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I am an IT professional and have around 9 years of experience. I had completed my post graduation 9 years back. I used be good at studies at that time, a high scorer and it wasn't difficult for me to spend 5-6 hours on studies everyday. But after getting into job I did not go into studies except for small readings required to keep myself updated for my job or attending some interviews in between for changing job or promotions.

However, I have now enrolled myself for a CFA course and need to spend 2-3 hours everyday on studies and probably more on weekends. I am finding it very difficult. At times I do not even pick the books up. Even when I pick up the books I am not able to concentrate on studies. I study for sometime and then get diverted to something else, mobile, facebook, game, forums, etc etc. It is very important for me to study otherwise I will not be able to finish my course and fail in my exam.

Please help me knowing how can I improve my concentration and motivate myself to study for somewhat longer hours.

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The way I get into studying for a certification or something is to clearly define what needs to be covered by what date and print out a schedule. If I hold myself accountable to a deadline, I'm more likely to ignore the distractions and get it done. – Raystafarian Dec 27 '13 at 19:26

I found myself much easier to organize on "offline" life if my "mobile, facebook, game, forums, etc etc" completely turned off for some period of time. For example, I'm leaving my cellphone charging in "plane mode" overnight in the different room. If you have planed time for study, just leave computer and smartphone turned off and don't touch it until you finished.

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I agree with you Alex. I tried the same things, for example I uninstalled all the games from my smartphone. However, the problem is not phone. It is my concentration probably. I find something or the other to distract me. Due to which I am not able to study continuously for say one hour. – mehta Dec 27 '13 at 4:33
@mehta I don't think you have adult ADHD or lost ability to learn in 9 years. Studying hard is a skill you've gained during years of education. I think you just need to get back in shape. – alex Dec 27 '13 at 14:46

I didn't find turning off internet, phone etc useful either. What I did find helpful was to go to a place and study - and just use that place for study. I would also get up every 45 minutes or so and just go for a short walk (yes - I probably did look a little odd wandering aimlessly about keeping an eye on my laptop!).

Something else you may want to try (and something I have only recently started doing) is trying this 'mindfulness' (meditation) malarkey out before starting your study (preferably at for at least 20 minutes but longer if you have time). I found that when I first started this my brain didnt shut up but I was slightly more productive in my work. Now, my brain is less chatty and my focus has improved. Not 100% but better than it was.

One more thing you might want to look at is how you are studying. Are you just reading books? If so perhaps 'playing' with different study techniques would be useful. Not only may you find a better study method, but doing different types of study may help keep your focus because the method is changing regularly (and therefore novel).

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It sounds like you have a short attention spam.

What you need to focus on is short term goals, or short 'wins'.

Make small goals and write them down; achieve them. Achieving these will be your aim. Your motivation will be checking these goals off from your checklist, and putting the lists on some wall.

If things to as planned, your wall will be filled with crossed out lists. It shows what you have aimed, and achieved.

-"I will read up to chapter 2, by noon. I will start reading at 11am"

-"I will eat my breakfast before 9am."

-"I will do that online test set by that witch, by 3pm."

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For 10 days, try to take down the time you spend on different activities. Naturally you will want to see the percentage on study increase every morning and that can turn it into a challenge for yourself. Ask your close ones to encourage you / share your commitment and find a reward for yourself if you achieve your goal at the end of the 10 days, and a big reward for your exam !

Online motivational tools can also help you (ex habit forge) to track it. Sure you can do it. Good luck!

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