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HOW TO HAVE FULL CONCENTRATION WHILE READING
There’s no doubt that the act of acquiring information through reading can be an arduous task and even for those who actually ‘enjoy’ reading, it can be utterly exhausting and quite frankly, frustrating, mainly because sometimes, it’s just really hard to focus.
Human beings naturally employs the felicific calculus which means that we tend to engage in activities that bring us pleasure as against pain; and the truth is, unless you’re consuming a very interesting passage of a gripping novel; reading, generally is NOT fun and is, therefore, hard to concentrate on, especially if one is going through an unfamiliar or boring material, but while it is probably the least exciting part of school, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the frustrating phenomenon it’s made out to be.
Now, concentration, or more specifically, the ability to focus on text for a sustained period of time is a skill that some people naturally seem to possess, but the good news is: like most skills, it can be learned with a little dedication and practice. Thus, although there are one thousand and one tips to maintain absolute focus while reading, I’m going to discuss a few fundamental ones.
- FIND A CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT
The first step is finding a very conducive environment. Most people prefer to go to a library where it’s quiet and serene, and though it sounds a little odd, others thrive in a bustling environment; contrasts which underscore and arises from our individual differences. It is worthy to note that there’s a psychological benefit in going to the same, familiar spot to read because our senses have a way of adapting to the environment and consequently makes it generally easy to routinely blend in, build and maintain focus.
- AVOID DISTRACTIONS
For most students, the technological advancements of the twenty-first century have been both a blessing and a curse. Handheld devices, instant messengers, and the likes have become chief causes of distraction that make it very hard to concentrate while reading. There’s a mental nudge that accompanies every sound of every notification and the problem with these “mental nudges” is that the brain immediately ramps down and needs to ramp back up every time there’s an interruption – this can cause a number of reading-related inefficiencies, but more importantly, it can adversely affect one’s ability to concentrate. So drop the gadgets!
- CLEAR YOUR MIND
You’ve probably heard the word ‘meditation’ before. It’s that awesome way to keep the mind and spirit healthy. And yes, of course, it works! Now, imagine how awesome it’d be if you could carve out for yourself, a moment or two economically spent on clearing your mind of the zillions of thoughts that’s running wildly around, each fighting for attention, attention you cannot afford to divide if you truly seek total and absolute concentration. Clearing your mind before a reading session will not only eliminate unneeded information from the mind and bring you a modicum of serenity; it will also remove the unnecessary clog in the brain wheels and generally enhance concentration and assimilation
- READ IN INTERVALS
It’s important to also note that reading in intervals really helps, especially if you intend to read for a long time. Reading at length increases the chances that you might get bored or altogether disinterested in whatever you’re reading
Everyone has experienced something happen to the brain if it goes beyond an hour focusing on a particular task; it becomes necessary therefore to take short periodic breaks to keep the energy level up and the brain efficient.
- SET GOALS
It’s always easier and one is very encouraged to concentrate on getting a task done if there’s an end in view; if a large, intimidating task is reduced to smaller, more achievable portions. ‘One step at a time’ is always better than ‘all at once’. Breaking up a seemingly difficult task into more manageable portions encourages concentration and stimulates the mind to speed up to reach a mental checkpoint. So, learn to set specific goals. Divide and conquer!
In addition to the above, there are other basic tips that can greatly enhance concentration while reading:
- Wake up very early in the morning when the eyes are clear and brain is still refreshed
- If you’re having issues concentrating on a particular course, switch and take up another course
- Proper lighting is extremely important because the lack of it gets the eyes tired and stimulates sleep
- For some people, listening to music while reading greatly helps. Find slow, ambient music that can help you concentrate better.
- On a final note, practicing proper sitting posture can enhance concentration in ways you haven’t imagined.