How to improve concentration during your UPSC CSE Preparation
Success in any endeavour requires single-minded attention to detail and total concentration. - Willie Sutton.
UPSC Civil Service Examination is a long journey, which demands complete dedication and a focused approach. The questions asked are analytical and require a thorough understanding of the topic with its various dimensions. Such focus is possible only when you read with a steady concentration and are able to link different topics to form an integrated knowledge base. In this article, we discuss ways in which you can improve concentration during UPSC preparation.
Concentration and its effects
It is the ability of a person to focus on a particular task without deviating from the task. The level of your concentration speaks about your control over your mind. An improved concentration level improves the overall quality of life, as you can prevent distraction.
Importance of Concentration for UPSC CSE
Importance of concentration cannot be stressed enough for a UPSC CSE aspirant. A UPSC aspirant has to cover a vast syllabus, assimilate the information and reproduce that information as per the demands of the question. The ability to concentrate provides clarity of thought, which enhances the understanding and reasoning ability of candidates.
How to improve Concentration?
#1 One task at a time
Whenever you take up a task, try to finish it and do not indulge in multiple tasks at the same time. If you are reading a topic, do not think about your test you took yesterday. Be present in the moment.
A great way to achieve this is by using the Pomodoro technique. In this technique, you take up a task for 25 minutes, focus only on that for 25 minutes and then take a short 5 minutes break. Once done, repeat. Do 4 such sittings, then take a longer break - 15 to 30 minutes, and then repeat the entire cycle again. Highly effective! Traditionally this was done using a timer that resembles a tomato. Now there are apps that you can use.
Fun fact: Pomodoro is Italian for tomatoes.
#2 Avoid distractions
Minimize time spent on social media (Facebook, WhatsApp). The interactions on such platforms divide your attention span leading to low concentration while studying.
This is the most useful tool to improve focus. Start with 5- 10 minutes of meditation and slowly increase the duration. Meditation not only provides the much-needed calm but also brings in positive energy.
A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Physical fitness is equally important for improving concentration. Regular exercises for 20-30 minutes help to improve endurance and focus.
#5 Take regular breaks
It 's hard to concentrate on one thing for a long duration so break your study scheduled into different topics to study for an extended period without losing concentration.
#6 Eat Right
Overeating not only discomforts but also drains the body due to extra load of digestion. Take a nutritious and a balanced diet. Unhealthy diet not only harms the body but also induces sleep. To concentrate more have light foods. Keep avoiding eating junk food. Drink plenty of water.
#7 Choice of study place
Choose a place where there is optimum light and least noise. Keeping away from distracting objects will help retain focus for long.
Once your concentration improves you can feel the positive changes, this brings to your UPSC preparation journey. Your mood swing will decrease; you will be able to retain information, you will be able to relate multiple dimensions seamlessly. Improved concentration will give a boost to your confidence and your overall personality, which is essential to crack the exam.