What Develops Concentration?

  1. Want to learn. Observe students in any class you take. You'll see some who are really paying attention and others who are drifting from one thing to another. Do you want to learn? This is a decision that you will have to make for yourself.

  2. Become interested. The more you know about any subject, the more interested you become. Hardly anyone has trouble concentrating on a magazine article or television program that is highly interesting. It is when the subject matter is not extremely interesting that the problem of daydreaming occurs.

  3. To create interest:

    1. Read critically. Look for ideas that you can question or disagree with.
    2. Try to predict the author's thoughts. See if you can predict what point the author will make next.
    3. Try to connect or see relationships between new material and information you already have learned.

  4. Use writing to focus your attention. By underlining, marking, or taking notes, you keep your mind active and involved.

  5. Use a tally system to build your attention span. Tally, or count, the number of times you are distracted during a specified period of time. Total your marks at the end of the time period. Check yourself again, and try to reduce the number of distractions by 10 percent.

  6. Establish goals and time limits. Figure out how much you can accomplish in a specific amount of time. Set a time limit and work toward meeting it. Be as realistic and as specific as possible. For example, instead of deciding to study economics for two hours, set more specific goals: review Chapter 2 during the first half hour, read and mark Chapter 3 during the next hour, and review lecture notes during the last half hour.