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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Concentration strategies for students

Here's a wonderful tour de force on Concentration that's written for students and which includes tips on identifying distractions as well as a useful list of techniques for putting your attention where you want it to be and keeping it there.

A few I liked:

  • At the beginning of a study period, spend a few minutes to calm and relax your mind and body. (Try 'Focus on Your Breath' exercise, below.)...
  • Do not tell yourself off or tell yourself to concentrate. When you are thinking about not concentrating, you are not concentrating....
  • If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by all the things you have to do in your life, remember that you can only do one thing at a time...

We have lots more here on battling distraction, including this excellent essay on "good" distractions by Paul Ford.

jd_'s picture

Water, water, everywhere

I really have to agree with the recommendation of water over caffeine. Caffeine tends to turn my "mind like water" into "mind like percolator". The effect is really noticable since I gave up coffee and cola about a year ago.

Now, I always start a study session with a full bottle of water or juice. If you're drinking enough, it has the added benefit of forcing you to take breaks.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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