Do you have difficulties focusing on the work that needs to be done “now”? Do you have difficulties shutting off your mind at the end of the day so that no stressful thought pops up in your mind when it is time to relax?

You need to train yourself to be able to focus on your work. You need to train your mind to deal with one important thing at a time. Leave alone your email, your Facebook or Twitter page; there are breaks for this sort of things. Try to work for 45-50 minutes without interruptions and then take a 10 minutes break. Repeat this three or four times, then take a longer break. If you have some worries, then train your mind to stop thinking about them while you study, unless there is something that urgently needs your attention. Try to solve the problem so that you can stop worrying.

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Training your mind is like training for exercise. If it is something you had never done before, then start with little exercise. If studying for 45 minutes without break seems too much for you, then try studying for 20 minutes then take a very short break (at most 5 minutes). Then try to extend the period to 25 and more, until you reach 45 minutes of uninterrupted study. This is usually the length of a class period. So you also train your mind to concentrate during classes. One of your college needs is to be able to follow the lecturer (instructor) during the class time.

What about tests and exams that take more than one hour? You guessed it: you need to make short breaks during the exam too.

At the end of the day, go over your “to do” list and mark down what you have achieved that day. Go over the tasks for the next day and also for the rest of the week. Review priorities. Take a look at the next week tasks or important dates and make sure you are able to meet them. See if there is need for some changes. Then shut off for the day and do some relaxing activity.

Here are some quotes from an article I recently read, which inspired me to write this blog post:

Treat your mind as you would a private garden and being as careful as possible about what you introduce and allow to grow there.

(Actually this is quoted by this article.)

Life is the sum total of what you focus on, yet most people expend little effort cultivating this focus.

Training your mind is crucial in building a good life.

Read the whole article because it is full of good advice.

Filed under: College needs

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