Monday, 19 September 2011

Help Yourselves

Are you one of those people who have short spans of concentration? Do you find it a strenuous task to stick to a chair to read never ending pages of text? Do you think you are surrounded by too many distractions, making it even more difficult for you to work efficiently? Fear not. The good news is that just through a little planning and changes in your attitude, you will be able to generate outstanding results and ace your tests. Here are some handy tips to turn your study sessions into constructive ones:

1) Begin with the desired end in mind: Ask yourself where you would like to be after 3 years from the present, 5 years and then 10. Be it getting into a top ranking Business School, a managerial post in a Multi-national, having a blog with a worldwide following, or being the most recognized motivational speaker; you will have to make constant efforts at present to get to that level. Write it down on a piece of paper in the future form and stick it on the wall next to your writing table. For instance, if you want to be hired as the Marketing Director at Engro Chemicals write it down as “I am the Marketing Director at Engro Chemicals.” Now fantasize yourself as one and notice how it brings a stream of energy to you. This energy will compel you to give 100% input to your work.

2) Plan the correct beginning: Take the test on the following day as the first step of the staircase that you need to climb to get to the top. List down the tasks that you need to get done and allocate expected time durations that they might take to finish. Don’t just do this in your head. Penning things down helps you keep a track more efficiently.

3) Select a suitable area for studying: Even if you multi-task do remember that only concentration can lead you to excellence. Dining halls, TV lounges, corridors, and cafeterias etc. are ideal for socializing but for studying you need a place that provides you complete solace.

4) Kick out the distractions from your view: Cell phones, music players, social networks etc are the most obvious reasons of lowered concentration spans. Avoid using them when you are studying. If you are working on that term report, sign out from your Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and messenger accounts. If you are going through heavy text material then turn your cell phone off. Be an opportunist: You can charge your phone fully now and you won’t run out of battery for the next couple of days :)

5) Sit in a comfortable chair and posture: Some of you might think what difference would a posture make but sitting upright with feet put on a base bringing your knee level slightly above the level of your chair, keeps your blood circulation going and helps improve alertness and mind activity.

6) Keep important things within your vicinity: If you get water quenches and hunger pangs every now and then, it would be a good idea to keep a water bottle and some snacks around. Also keeping a little usable stationary and tissue papers near would save you from getting up from your chair again and again.

7) Take a break when you reach saturation: After studying for a good 45 minutes to an hour, a person usually finds it hard to absorb concepts any further. Diminishing returns start making their room. This is the point when your mind and your body need a little break. Get up and move around, stretch yourself, listen to a song, catch up on the hourly news segment or whatever you feel like. Don’t make it too long. Remember your goal? Get back to work the instant you feel relaxed.

8) Cancel out the tasks that have been achieved: By doing this you will be able to analyze and evaluate your progress and effectiveness and measure them in terms of percentages. Even if you achieve 50% of what you planned you will gather a lot of confidence to get the remaining 50% done.

These tips will give you a direction and you will be awed at the positive results they produce. Good luck! :)