Updated: May 21, 2021
Success is a function of concentration. It's not the hours, it's the productivity that matters. One of the highly searched queries on Google is ‘how to study with concentration?’ This indicates towards the concentration issue amongst the millennials.
Not sure about other life skills, but we engineers are highly skilled at studying. Whether it's last night study prior to exams or regular routine studies for coachings or schools, we used to manage it anyway. Our relationship with studies has never been that good. Study demands concentration and nobody is rich enough in that. It's hard to concentrate being in a digital universe. You have to go against your default brain settings to concentrate on something that won't give you a higher dopamine hit. But to get results, you must study and to study you need to have concentration. Now the question arises, how to study with concentration? Let's find out.
Human brain is a very complex system. Our default brain system pushes us towards relaxation. We love watching movies, scrolling Instagram and being busy with random stuff. But we need to push ourselves when it comes to studying or working on anything productive.
Why does it happen? It's due to the dopamine hierarchy. Dopamine loves uncertainty. You get a dopamine hit while watching the movie or just about to watch the movie, but you stop getting the hit once the movie finishes. Similar to reels. Once you finish one watching, you need more reels to maintain the dopamine hit and you keep watching one by one. That's the story behind your distraction and one of the major reasons why you fail to concentrate on anything productive.
How to focus on study?
It's really tough to be consistent and to maintain a high focus on your studies or work. You have to push yourself to win against the brain's default neurochemical system. You will find many tricks and tips to hack your neural system. But in reality if someone can hack his/her neurochemical system, he/she will start showing qualities like superhumans.
Remember your JEE days. Why JEE? Because Indians are obsessed with engineering and medicine and most of you will be familiar with it. How did you study during those days? Just recall once. If you are still in school or preparing for entrances, don't worry, you can still try it. Just try to remember how you used to study for your 10th final exam? You hardly used to face concentration related issues while studying during that time. Now don't tell me that you didn't have access to smartphones then. Yes, you did not have. But there were a lot of distractions, still you managed to overcome that. How? This was due to the motivation. The hope of getting an IIT or the hope of coming in the top 10s of your board results. That was not certain but in the hope of getting a higher dopamine hit, you kept working harder to get a seat in IITs or to rank top in your board results. But once you achieve that you stop getting that level of dopamine hit and you lose motivation to work/study. So, what to do? How to overcome this? By setting some goals that can motivate you. For me it was building a company and that always motivates me to work harder and harder. It can be anything. Just ask yourself and don't lose focus on your work. Having a motivation in your mind will eventually help you focus on your studies.
Life is full of distractions. Anything that is not relatable to your work but attracts you is a form of distraction. Distractions are everywhere and in teenage years you become highly prone to fall for any kind of distractions. Our prime concern in this article is to find answers for how to study with concentration. The problem is to increase your focus on studies or to increase concentration, the first and foremost thing you have to do is to remove all the distractions from your life. It may be hard, but essential to achieve anything. You can never fill a bottle with water with its bottom open. Similar goes with our mind. You can never study with concentration when your mind gets distracted by something having the potential of offering higher dopamine hits.
Believe it or not, your surroundings define your fate of success. Definitely it can be both real or virtual. The contents you consume over the internet, the people you follow on social media impact a lot on your journey. As psychology says, if you want to achieve high, surround yourself with people who are better than you. You are just the average of five people you are surrounded by. So, give it a thought. In present days, the majority of distractions appear from the virtual world. How to overcome it? By following quality contents. Contents that can help you grow, build you a better person and can lead you towards your goals. So, fixing your surroundings is much more important than you think. This will increase your probability of success at least by 50%.
How to study with concentration?
The question is not about how to study for long hours or how to study fast. The question is about increasing your productivity. To do that you need to study with concentration. Different factors affect your concentration matrix. Some of them we have discussed earlier. Next we will discuss some practical ways of overcoming distractions and to increase concentration in study.
Digital devices have become the lifeline of this generation. With all the easiness and other flexibilities in modern life, digital devices have a negative side too. Virtual platforms and digital devices are a prime cause of depression, getting anxiety attacks and distractions also. Here appears the concept of digital detox. Staying away from your digital devices for sometimes daily can show results. I am not going to waste your time on this. We have a published article on ‘Digital Detox’ with detailed explanation. You can explore that by clicking below.
It's quite difficult to concentrate on something for a long period of time. When it comes to studying or to work on something that you don't enjoy in general, you need to push yourself more. And many times you start counting your hours of studying to feel better. But you are doing it completely wrong. It's not the number of hours, it's the productivity that matters. Stay away