If you have ever found it difficult to prepare for an important exam, concentrate during your lectures, then you are not alone. Every student can lose focus and interest in class or lab from time to time, but for some students, it is consistent that badly impact their learning ability and academic performance.
The ability to concentrate is important for absorbing important medical concepts, learning medical terminologies, performing well in your clinical rotations, and achieving your career goals. Whether you are preparing for your upcoming USMLE Step 1, shelf exam, or class quiz, your ability to concentrate can help you succeed. Many students forget things more readily due to decreased concentration, which can result in a low GPA and bad clinical performance.
Fortunately, you can improve your ability to focus by investing your efforts in building it up. Though improving your mental focus and concentration is not as easy as it sounds. There are some tips and tricks that can help medical students to improve their concentration and mental focus.
- Do Some Brain Boosting Activities
Okay, it is one of the best techniques that can help you get better at concentrating. You can improve your mental muscles by playing some games. For instance, crossword puzzles, chess, scrambles, memory games, and other brain training activities can play a major role in improving your concentration. Basically, these games can help you improve your short-term memory and boost your problem-solving skills.
- Get Adequate Sleep
Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can easily decrease your ability to concentrate, as well as disrupt your cognitive functions such as memory and attention. Keep in mind that occasional sleep deprivation can easily be treated as it does not cause too many problems. But if you can’t be able to sleep daily, it can have a negative impact on your mood and academic performance.
If you feel too tired and sleepy due to lack of sleep, you won’t be able to concentrate on your lectures and perform your daily tasks. There is no denying the fact the medical school journey is very challenging, which makes it difficult for some students to get enough sleep. But it is important to juggle your busy medical school life and try to get the recommended amount of sleep (7 to 8 hours) to prevent any issues.
- Exercise Regularly
It is one of the most effective ways to improve concentration and focus. A study conducted on a group of students suggests that daily physical activities can increase attention and concentration. Another study found that performing moderate aerobic physical activities can help prevent or reverse memory loss.
- Try the “Implementation Attention” Technique
Sometimes many students may not feel like attending their lectures, labs, or doing their assignments. If this happens, the easiest and simplest to prepare yourself is to try the implementation attention technique. All you need to do is set a timer for one or two minutes and tell yourself that you have to start the task when the timer turns off. Though the trick sounds weird, doing this will make it easier to begin your study session, completing assignments, or preparing for exams. So, next time when you find it challenging to convince yourself to complete a due assignment, prepare for a quiz, or take notes, simply take a minute or two and prepare your mind to do this task. This technique will definitely motivate your mind to do the task and eliminate the resistance your mind was experiencing.
- Create a Detailed Study Plan
In order to successfully accomplish your tasks, creating a plan is the key. When you have a clear plan, it will make it much easier for you to make the task achievable. For instance, if you want to complete a chapter of your anatomy course. It is advised to break the task into small, achievable components. You will find it easier to memorize the concepts when you have detailed components. It will also allow you to track your progress and help you complete the tasks that you planned to achieve.
- Take Regular Breaks
If you are thinking, how can taking breaks during your study session increase your concentration, here is the answer. Though it sounds weird, according to many experts, this technique works very well. If you study for hours on the same subject and suddenly you realize you are not able to concentrate. However, you try hard to keep your mind on the particular task and force yourself to memorize the concept or complete the assignment. But forcing your mind will only make you feel stressed about not meeting the deadline on time.
Next time when you feel you are not able to concentrate on a particular task, take a short break, and leave the task for a while. Go outside, eat your favorite snack, watch an informative video, take a shower, enjoy nature, or do anything that can refresh your mind. When you get back to your desk, you will feel more focused and motivated.
Don’t Lose Hope
Your mental focus, attentiveness, and concentration is not something that will improve overnight. It will take a lot of time and practice to sharpen your memory and improve your concentration skills. If you are struggling hard to accomplish your study goal in medical school, it’s time to follow these easy and simple study techniques to build your mental focus and ability to concentrate.