One of the main problems I find when studying, or doing work in general for that matter, is maintaining optimum focus. 15 mins of really focused work is going to deliver you more value than 1 hour of somewhat focused work. So the question is, how can we create an environment which improves your ability to focus?
The main problem is that you can only maintain focus for so long. You can improve the time you can spend focused on a task by doing exercises such as say meditation. Even still you are going to reach your limit and when you do you need to take a break. This is where the fun comes in.
So you take a break from study. What do you do? You could do several things however a lot of these are going to lead you into traps.
- it is common to do activities that don’t effectively recharge your ability to focus
- it is common to spend this time worrying about the study/ work you still need to get done, which impacts on the first point
So we need something that will distract us and help us mentally recharge.
The answer is juggling!
This may seem odd but it has a lot of benefits.
The first thing you need to do is set yourself a challenge. Juggling in itself is good but you need to push your limits. If you can already juggle 3 balls then your aim is to get 4. If you can already juggle 4 then push it to 5. You can judge for yourself but a good duration for a break is about 10 – 15 mins.
Juggling is great as a study aid for several reasons:
- It is fun
- It consumes all of your attention while learning which is great in term of making sure you don’t spend this time worrying
- It is a physical activity and our minds love working on physical challenges (think about it, we spent thousands of years evolving to live in the physical world, our minds are well tuned for physical activities)
- It is the learning of a new skill
- It is exercise and so is getting the blood flowing
- As you improve it will increase your confidence
Because of all of these you will come back from your break feeling refreshed and energised and able to tackle your study again more effectively.