Cal Newport, the author of the book ‘Deep Work’, wrote in his book about the productivity equation. He said “the quality of work is the product of time spent and intensity of focus.”
Work Accomplished = Time Spent x Intensity
He supplements this with an anecdote about Theodore Roosevelt who was at that time at Harvard. Between classes, physical training and his studies, he found his time in fragments and he manages to be extraordinarily productive despite having few available fragments of time. He was productive despite the dearth of time and overcame his obstacles by working during these fragments of time with a ‘blistering intensity’. In the spirit of Theodore Roosevelt, we’ve compiled the following few tips to help you achieve the same level of blistering intensity inspired by Teddy Roosevelt.
Tip Number 1
Use the Pomodoro technique. This is a technique where you can study for 25 minutes and give yourself a 5 minute break and repeat. A variant of the pomodoro technique is to study for 50 minutes at a stretch and take a 10 minute break.
Remember that initially it is upto oneself to continuously practice this technique to help increase our skills of concentration.
Tip Number 2
Have a single aim per study session and only work on that particular task in that study session. This will help you clear your mind of distractions and give you a more concrete idea for your study session. Remember to be as clear with your goals as possible.
For example, instead of setting a goal of “Study Geography”, it will be more helpful to set a goal of “Study the types of earthquakes and their causes and consequences.”
Tip Number 3
Pablo Picasso once said ‘Without great solitude no serious work is possible.’
Create an environment free of distractions. This means putting your phone out of reach and sitting in a space where you cannot be by distracted by family or friends while you study. Iterate to your loved ones about the sanctity of your study time and make yourself physically unavailable.
Tip Number 4
As with any skill, your mastery increases the more you practice. If you wish to study for long periods of time, break it down into workable periods of time and keep practicing until you’re able to continuously study.
An increase in concentration can only be built over time and by continuous practice. It is consistency that helps build focus muscle.
Tip Number 5
You can add interest and spice up your acquisition of knowledge by setting yourself up with little challenges along the way. This will spark in interest in the topic through the challenge and you can add a reward or a punishment as per the nature of your challenge.
By following through on these steps, you can find yourself with a very productive and satisfactory study session. In order to work with intense focus, you must also be able to give yourself time to recover and relax after an intensive study session as you will find yourself more productive as well as open to continuing the experience.
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