I want to talk about study/work habits today because I just came out of a heavy study period as of yesterday and I noticed certain things that changed.
We all strive for efficiency at work. The goal is to maximize the outcome and minimize the effort without cutting down on the results. If we can achieve the same result with less effort, why make more? We can use that saved energy for something else.
That is the ideal but not always the real. Many times, we make much more effort than we should and still not get the intended outcome. There are many reasons for this. I will talk about two and mention how I am at a better place with respect to those.
The first one is that we are occupied with many things at the same time, which makes it harder to concentrate on the immediate work. I used to think about how my day was likely to go, what would person X say about a given situation etc. when I was also trying to study. Thus, we distract ourselves and this is the opposite of what we are trying to do. Well, I was just like that too. I always had too many things on my mind. How did I make it better? By calming my mind via meditation. It really did help because with meditation, I realized that it was ok for my mind to be silent at times. Initially, this silence happened only during meditation but then it extended to other aspect of my life including my study times. Now, when I am studying, my mind is much less noisy. There are not many thoughts other than what I am studying and this helps my concentration.
The second reason is that we force ourselves to work/study even when our body and mind reject it. Our mind and body are powerful and persistent. They go a long way. But they have limits. They might be able to put up with a long period of study or work but at times they just can’t. I realized that I was still forcing myself to study even at those times and this was making it difficult for my mind to concentrate. It just did not want to. So, I used to spend half of my study time to trying to convince my mind to study. But then I started realizing that I was just wasting my energy by doing this and started adapting to my mind’s needs. I am still working on this, as I still tend to force myself into work. But this change started helping me concentrate better. That is because if the mind does not want to study/work, it means it is tired. When it gets some rest, it becomes much more energetic and does a better job at concentrating.
With these little changes, I went from being a person who would sit in front of the computer all day, with most of this time spent on random stuff, to a person who studies for a portion of the day but in a much more concentrated way. I still fall back on my old habits but in general, I think I made some progress.
Now, let’s talk about you. Can you concentrate easily? If not, are you trying to solve the issue? If so, how? If you can, how do you do it? What are your tricks?