Dont Get distracted
November 23rd, 2015, (0 Comments)
In our days when everything moves fast, everyone is available and connected there is an issue for medical students that is constantly undermining our efforts while preparing for any USMLE test, that is distractions, to learn we must remain focused, to memorize we have to actually pay attention at what we are looking at, it is a common mistake to keep yourself available for distractions while studying.
Remember that it’s not just time that you are using for studying it’s also attention, and that is a key factor when you are reviewing topics that require a lot to understand, like mechanisms, cycles, enzymes, math formulas, phases, stages, images etc.
It’s logical to understand the importance of a clear mind to learn, but avoiding all contact with our connected civilization may prove to be a real challenge nowadays, here are some tips to have a correct space to prepare for your exams:
1 Find a Spot: First of all find a good place to study, it may be different from person to person but it has some requirements like being a place with enough light to read, quiet, somewhere that has no people walking by, some place with the least amount of distractions like noises, cars passing, dogs barking etc. anything that can break your concentration. A bunker would be ideal. If there are no available maybe the far end corner of a big library. Although a corner in your home may as well be it.
2- go socially offline: that means no phone, no sms, no chats, no Skype, Fb, tweets, photos, etc. it’s important that when you are in study mode actually be focused in what you are reading and not be distracted by constant updates that are not important for your exams. All that social interaction should wait for a break.
3- No more background noise: stay away from the TV, internet except for study purposes, no radio, no music, no magazines etc. if your tablet is not being used for doing questions or reading something turn it off.
4- Learn to study alone: for theorical exams it is important to study by yourself, many of us like to have a study partner to help us stay awake or for consulting or to keep each other in company, while sometimes your study partner may be really dedicated, most of the time people have different study schedules and habits, some more annoying than others but also distracting, after a month or so of studying by yourself you will find that you can get more done, have more retention of each topic and be more flexible in your own schedule.
5- Take frequent breaks, our minds are not designed to stay focused more than 45 to 50 min. before everything starts to look like incoherent doodles, maximize your study periods but also learn to use your breaks, that means physically move to other place, play videogames, maybe talk to people (not in the medical profession) for a while that seems to work really good as a distraction instead of just turning the tv on.
Avoiding distractions is a big part of taking your exams seriously, remember that your performance is mostly dependent on your preparation, by taking away any kind of distraction from the study table you will increase your retention and performance on your tests.
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