When you hear the song, you remember the name of the singer and in which film it played. Similarly, when you see something, or taste your favourite food or smell a familiar fragrance, etc., the chain of thoughts reminds you of past situations, people and so on. In this way, though the student is supposedly studying and has the textbook in front of his eyes, his thoughts get diverted to different directions leading to a lack of concentration in studies. Here are some tips to improve concentration.
1. Study in a quiet environment
A. While studying, ensure that objects such as the music system, television, smart phone, etc., which are potential sources of distraction, are not kept in the room.
B. If the sound of loudspeakers in the neighbourhood is disturbing, use cotton ear plugs.
C. If the environment at home is noisy, shift to a study room or a library. The environment in such places is conducive for studying.
2. Avoid all interruptions during study
A. Inform your family members not to disturb you with errands before you sit down to study. Request them to convey their messages after your study time; then you can study continuously and with concentration.
B. As far as possible, study alone. If you have a companion, make sure that there is sufficient distance between you both. Avoid interruptions and unnecessary talk as they also deplete our mental energy.
3. Change the topic of study
The mind being fickle, it drifts from one topic to another just like a butterfly flies from one flower to another. Fickleness is the basic nature of the mind. Steadying the mind, to make it concentrate on one subject is exactly opposite to the unstable mind that is easily drawn to distractions, and achieving it in a short time is impossible. Initially when you try to increase your concentration powers, instead of resisting the fickleness of the mind, allow it to drift, but only in the realm of studies and not into other areas. For example, initially while studying, change the topic of study every 10 to 15 minutes.
Then, gradually the mind will feel the need to change the topic only after 1 or 2 and then 4 hours. Once the mind is habituated to variation in a particular subject, go to different Chapters of the same subject instead of browsing through different subjects. Slowly concentrate only on one Chapter. In this way, the concentration power can grow. Finally, you will be able to study only one subject for several days at a stretch.
4. Maintain good physical health
To improve concentration in studies, physical fitness is important. To keep yourself healthy, practise points mentioned ahead.
A. Every morning perform Suryanamaskar.
B. Have a nutritious and balanced diet such as rice, lentils, green vegetables, milk, ghee, fruits, nuts. Do not overeat, but at the same time also avoid studying while on an empty stomach.
C. Sleep sufficiently
Sleeping well and for the required amount of time will help in maintaining physical health and enthusiasm in the mind. If you feel unwell then make sure to tell your parents and take the necessary treatment.
5. Keep your mind pure and clean
If the mind is pure, concentration can be attained at once. Bad thoughts make it difficult to attain concentration. Hence, read good books from which you can learn something, watch educational programmes on television and befriend those who have noble thoughts.
6. Take autosuggestions
To help you concentrate on studies and become aware when the mind is drifting to other thoughts, take autosuggestions. One example of an autosuggestion – ‘Whenever the thought of playing cricket comes to my mind while I am studying, I will become aware of it and will realise that my wellbeing lies in studying, I will then concentrate on my studies with complete devotion and concentration’.
7. Pray and chant to improve concentration
Praying and chanting the Name of your Kuladevata or the Upasyadevata intermittently before commencing studies will help attain concentration.
1. O Kuldevata, let your grace always be upon me !
2. O Sri Ganesha, Bestower of knowledge, please give me strength and right-mindedness to concentrate better on my studies.
8. Recite the Maruti-stotra, Ramraksha and other stotras everyday
Stotras create sanskars of sattvikata on the mind and improve the power of concentration. A protective sheath of the Deity is created around the individual who recites a stotra. Recitation of stotras in Sanskrut also help in improving our pronunciation.
9. Meditate or do Pranayam
Meditate or perform Pranayam for 5 minutes daily in the morning and evening. Practising meditation
or Pranayam helps one to attain concentration easily. However, it is important to learn and practice both
these life skills under the guidance of experts
Reference : Sanatan’s book, ‘How to study ?‘