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Struggling with Concentration in Your PhD Work?

Category : General
Date : June 23, 2015

While I was doing my work yesterday, I was struggling with concentration. It was not something that was happening for the first time. There was not much use getting mad at myself.  The way out was to find the possible causes of the problem and seek the alternative solutions.  Hence I decided to fight the concentration problem by trying to concentrate on the reasons that brought the problem in the first place.

With all the contemplation, find here some causes that lead to poor concentration in my PhD work.  I wonder if I can generalise them but surely everyone would identify with few of them and eliminate the problem to an extent, surely.

  • Dragging Reading the Same Content Repeatedly: having to extract out more and more  content repeatedly from the same set of papers or even a thesis led me towards getting lost in it somewhere as there was no excitement of reading something new and exciting.   Reading the same material again often becomes the greatest distractor for PhD students. I have been doing that and I feel I need to expand my reading database to maintain concentration
  • Long Hours of Reading:  I have often found myself not being able to do reading for a long day. However if I  plan and schedule reading for the morning hours and perhaps the lab sessions during afternoon, perhaps I would do much better. Surely on my list from tomorrow!
  • No Break:  it is a bad idea to stretch working beyond capacity or stay in isolation for long hours. My day yesterday was bound at home and I did not take any break and neither did I interact with anyone else. Simply an awful plan to torture the mind and body!
  • Body Mind Coordination: There was a feeling of being unfit yesterday and my body was not in consensus with my mind. Getting pushy with your physical and mental system is like trying to tame the uncontrollable. I guess I need to learn to pick up the signals my mind and body gives to me and respect the cues. One cannot win by going against your system.

My conclusion is that I need to plan better where there is more variation in my work and my time is divided into smaller chunks. I am optimistic it would work for me. What do you think?

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