- Website: www.wits.ac.za/part-time
- Tel: 011 717 9510
- Email: email@example.com
- Twitter: @witsplus
Whatever your reasons for wanting to improve your qualifications – qualifying for promotion, making a career change, or just staying abreast of new developments in your industry – part-time study will always be challenging.
Focus and concentration
Have you noticed that top performers always seem to be fully engaged and in the present moment? The good news is that absolutely everyone has the ability to concentrate.
Just think of those times when you were totally immersed in something you like or enjoy: watching a movie, reading a book, playing a computer game, and so on.
Concentration means that you are giving your close, undivided attention to something. It’s one thing to know what it means though, and another to be able to really concentrate on your work! The trick is to use the right strategies to unlock your natural ability to concentrate and apply these to your studies. The ability to FOCUS is a skill that you can develop and is yet another very important skill for part-time students.
Find out why you concentrate and why you don’t
When you begin to understand more precisely why you react or feel the way you do about certain things in your life you can begin to understand who you are.
Try this visualisation exercise to help you: Make two columns on a piece of paper, one for Why I concentrate and the other one for Why I don’t concentrate and list your reasons in the appropriate column.
Find the best time to study (for you)
An important study skill is to pay close attention to the times when you are most productive or you study the best. For example, during the day, most of us are more likely to get distracted so it may be better to study in the morning when your mind is still fresh.
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Prioritise all the tasks that require intense focus and creativity, so you can finish them before your enthusiasm starts waning. Make sure that you spend the proper amount of time on the subjects that demand more concentration. Later in the day you can tackle the ‘lighter’ tasks that may not require so much concentration.
Be an active learner
Active learners do something with what they have learned. Practise these useful steps to become an active learner:
- put what you have learned into your own words
- compare what you are learning with what you already know
- link new facts to what you already know
- apply what you are learning to a specific situation
Reflect and adjust
Monitor yourself closely on a daily and weekly basis and make adjustments when needed as you answer these questions for yourself:
- What is my primary goal?
- What is my goal for the day/week?
- What do I need to do today?
- Where am I at the moment?
- Is this technique/strategy working?
- Is it worth improving? How can I improve it?
Studying through Wits Plus offers you the opportunity to register for a degree or a career-oriented short certificate course at Wits University on a part-time basis, making studying accessible to almost every mature, working person.