Watch an expert at work and you will discover that one of his successes is concentration. Try to distract him from what he is doing and either you will find him very difficult to do so, or you will find that the expert is angry with you for having made the attempt. He knows that concentration is vital to his success.
Successful people get the most mileage out of their learning periods by setting up for right condition of themselves. These conditions provide the key to effective concentration.
Desire for Learning
The first condition is desire. It is virtually impossible to concentrate unless you are vitally interested in the subject. What if you are not vitally interested? You can become so by considering goals – the reason you are studying the subject. Whenever you feel “down” about studying, ask yourself two questions.
How will I benefit by learning this?
What will I lose out if I don’t learn this?
Visualizing the goal and benefits will spark your interest as well as your ability to concentrate.
Active and Awake Mind
The second condition is being wide awake so that you can absorb the new material easier. One trick is to keep the room cool – sixty five degrees Fahrenheit or under. Performers know this trick well, and they use it to their audience alert.
You have already experienced what the opposite does. How many times have you been made drowsy by an overlay warm room? Studying on a full stomach will put you to sleep, so never begin soon after the meal.
Best Learning Times
The third condition is to take advantage of your ‘Day Person’ or ‘Night Person’ status experience has shown you whether you function best in morning or at night. Virtually every one falls into one category or the other. Use your best period of the day to study, or you will learn more efficiently.
Test your Learning
And the fourth condition is to follow the studying with a period of relatively light mental activity. Tests have shown that new learned material can be lost is the person quickly turns to other activities requiring concentrated thoughts. Thus, if you are a night person, arrange your studying for just before you go to bed. A day person might study just before showering and leaving for work: activities that won’t provide the type of mental interference that is to be avoided.
Setup these four conditions for yourself, and your ability to concentrate will improve significantly.
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