In a viral Twitter thread, IAS Officer Divya Mittal shares how to overcome distractions and gain focus when studying for UPSE CSE.
Every Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Service Exam (CSE) aspirant would know how important it is to stay focused on their studies without getting distracted. But this is easier said than done.
However, Divya Mittal is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who persevered despite the odds.
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She secured an All Indian Rank (AIR) of 68 in the 2012 UPSC CSE and currently serves as the District Magistrate of Mirzapur. Being an IIM Bengaluru and IIT Delhi alumnus, she has proven her mettle in cracking some of the toughest examinations in the country.
Recently, in a Twitter thread, she shared a few tips and tricks based on her experiences of cracking entrance examinations such as UPSC, IIT, IIM, and others.
In her tweet, she agrees that it wasn’t easy for her not to lose focus during her preparation but she overcame all of it by adopting a few strategies of her own.
I have cleared some of the toughest entrance tests in the country like that for IIT, IIM, IAS. It is not that I was not distracted during studies, but I overcame those distractions.
Small tips on how to overcome distractions and get great focus
A thread🧵— Divya Mittal (@divyamittal_IAS) October 29, 2022
Here’s what she says in her thread, which has since gone viral garnering over 29,000 likes and around 6,000 retweets.
- Reducing mobile usage by measuring time: She points out mobile usage as one of the main sources of distractions, adding that most of the time people don’t count the huge amount of time wasted using various mobile apps. Therefore to reduce mobile usage, she suggests keeping a tab on phone usage and the time spent on apps every week.
Reducing mobile usage
Check your phone usage and apps u spent time on every week. Many times you dont even know how much time you are wasting on mobile apps. Android users can use free apps like— Divya Mittal (@divyamittal_IAS) October 29, 2022
- Reduce mobile usage by keeping a physical distance: Another option is to either switch off the internet or keep the phone away. She says, “Heavens will not fall while you are studying and if it is something urgent, you will get the message.”
Steps to reduce usage
👉 Physical distance
Keep the phone with the internet switched off and away from you while studying. You can also keep it locked and with a parent/ friend. Heavens will not fall while you are studying and if it is something urgent, you will get the message.— Divya Mittal (@divyamittal_IAS) October 29, 2022
- A technological solution to reduce mobile usage: Divya suggests the usage of certain apps like Blackout to block the internet at least for six hours a day. “Force yourself to study in that time. It is not a free app, but it is very effective,” she adds.
👉 Technological solution:
Use apps like Blackout to block internet for at least 6 hours every day. Force yourself to study in that time. It is not a free app, but it is very effective. Once it blacks out the phone, you can’t go back for the period— Divya Mittal (@divyamittal_IAS) October 29, 2022
- Early morning study: As a tip to wake up early in the morning, Divya suggests keeping the alarm at full volume but away from the bed to avoid switching off the alarm and going back to sleep. “Early morning study is the best these days, especially as it has fewer distractions,” she points out.
👉 Early morning study
Keep the alarm away from you, on loud volume. Most likely once you get up from the bed to switch off the alarm, you will decide to not go back to sleep and study. Early morning study is the best these days especially as it has lesser distractions— Divya Mittal (@divyamittal_IAS) October 29, 2022
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- Tips to increase focus:
- Divya suggests short focussed sessions of study to maintain focus. After a 90-minute or two-hour-long study session, she advises taking a 15-minute break. She also notes, “You cannot maintain focus for longer than that at one go. Measure the session. Till the alarm goes off, don’t do anything else but study.”
To increase focus
👉Keep short focused Sessions
– Do 90-minute/2 hr intensely focused sessions
– Take 15 min break after every session
You cannot maintain focus for longer than that at one go. Measure the session. Till the alarm goes off, dont do anything else but study— Divya Mittal (@divyamittal_IAS) October 29, 2022
- The IAS officer advises practising ‘Tratak meditation’ by fixing eyes on one object like a flame of a candle, a pencil or even a spot on the wall, which can help increase focus.
👉Practice Tratak meditation
This is known to increase focus
Fix your eyes on an object. This can be the flame of a candle, a pencil, a spot on the wall.— Divya Mittal (@divyamittal_IAS) October 29, 2022
- Listening to sound vibrations of 40 Hz or binaural beats can help in enhancing focus and decreasing the amount of time taken to get into a focused state. She adds that these are available on YouTube.
👉 Binaural beats
Listening to Binaural beats which are sound vibrations of 40 Hz helps in
a) Enhances focus
b) Decreases amount of time it takes to get into a focused state
These can be obtained from youtube— Divya Mittal (@divyamittal_IAS) October 29, 2022
- Exercising or spending time outside also helps in increasing focus. Divya says that going out for at least a 20 min walk, getting close to nature by visiting a park or spending some time there would help. Besides, she points out the importance of getting some sunlight for 5-10 mins every day.
👉 Exercise & Outdoor
– Exercise preferably outside, at least a 20 mins walk
– Get close to nature – go to a park and walk/sit
– Get some sunlight even if for 5-10 mins— Divya Mittal (@divyamittal_IAS) October 29, 2022
- When it comes to increasing focus, nutrition also plays an essential role. Therefore, it is important to have a healthy and balanced diet. Divya also emphasizes reducing munching on snacks while taking care of one’s diet.
While studying we forget to take care of nutrition. A balanced diet helps in increasing focus. Also reduces the need to munch on snacks.— Divya Mittal (@divyamittal_IAS) October 29, 2022
Edited by Yoshita Rao
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