Learning to concentrate
is often one of the hardest skills to learn. Often we are not sure
why we cannot concentrate and become frustrated or overwhelmed when
we sit down to complete a task. Your mind may wander. You may even
have trouble becoming settled enough to attempt to study. Although
there is no magical solution to erase these feelings, using some
simple steps may be very helpful.
||Step 1: Where
do I study?
If you find yourself repeatedly being interrupted by outside
distractions such as friends, phone calls, or pets, you need
to find a way to curtail or even remove these annoyances completely.
An easy way for you to see how much time and energy you do drain
off from your study times via these interruptions would be for
you to take an accurate baseline observation of your study times
for one week. This means that each time you study, you should
write down how long you worked, what subject you covered, where
you studied, how many and what kind of interruptions you had,
and how much work you actually accomplished. Once you have this
information, you can use it to analyze your study habits. You
may discover for example, that you managed to read more or do
more problems at a particular time of the day. Whatever the
results are, you now have some concrete evidence on where your
weak points and your strong points truly are and you can then
decide what you want to change.
|Set aside a place
for study and study only! Examples could be a quiet room in
your house or apartment or the local library. You are trying
to build a habit of studying when you are in this place. Don't
use your study space for social conversations, writing letters,
daydreaming, etc. Make sure the area is well lit, has good ventilation,
a comfortable chair, and a desk or table large enough for you
to spread out your materials. Make sure your study area does
not contain a telephone, television, radio, a refrigerator stocked
with goodies, or kids. All of these are distractions that will
take your mind off of the task at hand.
This program was developed
by the West Virginia State Department of Education, the West Virginia
Workplace Education Program, and the Regional Education Service
Agency (RESA) V.