9 ways to train concentration for study

 9 ways to train concentration for drastic learning improvement
“Concentration is very important for studying and working. Whether you can concentrate or not affects the time and quality of your work. Everybody knows this, but it’s difficult to maintain high concentration.

So today, I will show you ways to control your concentration, achieve high study skill, and make progress in your work.


 9 ways to train concentration for study

1. Take a rest

You tend to forget a time when you are devoted to studying. Of course it’s not bad, as you are concentrating. 

It is medically revealed that humans can maintain their highest concentration for as long as 90 minutes. It is also recommended to avoid continue studying for more than 40 minutes, if possible. 

When you are studying with highest concentration, you are more likely to remember what you study. However if you study slovenly for a long time, you won’t remember less than you expected, and not worth spending a long time, in terms of cost-effectiveness. 

People who know how to study take a rest every 30 minutes, to keep their concentration high. I rest more often, every 15 minutes or so. It depends on a person, and every 15 minutes is good for me. I waste a little bit of time as I rest frequently, but I can concentrate during working. As a result, I can finish more work within short time.

 You can rest every 15 minutes to begin with. Stand up from a chair and stretch, or go out for smoking. Even taking a deep breath can make a difference.


2. Sleep well

Two factors for low concentration: lack of sleep and lack of nutrition.

Especially lack of sleep is no good. You may have motivation, or feeling you are studying, but your brain is working slower. You are not really concentrating without good sleep.

 This is such a waste. You feel everything is alright; motivation, absorbency of information, studying skills. But with a lack of sleep, all are misunderstanding.

 Try to sleep at least 6 hours a day. If you are too busy to have enough time, take a nap for about 20 minutes. 

It is well known that taking a nap is efficient for getting higher concentration. Just be careful not to sleep for more than 1 hour, as your brain takes it as “full-time sleep”. Your body and brain start to sleep more, and not good for concentration.

 If you can’t get enough time to sleep, use 15 to 20 minutes of your lunch hour to take a nap. This is important for higher concentration and efficiency of work in the afternoon.


3. Find good lighting

“Studying in dark place leads to bad eyesight” is medically wrong. Overuse of eyes is the result, but “brightness” of the room has no relation.

 However, it is not recommended to study in dark place because it makes you sleepy. 

If you stay in a dark for a long time, your brain starts to prepare for sleeping. It surely is difficult to concentrate. 

So let’s think of a good desk lamp. The point is to use a white fluorescent light. Orange light bulbs, often used in a bathroom, has an effect of relaxing and leads you to sleep.

 On the other hand, white light activated your brain. “Strong white fluorescent light” is recommended. By using this for your desk, you can concentrate longer.


4. Change what you eat

Studying is an exercise of the brain. If the brain is not active, knowledge is not acquired. The best way to activate your brain is to sleep, but here are some foods and nutrients which can temporarily activate your brain.


Coffee or energy drinks are effective. 


Sugar is a “nutrient for brain”. Simply eating sweets is OK, but chocolate is especially good because cacao includes ingredients to activate brain (but for only very short time).


Carbohydrate in rice immediately turns into sugar and used for brain. “A student eating a rice ball while studying late in night” is not only a popular scene of old dramas in Japan, but also reasonable in terms of nutrition science. 


Vitamins can also stimulate brain. Especially, “beverage with sour vitamins” is good. “C1000 Lemon” is my favorite. It’s in a small bottle, and strong sour taste wakes me up. 

As you can see, there are ways to stimulate your brain besides sleeping. Have these foods in your fridge and make good use of them.


5.  Set up a short period

To keep studying with high concentration, “making a habit of studying” is also effective. If you don’t like studying, brain will recognize “difficult thing will happen” and you feel a strong reaction against studying.

 You can’t keep high concentration under such situation. If so, try shortening your study time.

 If you decide to study for 2 hours and get bored after 1.5 hours, set up 1.5 hours of study from next time. And as you get used to it, go back to 2 hours.

 Once you feel you don’t want to study, you will feel it everyday and even suffer from 2 hours of studying. And stress piles up day by day. So it is efficient to set up short period in the beginning.

 Of course if you get used to it, longer the period. 3 hours a day may be too much, so start from 30 minutes to 2 hours a day may be a good idea.


6. Read out loud

“Reading out loud” is believed to be very important for developing study skills. Study skill means “ability to fix things you studied to a brain”, and having high study skill means higher efficiency in studying. It is also important in terms of “learning more in a short period of time”. 

Reading out loud is the strategy to memorize a text book not only with eyes but also with ears. Both sense of seeing and hearing can be used to memorize, so it is more efficient to absorb knowledge than silent reading. 

In addition, let me tell you one more studying method. It is “feel as though you are a teacher”. Suppose someone is in front of you, and you read a textbook aloud as though you are “teaching”. 

It sounds strange but as there is a saying “teaching is learning”, you can acquire more knowledge by teaching. If you are a real teacher you are forced to learn no matter what. But as you teach, you will learn more and it will be useful for further teaching. 

The point is “to repeat many times like you are teaching”. Read aloud many times like a teacher. It’s no use to just read in a singsong voice. Arrange the way by yourself.


7. Stretch out

It is true that stretching is good when you lose your concentration. You can simply refresh and also it is medically proved to be effective. 

You can’t avoid stay seated for a long time when studying. As a result, muscles are contracted and blood circulation worsens.

 With bad blood circulation, amount of blood flow to a brain is decreased. Blood is carrying oxygen all over the body and you can’t activate well with lower brain oxygen.

 Stretching has an effect to bring back the blood flow. If the blood flow is back to normal, a brain can work actively again. 

You are not “in the position” of studying in the beginning, so stretch out often. It makes a difference in maintaining concentration.

8. Go for a walk

There are 2 types in losing concentration. One is “gradually losing concentration”. Study efficiency and study skill worsen as time. In this case, try a plan like “study 30 minutes and rest 10 minutes, and repeat for 3 times”. Setting a period is effective. 

Another type is “suddenly lose concentration”. You will lose concentration suddenly in middle of studying. 

For this case, short break won’t help much. It’s not easy like “gradually” people who can recover by stretching, taking a deep breath or coffee break.

 If you suddenly lose concentration, try to take a walk. Walking is nice. Walk around your neighbor without thinking. 10 minutes or so is enough.

 Even if you are not thinking, your brain is “organizing information”. In a meanwhile, your thought is cleared and can come up with many ideas.

 Then you just go back to office and automatically back to work. Strolling is recommended for “suddenly” type of people.

 Also twittering of birds and other sounds of nature can refresh your mind.


9. Be crazy

Which can you concentrate more, things you like or you don’t like?  No need to ask, of course it’s the thing you like.

 So how about doing this for studying? Maybe you don’t like what you are studying in the beginning. Everything is new to you and learning is a very hard work.

 But at certain point you will start to understand things and experience a refreshing surprise. 

So persuade yourself “what I’m studying is fun”. I have a friend who is a TOEIC instructor and very popular among students. I asked a secret of lessons, and the answer was “to make my students understand fascination of studying”. 

It means if students find pleasure in TOEIC, they will start studying by themselves. As a result, teacher only lead them to right direction and teach new knowledge, and students make progress on their own.

 Continue to “tell yourself delight of studying” and you will automatically feel fun, and having fun leads to concentration.


 How did you like my tips?

All I explained above are not difficult. It may be hard to sleep well when you are busy, so deal with it by taking a nap.


9 ways to train concentration for study

1. Take a rest

2. Sleep well

3. Find good lighting

4. Change what you eat

5. Set up a short period

6. Read out loud

7. Stretch out

8. Go for a walk

9. Be crazy


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