle-free life. You are never in a hurry because you have assigned time for each of your work, on the other hand wrong or no time management will always make you restless in every work you do because while doing one work you are in worry of the work you have to do next. So, while studying also you will be thinking about the things which have to be done next and thus it’ll be very difficult for you to concentrate on exam preparation.
6. HEALTH: This is one thing we always tend to avoid but it is one of the most important reasons for not having focus on work or studies. When we are not well, no matter how hard we try we are never going to give our full attention to the work that we are doing. Good health is a bliss as it helps you to do things to the best of your ability, where on the other side bad or ill health restrains you from focusing while studying.
7. SLEEP: Good amount of sleep is extremely important in order to have a healthy body and mind. Students generally avoid this aspect thinking it will not impact on their health whereas sleep plays a vital role as it supports our function of brain and helps us in maintaining physical health. Sleep deprivation not only causes various health problems but also distracts you from concentrating on your studies.
8. DAYDREAMING: There are studies which suggest that day dreaming is quite useful and have certain benefits, like it improves your memory and creativity, it is helpful in lowering the blood pressure too, overall it makes you feel better. While there are advantages, it has certain disadvantages too like, while studying daydreaming can serve as a distraction, hours can be easily passed while doing this in between studies.
How Can You Help Yourself to Focus More during Exam Preparation?
- Ask for privacy (tell them that you are studying ): It’s better if you have a separate room for your studies but if not, before sitting for studies let your family know that you are studying so that they don’t disturb you in that particular span of time.
- Create a study plan for a day:
Take out at least 20 minutes a day before, to create a study plan for an entire day, so that it becomes clear what needs to be done on that day. It not only gives you a clear idea about the things but also helps you in focusing more as now you already know the target for the day.
- Turn off the internet:
Before sitting for studies, the very first thing you must do is to put your phone on silent or on an airplane mode. Turn off the internet or put your phone in another room so that it would be difficult for you to reach there while studying. Trust me it is not as easy as it sounds, but it will benefit you in the long run as 50% of the distraction comes from this single source, especially for students.
- Prioritize your work:
While creating your study plan make three boxes and under them write the topics you need to cover that day, according to their relevance and urgency as follows.
|VERY IMPORTANT||IMPORTANT||CAN WAIT|
|NEWSPAPER READING||MOCK TEST||REVISION OF TIME AND WORK|
|CURRENT AFFAIRS NOTES MAKING||PUZZLES||REVISION OF THE TENSES.|
|RATIO AND PROPORTION|
While Making this type of table, it gives you further clarification about the work which is more important and needs to be done and what are the things that can wait.
- Stop wandering while studying:
We often waste our time wandering while studying and at last we get tensed for wasting hours and hours by just doing that. To tackle this kind of problem, you can try a technique known as “Be Here Now” technique. To know about it in detail you can google it, but in short, it is a process in which you have to say to yourself these words whenever you find yourself losing focus on whatever you are doing. You can try it for studying like, whenever you start thinking about things other than the topic, just say to yourself clear and loud “ BE HERE NOW” this will tell your brain to refocus on the things you were doing and helps you not to lose your concentration. This process is basically to keep you in the moment.
- Find your hours of maximum focus: While some of us like to study in the morning, studying at night is preferred by some. It depends on person to person. While our parents or elders tell us to study in the morning as whatever we study retains for maximum time, it is not necessary to follow the same. Try and test it by yourself. Find your hours in which you are most comfortable studying, it will also depend on your lifestyle, your hours of availability for studying etc.
Finding your hours may be a task for some days but once you’ll find out, it will save you a lot of time as you will make the most of that time.
- Change your subject:
Sometimes studying the same subjects or topic for days could lose your interest as it becomes monotonous and therefore having focus in such cases can become a task. Change in subject also changes mood as we approach different subjects with different perspectives, and it acts a fresh air which uplift our mood and retain our ability to concentrate.
- Find your place (library, home): Find out what place works best for you. For some, library works wonders as it gives them the required surrounding / environment and gives access to different study material. For some, studying at home is preferable as they can take a rest in between the studies.
- Do not multitask: Multitasking for some is one of the favourite things to do as they think that they are saving time, but it is the opposite. It may save your time, but the efficiency of the work will suffer. If you want to attain maximum focus while studying, you should stop multitasking and try to focus on one thing only. This is not only in the case of studying but with any kind of work you want to do with all your capacity.
- Reward yourself: Keeping yourself on track sometimes becomes very difficult to attain. To cope up with this, start rewarding yourself with each task you accomplish. This will motivate you to complete the task on time and refrain you from getting bored. The reward could be anything of your interest. If you are a music lover, you can treat yourself with your favourite track at the end of the topic or if you are a chocolate person you can treat yourself with chocolates with each task completed. It can be favourite movie scene, Instagram (surfing if you’re a social media freak). You can create your rewards, it’s all in your control.
- Try to Understand the topic instead of memorising it: Memorising things could be very boring plus it serves no purpose in a competitive examination. Try to understand the topic, this will not only help you but also keep you glued, and you’ll be able to focus more on the topic.
- Organize yourself: You have no idea how organization can save a lot of your time and could help in concentrate more. Now imagine, you sat in your chair to start studying and you look out for the book you need but it is not there , you tried to find it everywhere you possibly can and after spending good 30 minutes when you are half exhausted, you got the book. It was in a pile of books you have on the bookshelf. Now, if you have done it beforehand, you could have not faced it and it could save your time and energy you put while searching for the book.
What can you do?
- Organise your bookshelf. Make it as clean as you can. Take out all the unnecessary books from it so that it will be easier to find books.
- Put everything you need to study in a table prior to your study time: This will also remind you what are the topics that are needed to cover that day.
- Take a break: It is scientifically proven that a mind on average can focus for 50 minutes. It also depends on person to person; some can focus for 20 to 35 minutes’ while for some concentration level is 90 minutes. Find your focus time and gradually increase it but until then take a break after your focus time as it serves no purpose studying after that, you are only wasting time, nothing else.
- Work with your energy levels: If you notice that your energy levels are not up to the mark or even without any distraction you are not able to focus/ concentrate on your studies. It’s time to look within yourself. Analyse your eating habits, whether you’re taking right amount of nutrition that is needed for your body. Track your sleeping time, as discussed earlier also, that sleep plays an important role in maintaining physical and mental health so always keep a check on your sleeping time and the quality of sleep as this is equally important in maintaining energy level. Along with these two, right amount of exercise is also important as it keeps both mind and body healthy. Take out at least 15 minutes every day to do it.
- Keep your vision and goals in mind: All this will go waste if you don’t have a vision or goal in mind. Before all this that is mentioned above, you should ask yourself why you are studying or what are you studying for. Make a vision board, write it down in clear words, what you want, when you want it to happen and how you want it to happen and then proceed to work towards it. While doing so, there will come a time when you will be a little demotivated about yourself or your capability, at that point of time just see the vision board you created. it will further motivate you to stick there and keep on trying.
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