Everyone knows how important it is to be able to concentrate while doing homework, and how difficult it is to achieve a stable concentration of attention. It is especially hard to keep your thoughts on the subject if it is not in your field of interest. You may have a question, like how to concentrate easy and for long? Let us find out more about concentration.
Types of Concentration
There are many resources on the Internet devoted to the concentration of attention. In a wonderful book written by Cal Newport, the author says that we have two regimes of work: deep work and shallow work. The biggest part of our time we spend in a shallow work mode. That means that we are easily distracted by the outside events. For instance, when someone calls on the phone while we are doing homework, we do not ignore them but rush to answer the call. In Newport's opinion, nowadays for being successful, we need to have two skills. The first one is to assimilate difficult information fast and the second - is to be able to work qualitatively. For this, we need to concentrate deeply.
Obstacles to Deep Concentration
One of the obstacles is our nature. Experiments show that apart from basic needs we tend to succumb to the temptation to check email, social networks, surf the Internet, listen to the music, watch television. Another obstacle is a culture of availability. In other words, it does not matter whether we are cooking or doing homework, we are supposed to answer phone calls and respond messages at any time. Therefore, many of us are always half-distracted. What should we do to learn to concentrate deeply under such conditions?
Both for suppressing temptations and concentrating, we use the same source of energy, namely, willpower. It is limited, so the more willpower we use during a day, the less is left. Rituals and habits help us to save willpower. Due to that, we do not need to think every time what to do at the present moment. While everyone can have their own rituals, Newport offers to answer three questions. The first one is "Where am I going to work?". For example, you can do your homework seating at your desk in your room or in the library. The second one is "How am I going to work?". Maybe, you will search for the information on your laptop or write an essay and switch off your mobile phone and the Internet connection. The third question is "How will I maintain my working process?". It often happens that after you have already started doing homework, an abrupt hunger attacks you, so you go to the kitchen to grab some food and lose the state of deep concentration. Take this into account and prepare snacks beforehand.
Plan Your Time
When we switch from one task to another, our brain still pays attention to the previous one for some time. Even if we have completed the previous task, our attention will remain in a fragmented state. To ease your memory, you may use HomeworkNeeded.Com for some of the tasks. Deep work requires deep concentration. Newman says that newcomers are able to concentrate for an hour and a half. Switch off your phone for this time and plan other shallow tasks around it.
Review the Importance of Social Networks
Try to look at social networks as at tools. Think about advantages and disadvantages you get by using them. As long as Facebook could be useful for keeping in touch with classmates and discussing homework, it could distract you with unimportant information much more. Asking your classmates to go out for dinner could be more beneficial.
Divide You Time on Online and Offline
If you plan to do your homework for an hour, allocate half of the time to spend online and during the rest of the time switch off the Internet connection. This will help you to train your concentration skill. If you have spent much more time already, and the deadline is too close, it is better to order some homework help online, but be careful next time.
Given that attention, as well as willpower, are limited, it is important to have a proper rest. At the end of the day, check whether you have any urgent tasks, make a short plan for the next day, close your laptop or notebook and do not open it until tomorrow. Now, it is time for rest.