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The #1 Super Study Skill. Focus. The Power of Focus. Our minds are constantly working Thousands of sources compete for our attention every day It is becoming harder and harder to concentrate on one thing at a time Do you feel information overload?

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The power of focus
The Power of Focus

  • Our minds are constantly working

  • Thousands of sources compete for our attention every day

  • It is becoming harder and harder to concentrate on one thing at a time

  • Do you feel information overload?

  • Is it difficult to resist the temptation of distraction?


Create a clear mind
Create a Clear Mind

  • Focus on nothing but your

    breathing for 15 seconds

  • Don’t allow any other thoughts to intrude

  • This is the first step in training your focus and sidestepping temptation


What is concentration
What is Concentration?

  • Studying requires long period of sustained focus on new knowledge and working with that knowledge so it becomes a permanent part of long- term memory.

  • Concentration- is the ability to work intensely at a task to the exclusion of every other demand of your attention.

  • Do electronics rob our attention? YES- turn them off.


What interferes with concentration
What Interferes With Concentration?

  • External Distractions

  • Internal Distractions

  • Lack of focus or goals


External distractions
External Distractions

  • Factors in your environment

  • Uncomfortable chair

  • Study surface too high or low

  • Street noise

  • Music

  • Poor light

  • Room is too hot or cold

  • Reminders of other things you would rather do (magazines, FB)

  • TV

  • Conversations at nearby tables (in the library)

  • Friends interrupting you


Internal distractions
Internal Distractions

  • Lack of sleep

  • Poor diet

  • Lack of exercise

  • Illness

  • Physical Injury

  • Relationship problems

  • Friction with family or friends

  • Worry about money

  • Anxiety about other courses and the work needed for them


Lack of focus or goals
Lack of Focus or Goals

  • Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate because you do not have a clear, firm answer to the nagging question: “Why am I doing this to myself?”

  • You would rather be doing anything other than homework

  • It may be a sign you are not taking the right courses

  • Most often it’s a symptom of not having clear goals


Seeing the connection is important
Seeing the connection is important

  • You must see the connection between

    • Short term goal: Pass the Test

    • Intermediate goal: Pass the Class with B or better

    • Long term goal: Graduate with a 3.5 GPA and attend your choice of college

    • If you don’t see this connection it is easy to give up ,not try, and give in to the distractions.

    • If you need help, ask for it.

    • Don’t give up!


Ways to improve your concentration
Ways to Improve Your Concentration

  • Get rid of the TV- take it out of your room; Tivo your favorite shows and only watch them on the weekend after all of your work is done (including long term projects).


Preparation concentration
Preparation = Concentration

  • Organize your work and your study place for maximum efficiency

  • Get into the proper state of mind- focused relaxation prior to studying

  • Use stress and anxiety management techniques if you are worried about anything


Good health better concentration
Good Health = Better Concentration

  • Get plenty of sleep

  • Eat fruits and vegetables

  • Get some exercise everyday- it helps you manage stress and helps your mind to function better

  • Lead a balanced life- make time for a social outlet


Make concrete goals
Make Concrete Goals

  • Goals must be:

    • Specific

    • Reasonable

    • Achievable

    • Concrete

    • Relevant

    • Write them on paper, your workbook, or try an online source (Kids Health)

      http://kidshealth.org/teen/misc/making_a_change_module.html#cat20179


Task management
Task Management

  • Know what your task is

  • Define what steps you must take

    to complete the task (write them down)

  • Initiate the process

  • Ask for help if you get stuck along the way

  • Cross off the steps in the process

  • Make sure you finish it

  • Put your completed work in your binder in your backpack


Concentration fitness plan
Concentration Fitness Plan

  • Have at least 2 or 3 study tasks prepared.

  • Begin to study as usual

  • The instant your mind wanders stop trying to study

  • If the distraction is something that should go on your reminder list or worry list do so.

  • Before you move on to one of the other tasks- do one small, easy item of the work from the task.

  • Really focus and use all your concentration powers

  • Go on to task number 2


Inching yourself past what you are normally used to doing
Inching Yourself Past What You are Normally Used to Doing

  • You do that one more thing

  • You have accomplished something positive

  • Soon that will have a cumulative effect on your concentration and you will be able to refocus your self and stay focused for longer periods of time


What if nothing is working
What if Nothing is Working?

  • Some days no matter how hard you try to concentrate it seems like it just isn’t there. How do you make good use of your time?

    • Don’t get down on yourself. Accept that today is an off day and try harder tomorrow.

    • Use something else from your study tool box that will help you be productive.

    • Practice your flashcards or make new ones

    • Preview your textbook chapters

    • Review lecture notes

    • Draw a mind map

    • Take a break and try again in a few minutes.


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