These strategies will help you concentrate longer during strenuous intellectual work.
Mental stamina is the ability to concentrate for long periods of time on difficult mental tasks or writing. It is necessary for productive learning of new skills, prolonged intellectual work, scholarly activity, or you can only pay for research paper.
Low stamina results in constant distraction and procrastination, putting things off, or giving up altogether when faced with an obstacle to a goal. To work effectively, mental stamina needs to be improved. Here are five ways to do this.
- Set up for work in advance.
There are times when upcoming mental activities scare us. When you don’t want to learn questions for a difficult exam, write a research paper, solve a confusing work question, and so on. Over time, the stress of having to get down to business sooner or later accumulates. When we finally get down to work, the stress is released – and we panic.
This outcome can be avoided. Imagine in advance how you will sit down and get on with the tasks at hand. Make a rough plan of action.
It may cause you stress-it’s normal. If you experience stress during “rehearsals,” you’ll be much calmer during the activity itself. And more productive – because you won’t be constrained by fear.
- rest instead of distraction
When we encounter a problem during mental work, we often want to get distracted, check social media, watch TV – in short, procrastinate. That’s how our nervous system works: it treats every obstacle as a threat and immediately turns on the escape instinct.
But procrastination doesn’t help solve the problem. It is a waste of time, which only increases stress. So in cases like this, it’s better to just rest instead of ducking into your phone.
Sit down and mentally disconnect from the problem. Do nothing for a few minutes. When you feel that you are ready, get down to business again – you will have new strength and, quite likely, the solution to the problem will come.
- Enjoy the solved tasks.
Our motivation depends on cycles of action and reward. When we put forth effort and get something enjoyable, the desire to do something grows. But the opposite is also true: if we don’t get a reward, the motivation is gone.
This also applies to mental activity. Many people, faced with an obstacle while working, feel panic. And after overcoming it – fatigue. This is strongly demotivating – you have to fight yourself in order not to quit.
In order that problems do not kill motivation, you need to choose the right tasks and concentrate less on success. Try to organize your work so that there are always surmountable obstacles in front of you, for example, similar to those that you faced before.
And don’t think about how many tasks are still to be completed before the job is done. Concentrate on what you’re doing at the moment. This will help you feel joy and pride in the fact that you’re getting things done.
- Do much of the work first
A classic pattern of working on a project that everyone has followed at least once is to act relaxed and procrastinate at first because you have plenty of time, and then, near the end, rush and panic to finish everything, sacrificing sleep and free time.
Many people act in this way, although this method is very harmful to the emotional and physical condition of the person. It is much more logical to do the opposite: to do most of the work in the beginning, so that at the end, when there are fewer forces, there are not so many tasks.
- Reduce the time devoted to work
It would seem that you can get more done in a whole work day than in a few hours. But in fact for many people this is not the case – all because of procrastination. The constant desire for distraction interferes with productivity and contributes to stress. After all, minutes and hours go by, but there is no progress.
And this problem cannot be solved by increasing the time allocated to work. It will only lead to more procrastination. The opposite is true: limit yourself to a few hours and try to be as efficient as possible during that time.
This option is much better than working all day long with varying degrees of success. If procrastination still breaks through – reduce the time. Don’t be afraid to fall short: if you can’t get everything done in 4-5 hours of focused work, you probably won’t get it done in a day.