Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:
There is nothing more frustrating than when you sit down at your table to study with the most sincere of intentions and instead of being able to finish the task at hand, you find your thoughts wandering. However, there are certain techniques that you can use to enhance your concentration. "Your concentration level depends on a number of factors," says Samuel Ghosh, a social counsellor. "In order to develop your concentration span, it is necessary to examine various facets of your physical and internal environment," she adds.
To begin with one should attempt to create the physical environment that is conducive to focused thought. Whether it is the radio, TV or your noisy neighbours identify the factors that make it difficult for you to focus. For instance, if you live in a very noisy neighbourhood, you could try to plan your study hours in a nearby library.
She disagrees with the notion that people can concentrate or study in an environment with distractions like a loud television, blaring music etc. "If you are distracted when you are attempting to focus, your attention and retention powers do not work at optimum levels," cautions Ghosh. "Not more than two of your senses should be activated at the same time," she adds. What that means is that music that sets your feet tapping is not the ideal accompaniment to your books.
Also, do not place your study table or desk in front of a window. "While there is no cure for a mind that wants to wander, one should try and provide as little stimulus as possible. Looking out of a window when you are trying to concentrate will invariably send your mind on a tangent," says Ghosh.
The second important thing, she says, is to establish goals for oneself instead of setting a general target and then trying to accomplish what you can in a haphazard fashion. It is very important to decide what you have to finish in a given span of time.
The human mind recognizes fixed goals and targets and appreciates schedules more than random thoughts. Once your thoughts and goals are in line, a focused system will follow.
She recommends that you divide your schedule into the study and recreation hours. When you study, choose a mix of subjects that you enjoy and dislike and save the former for the last so that you have something to look forward to. For instance, if you enjoy verbal skill tests more than mathematical problems, then finish Maths first. Not only will you find yourself working harder, you will have a sense of achievement when you wind up.
Try not to sit for more than 40 minutes at a stretch. Take a very short break to make a cup of tea or listen to a song and sit down again. Under no circumstances, should one sit for more than one and a half hours. Short breaks build your concentration and refresh your mind. However, be careful not to overdo the relaxation. It may have undesired effects.
More than anything else, do not get disheartened. Concentration is merely a matter of disciplining the mind. It comes with practice and patience and does not take very long to become a habit for life.
(a) On the basis of your reading of the above passage make notes on it in points only, using abbreviations wherever necessary. Supply a suitable title.
(b) Write a summary of the above in 80 words.
(a) Title: Techniques to Enhance Concentration
1. Hurdles / Barriers to Conc.
1.1 wandering thoughts
1.2 radio, TV
1.3 noisy environment
1.4 distracting env.
2. Technique of Enhancement
2.1 examine environmental facets – phy. & internal
2.2 identify distracting factors
2.3 activate one sense at a time
2.4 study table/desk away from window
3. Managing Conc.
3.1 establish specific goals rather than gen. targets
3.2 setting of thoughts & goals in line
3.3 time management
4.1 establish goals & schedules
4.2 plan study & recreat’n ’l hrs.
4.3 make conc. a habit for life
5. Ultimate Help / Aid
5.1 don’t get disheartened
5.2 discipline the mind
5.3 practice & develop patience
Conc. – Concentration,
Recreat’n – recreation,
Env. – environment,
phy. – physical,
gen. – general
Wandering thoughts, disturbance from television or radio, noisy and distracting environment are few are the major barriers to concentration. One should attempt to create the physical environment that is conducive to focused thought. A person should examine physical as well as environmental facets and identify distracting factors. If a person is distracted while attempting to focus, his attention and retention powers do not work at optimum levels. At a time only two senses must be activated. To manage concentration, one must focus on establishing specific goals rather than general targets, setting goals in a line with effective time management. Concentration is merely a matter of disciplining the mind which comes with practice and patience.