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I can't concentrate on my studies without pressure

  1. Jan 20, 2010 #1
    I have been having this problem for many years now, but it is really starting to bother me of late, as I don't think I can get away with it in college like I did in school.
    I don't have any problems concentrating on my studies when my exams are nearby. With very limited time in my hands, I don't have much difficulty in utilizing it to the best of my ability.

    However, if I have say, 2 or 3 weeks off, with plenty of time to study, my concentration just seems to disappear. It is not even the case of me slacking off, I just sit with the book in front of my eyes and try to focus on it, but my mind keeps wandering. I become frustrated, and this eventually leads to me just abandoning the attempt to study, after which I probably just go and sit in front of my computer for the rest of the day. Even when I force myself to study, with all distractions kept away, I still can't seem to focus. I finally start waking up when the exams are just a few days away, but by then, it becomes extremely difficult for me to make up for all the lost time.

    This has happened to me countless times before, but I can't seem to avoid this no matter how hard I try.
    Any suggestions to help prevent this from happening again?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2010 #2
    Take medicine.

    But the better solution would be to start doing problems instead of reading the book. It is much easier to focus if you got a goal (solving the problem) than if you are just reading sporadically.
  4. Jan 20, 2010 #3
    Yeah I got the same problem concentrating man.
    I found that medicine just fogs up my head, might work for you but it didn't for me.
    When I took Aderall I just got really hyper.

    The main things that have helped me is good old fashion self discipline, incentives and staying sober.
    When reading something really dry or something that sparks my imagination to wander I just mentally smack myself to keep on subject. After a while with practice it becomes easier, but it's not a walk in the park either.
    With incentives I use video games or metal working (obviously this will differ with you), I prohibit myself from even approaching them until I've finished my studies. Sometimes I'll stay in the campus buildings so that the temptation isn't there. I've battled with alcoholism and addictions to drugs for like five years now, that was a bad decision to start messing with them in the first place and it's completely vaporized all of my dreams since then. This is where that magical skill of self discipline come in handy again. Find a way to realize that you're more productive without them.

    But, out of all of those my epiphany is this:
    Don't ever let someone tell you that you can't achieve something, not even yourself.
    When you say you can't, you have actually made up in your mind that you don't want to.
  5. Jan 20, 2010 #4
    How about this for motivation:

    *Edited* this forum is too good for me to get banned over something stupid.

    Sorry that sounds like a personal insult and I'm sure the mods will hit me for it. But if you aren't hungry for success then what do you expect? You either need to kick yourself in the butt or reconsider what your doing or be happy with mediocrity. Sorry but that's one of the many harsh realities of life. I wake up every morning and study. It's the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. You need to figure out why you are going to school, what you want to get out of it, and then you need to become completely obsessed with making it a reality.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  6. Jan 20, 2010 #5
    //edit: Thanks for changing that post.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  7. Jan 20, 2010 #6
    Yea well I'm waiting for a ban as we speak but it's the truth. Edit: seriously though don't ban me its not a personal attack it's the cold hard truth.
  8. Jan 20, 2010 #7
    Now I get curious :(
  9. Jan 20, 2010 #8


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    I don't agree with taking medicine. If you enrolled at University, there likely was a time where you wanted to earn a degree. As you know, this implies studying very hard.
    Get back to reality, you're a university student. Turn off the TV, computer, radio and music. Open a book and set yourself challenges, like for example solving all the problems of a chapter you didn't cover yet and that you will cover soon in university.
    In agreement with Klockan3, an active study (like solving exercises) is maybe a good option for you.
  10. Jan 20, 2010 #9
    Average joe knows what I said he can quote me if he wants. I've found this forum to be rather strictly moderated.
  11. Jan 20, 2010 #10
    Do what fluidisctic wrote. Also, you need a strict discipline not only for studying but also for other activities like eating, sleeping and exercise. If you are not eating ok and not getting enough sleep and are generally unfit, then you'll still have plenty of energy to watch t.v. all day long but not to do some hard studying. You'll then tend to become distracted much sooner while studying. If this a factor in your case, you should slowly start an exercise program and then build that up to 5 times per week vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes. You'll then find it easier to eat better and sleep better, which in turn will leave you with more energy to study a lot more.

    Note that people below the age of 25 need at least 8.5 to 9 hours sleep per day to function optimally. Almost everyone at that age who gets by with 6 to 7 hours sleep per day is sleep deprived. Drugs like http://www.modafinil.com/" [Broken] may help too, but if you only use this to enhance your performance while sticking to bad habits, you'll be worse off on the long term.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  12. Jan 20, 2010 #11
    You might want to send me a PM? :biggrin: I am really curious now. The latter part was good for some motivation though.

    Thank you for the replies. I really don't want to use drugs, I can't even deal with coffee properly.
    I guess developing discipline in my everyday life is a good way to go, I never thought about discipline apart from allotting some time for studies.

    Also, I am 19, sleep for around 6-7 hours a day and been doing so for the past year, surely 8.5-9 hours can't be true for all individuals?
  13. Jan 20, 2010 #12
    Well, there is a difference between being able to tolerate sleep deprivation well and not being sleep deprived at all. I also slept about 7 hours when I was 19. A year later I decided to exercise a bit more (twice a day instead of twice a week) and I slept about 9 hours per day. Within a year, I went from average fitness to a superfit person. My resting heart rate used to be about 50 bpm and it became 38 bpm. I noticed that I could concentrate on my studies much better. I think that had a lot to do with the 9 hours sleep I was getting and the fact that my body was using energy far more efficiently.
  14. Jan 20, 2010 #13


  15. Jan 20, 2010 #14
    It's people like you who make it easy for me to get A's.

    That's all I said, it's kind of lost its punch now I think.
  16. Jan 20, 2010 #15


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  17. Jan 21, 2010 #16
    Your experience does sound like good incentive for sleeping for that long, sadly the maximum I can get is around 7 hours, since I have to waste around three and half hours of my day in traveling to college and back. I guess I can always doze off during my holidays though.

    How so? Doesn't your performance depend on your preparation, what the study habits of others got anything to do with it?
  18. Jan 21, 2010 #17
    Lowers the curve.
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