Digitisation has simplified our access to knowledge. Although this is obviously a positive development, it also contains a few dangers. The extreme amount of digital stimuli that you receive on a daily basis through your smartphone or tablet become an obstacle to your learning capacity and ability to concentrate.
Just ten years ago, the average concentration span was twelve minutes. These days, that is just five minutes. With these five tips we help you to optimise your focus on your study programme or training course.
1. Remove all distractions
The first tip may seem the most obvious one, but it is also the most difficult for some: turn off all your devices, or, even better, put them somewhere out of sight. This especially applies to your smartphone! It is easier to avoid these distractions if they are out of sight and out of mind. If you simply cannot turn off or put away your smartphone, then turn off the sound for all push notifications or use an app that temporarily blocks Facebook and YouTube, for example. This allows you to concentrate on the task at hand and to study or to complete a training course without any distractions.
2. Exercise and eat well
We don’t need to tell you that exercise is good for you. Regular exercise is not only good for our bodies, but it also gives our brains a boost. This is because the heart pumps a lot of oxygen to our brain during exercise, which improves our concentration and our ability to learn. Combine exercise with a healthy diet that consists of lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts, and oily fish for the best result.
3. Motivation for improved concentration
Concentration and motivation are two sides of the same coin. Without motivation you don’t have the concentration to study, making learning quite a drag. But where do you find the motivation to start studying? Start by listing the benefits to your work once you have completed your study programme or training course. Keep these benefits in mind if you don’t feel like studying or in those moments where your concentration starts to ebb.
4. Take a moment to do nothing!
That’s right, we’re telling you to do nothing! Psychological research has shown that taking a moment to daydream helps you to process information. Spending some time while studying staring into nothing or looking out of the window orders your thoughts, so that you can better process information. So, you’re even allowed to take a moment to daydream during a training course at EIPA!
5. Talk about the work
A great way for processing and remembering the lesson material is to talk about it with others. If you are following a training course at EIPA, this is an essential part of our programme. In addition to our training courses, we ensure that there is always time to exchange knowledge and experiences with other participants in an informal setting. This also makes the training course a lot more fun!
At EIPA we provide you the complete skill set to fully understand and effectively manage EU policies that help you thrive in your career as a public official. Already for over 35 years!
The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and not necessarily those of EIPA.