There is ONE thing, one thing that people NEVER seems to get when it comes to concentration.
Because they don’t understand this simple rule, their results and study session effectiveness often fall short of their expectations.
To make the most from your studying don’t focus on the time you invest. Focus on the quality of your study session over the quantity you do. This is one of the key things we focus on and we absolutely think you can get twice the results in half the time. Make sure you grab the free audiobook Unlimited Memory by a chess grandmaster which will absolutely transform your results overnight if you apply the techniques.
This had come to my attention during the hellish two years of my IB journey, and god it’s been bugging me non-stop till today when I see students still struggling with this issue.
You see, naive and unaware students like us think there are a million techniques and rules to follow to obtain the best grades. Perhaps this common herd mentality is a product of the linear, uniform education system that we all go through, but that is another debate for another day.
You’ve heard it all: Eat the right foods for peak performance of our brains. Sleep eight hours so we don’t feel lethargic. Sit in the front row of the class so we grasp every nitty gritty detail of what the lecturer is trying to say.
You’ve probably done some of them yourself.
And yet, you still fall short of your expectations.
You still fail.
Do situations like these sound familiar to you? Heck, you might even be one of them! You might be in situations where the million and one study techniques that you tried never seemed to work.
That is because you aren’t aware of this one tip.
From my experience in the IB Diploma Programme, it is this one thing that differentiates the top scorers and consistent high performers from the rest of us average performers.
There’s no magic formula to study success, but boy is there one principle to improve your concentration. It is this:
Concentration Quality = Environment Quality
The quality of your concentration is directly correlated to the quality of your environment.
You see, you MUST HAVE a conducive environment to have maximum concentration. Not only must this environment be conducive, but conducive for YOU. The Starbucks that your best friend deems most conducive for her might be hell on Earth for you, because the background music she sees as motivation might be your biggest distraction.
If this premise is not met, you can stop reading here because all the additional study techniques I’ll share with you below to boost your concentration will go to nought.
So stop. Take a moment to think about what environment makes you focus the most. Then read on.
When I was still an IB student, I would travel over an hour every day on the train to the National Library in Singapore. You might think I’m crazy. After all, why would I spend so much money and precious time just to travel all the way?
Because I knew that my highest levels of concentration arrived amidst the deafening silence between the bookshelves lining the library’s walls. Inspiration struck when the rustle of the crinkly pages of books entered my ears. Momentum was built from the murmurs of other students around me as we all strived towards a common goal of attaining academic excellence.
Yet, as Bruce Lee once said, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply.” Understanding what our optimum study environment is barely suffices in helping us increase concentration when studying, but it is THE first step. There are techniques that must be undertaken in this very environment that helps us achieve optimum study effectiveness.
In the National Library, this would be my study routine:
Upon finding a seat, take my journal out.
Journaling my top priorities for that study session allowed me to focus on what I needed to accomplish during that session. With a clear focus on my goals, full concentration on achieving them was a no-brainer next step.
After listing out my to-do tasks, eat the frog.
If you haven’t heard, Eating the Frog is a phrase coined by Mark Twain. It means to conquer your most challenging task the first thing in the morning (or when your session begins). At the beginning of your study session, your mind is at its peak, and so is your concentration level. I would highly suggest you begin your study session in the morning to capitalise on your alertness and high concentration level. By committing to, and then, eating the figurative frog at the beginning of your session, you would also build momentum to complete the remainder of your to-do list, thus ensuring concentration of productivity.
Having eaten the frog, I would practise solving other problems.
With my most challenging task conquered, I would focus my attention on solving other less complex problems. This ranges from routine Math practices for weaker topics or writing Literature essays for my HL Literature class. With the momentum gained from eating the frog, it was not difficult to maintain that concentration to accomplish less demanding activities.
Following a productive session of being in a flow, I would rest and refuel myself.
After completing all my important tasks that will drain most of my concentration, I will take a break. You see, concentration is akin to fuel that your body uses in order to focus. Like fuel in your car, it is finite and is bound to run out. Taking breaks after completing the most important tasks of the day is paramount for you to refuel, and for your body to continue performing optimally in the long run. Eating the right kinds of food (food either from the ground or things that have a face) is also vital in helping you refuel your concentration level.
I know this answer is long, so I won’t drag on by summing my main points up. Instead, let me ask you a final question.
Have you ever been so engrossed in a computer game that you barely notice how time flies by? Did you realise how much concentration you could actually exert when you’re in the state of flow? You see, in a world full of distractions, it’s easy to think that concentration has become a lost art. Yet, we still do it all the time. As young students, we do it on social media, in computer games and in movies. To improve our concentration levels in our studies, we just need to harness this flow to our advantage, at the right times.
You and I all have that ability to focus within us. We just need to take the additional step to finding the right environment that is most conducive for us to be productive.
After that, put those study tips – the million and one techniques you found online that didn’t seem to work – into action, and watch your concentration ability rise.
Thank you so much for reading this answer! Albeit lengthy, I know, but I hope it’s helpful! If this answer inspires you, don’t forget to give it an upvote and follow me on Quora!
This answer originally appeared on this Quora question on Studying.
How To Increase Concentration While Studying | Study Method | Study Tips
To increase concentration while studying, find a quiet, distraction-free place. Have all your study materials ready and turn off electronic devices. Consider getting a study buddy. Find a study method that works for you. Set goals and remember to take breaks.