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How to Study with INTENSE Focus: 6 Essential Tips

A weekly plan

While focusing on one topic in a day, it helps to have a weekly plan to organize yourself and map your study hours.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Study with INTENSE Focus: 6 Essential Tips

How to Study with INTENSE Focus: 6 Essential Tips

https://collegeinfogeek.com/how-to-focus/

collegeinfogeek.com

8

Key Ideas

Cal Newport

Cal Newport

“Don’t take breaks from distraction. Instead take breaks from focus.”

The way our mind works

Our brains are wired to work on tasks serially, and not in parallel. This means that we are not wired for multitasking - we are good at focusing on one thing at a time.

The problem is, there are so many distractions these days that we've unconsciously trained our brains to not be good at focusing.

Doing one thing at a time

Commit to what you want to study on a particular day, or for a few hours. Limit the number of tasks/distractions/subjects so that you keep your intense focus and actually complete the tasks you started.

A weekly plan

While focusing on one topic in a day, it helps to have a weekly plan to organize yourself and map your study hours.

Protecting your blocks of focus

Get rid of shallow, low-intensity work and stuff like checking social media on your smartphone, while you focus on your study work. Keep yourself distraction-free at least for the few hours you are studying.

Take time out to rest

Sleeping 8 hours a day and taking a time-out to rest is crucial.

Give yourself time to recuperate, in order to perform better at any task, and to recall better what you have studied.

Find and develop a routine

A routine will ensure your time is well utilized and you have less unexpected distractions.

Get yourself comfortable in your study table or a cafe where you will not be disturbed, and can tune-out the music or noise to focus on your study work.

Make focus a lifestyle choice

Make focus a regular part of your lifestyle, by practicing it progressively on a daily basis.

This means making a commitment to stop using your smartphone for a few hours daily, or not checking it first thing in the morning.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Note Taking - Starter Tips

Preparation steps before a note-taking session:

  • Try to get familiar with the topic that is going to be discussed, beforehand. This leads to better understanding.
  • M...
Outline Method

Taking a structured approach to note-taking is the best way. Put the outline notes by choosing four or five key points of the lecture, followed by in-depth sub-points. One way to review is to use the Cornell Method, which divides the note sheet into three sections:

  • Cues: It includes key questions and main points.
  • Notes: Which you write during the class using the outline method. 
  • Summary: Which you can write after class while reviewing.

The Mind Map

The mind map is a visual diagram of abstract concepts.

It works best in subjects like chemistry, history and philosophy, subjects having a neural network like interlocked and complex topics. 

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A New Way To Study
A New Way To Study

Studying takes too much time, and there is only a limited number of hours. Spaced repetition method uses time intervals and makes you recall more information, using less time.

The spacing e...

Pierce J. Howard
Pierce J. Howard

“Work involving higher mental functions, such as analysis and synthesis, needs to be spaced out to allow new neural connections to solidify. New learning drives out old learning when insufficient time intervenes.”

Everything Remains In Memory

A recent theory on forgetting states that everything we learn remains in storage inside our memory, but our ability to recall and retrieve that information fades if we do not practice fetching information.

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Prevent Tiredness

General tiredness affects the majority of people.

Here are a few basic ideas to have all-day energy:

  1. Respect your body's sleep cycle
  2. Move around
  3. Moderate coffee int...
Respecting your body's sleep cycle

It is imperative to sleep 7 to 9 hours for most adults.

An alarm clock or phone alarm can interfere with the body's sleep cycle to wake us up before a cycle is completed. It is healthier to sleep while not being simulated and wake up naturally.

Don't be a Couch Potato

Apart from rest, it is crucial to have a daily exercise routine and get some sun exposure regularly.

Human beings are designed to move and be in the sun, trekking and toiling for hours. If you are feeling tired, walking outside in nature and getting some sun will help.

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The new law of productivity

High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)

Deep work vs. Shallow work
  • Deep work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. Creates value.
  • Shallow work: Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. Doesn't create value.
4 philosophies to integrate Deep Work into your life
  • Monastic: maximize Deep Work by minimizing or removing shallow obligations. Isolate yourself for long periods of time without distractions; no shallow work allowed
  • Bimodal: divide your time into some clearly defined stretches to deep pursuits and leave the rest open to everything else. Reserve a few consecutive days when you will be working like a monastic. You need at least one day a week
  • Rhythmic: involves creating a routine where you define a specific time period — ideally three to four hours every day — that you can devote to Deep Work
  • Journalistic: alternate your day between deep and shallow work as it fits your blocks of time. Not recommended to try out first.

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Rewards Are The End Goal Of Habits

Your cue leads to your craving, which leads to a response, that leads to your reward.

These rewards can take any form, and as your habit gets more ingrained you develop a craving for the rewa...

Focus On Writing

Writers ought to have only one response to their cues and cravings: writing!

Being a writer requires diverse activities, like promoting your list or pitching agents, but writing is still the most important of all.

Cravings Drive Every Habit

Ask yourself what change of state are you seeking from writing. What you crave is not the habit itself but a change, which for a writer is often the sense of accomplishment from being a writer working toward a long-sought-after goal. 

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The 2 kinds of work :
  • Deep work”: using your skills to create something of value. It takes thought, energy, time and concentration.
  • Shallow work”: all the little administrative and logist...
Cal Newport
Cal Newport

"The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive. "

Cal Newport on time management
  • Don’t schedule distractions. Schedule deep work.
  • Keep a scoreboard for deep work: The point is to shame yourself if you’re not up to snuff.
  • Stop saying “yes” to unimportant stuff;
  • Have a “Deep Work Ritual”: Hiding in a conference room and throwing your phone into an abyss is a good one.
  • Ask your boss how much time they want you spending on deep vs shallow work: If they say “100% shallow”, feel free to ignore everything above.
  • What Deep Work Is

    A process of performing “professional activities…in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve ...

    Shallow work

    The non-cognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted, tend not to create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.

    Recognizing our limited willpower

    ...is the first element of deep work.

    That means you won’t have the mental discipline to stay concentrated on a single task unless you prepare your mind and environment to it.

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    Cal Newport on better managing time
    • To-Do lists are useless. Schedule everything.
    • Assume you’re going home at 5:30, then plan your day backwards.
    • ...
    Increase your focus by setting goals

    Whenever you have issues focusing, try setting goals. The most important tip anybody could give you at this point is that the smaller the goal, the better the result. Therefore, try focusing on one...

    Organize your tasks for a better focus

    Organizing your tasks according to their difficulty level has only positive effects on your work. You will not only keep track of what has been done and what remains to be done, but you will also make sure that both difficult and easy tasks are being performed.

    Scheduling improves your focus

    Carefully scheduling your daily program enables you to reach a better focus. As you plan your day, you should take care of dividing your tasks according to the available time. This way you will know from the beginning of the day what and when needs to be done, which will reduce considerably the time to make decisions, which is one of the main distractions when thinking to start a new task. Furthermore, including breaks in your schedule is almost essential, as these allow you to  recharge your batteries and, therefore, work more efficiently afterwards.

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    Time blocking
    Time blocking

    It's the practice of planning out every moment of your day in advance and dedicating specific time “blocks” for certain tasks and responsibilities.

    When you fill your c...

    Time blocking and focus

    By scheduling every minute of your day you not only guard against distraction but also multiply your focus.

    Also, focusing on one task at a time can make you up to 80% more productive than splitting your attention across multiple tasks.

    Cons of the time blocking practice
    • It takes a lot of time and effort.
    • Few of us (if any) have the same schedule every day.
    • We’re bad at estimating how long tasks will take to do.
    • Constant interruptions and “urgent” tasks can destroy your system.
    • Flexibility is key in most workplaces.
    • You can lose sight of the bigger picture if you focus just on each day.

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