In this article I will try to answer and provide solution to the following problems and questions of many UPSC aspirants.
- How to maintain consistency in UPSC preparation?
- How can we overcome laziness while preparing for UPSC?
- How to remove distractions while studying UPSC?
You will also learn how to become more productive and achieve more tasks in upsc preparation &
you should read this article because all the tips & strategies I share are proven to get results
So without further ado lets get started.
Table of Contents
How to avoid distractions, overcome laziness & maintain consistency while preparing for UPSC
Remember your purpose for preparing for UPSC
This is the first strategy you should be using whenever you feel distracted or feel lazy and inconsistent while preparing for UPSC.
If you read my article on how to prepare for UPSC from 12th class then the first advice I have given is that you should really know what is the reason for why you want to prepare for UPSC exams.
If you clearly know the reason of preparing for UPSC exam and if the reason is very strong enough,
you can imagine the future when you achieve your purpose of preparing for UPSC for example the purpose can be like to become IAS and help people solve their problems, & you can
feel the emotion then you do not need any other motivation and no other thing can distract you from achieving your goal and being consistent.
Your reason can be anything from becoming an IAS officer in order to serve the society or it is your passion and dream of your father or any other reason but
it should be very strong enough to drive you forward and you should be clear about the purpose & have clarity in your mind,
you should not drift away and prepare for UPSC because everybody else are doing it without any reason, if you do, you will end up where everybody else belong to which is failure.
Having a clear reason and purpose before you start preparation for UPSC will give you a lot of motivation and you can learn to prioritise important things.
And after you realise the purpose and reason for preparing for UPSC exam you should make a xerox copy of that reason and paste that paper in front of your desk and on the walls of your bedroom so that
you can constantly look at that reason and Train Your subconscious mind & you should look at that paper whenever you feel distracted and lazy, this will remind you the reason and purpose of preparing for UPSC.
Create a timetable and routine
I know you must have heard about this strategy 1000 times now but believe me it works if you properly do it.
Basically human beings are habit creatures.
Whenever you do some task repeatedly over a period of time then it becomes a habit and when it becomes a habit you will start doing things unconsciously and you do not need to put a lot of energy and will power to do that and
for example if you don’t like to open and study for long hours for UPSC or you don’t like to read newspapers which is the critical part of UPSC preparation
then creating a timetable and routine can help you to be consistent with it and avoid distractions.
Another benefit of creating a time table is that because UPSC civil service exam has a vast syllabus which you need to read in order to clear the exam and
because the syllabus is so huge sometimes the aspirants can become lazy, they also become stressed out and depressed due to vast syllabus, portion to cover and eventually become
inconsistent during preparation but creating time table & organizing all syllabus in small parts divided in all days can help you properly organise all the important subjects you need to read in the organised manner
which will help you reduce your laziness, stress and become consistent because you clearly know when you should read what subject &
you will no longer feel that it is impossible to complete the revision because you now have a clear direction and roadmap for each day.
For example according to a survey of social psychology on average it can take around 66 days in order to form any new habit which means that
if you want to form a new habit you will have to do it consistently over 66 days for approximately two months before it becomes a habit.
For example if you don’t like to read newspapers but it is very important because of current affairs in UPSC then you should create a timetable and routine of reading newspapers everyday
early in the morning or late in the evening for at least 30 minutes with a cup of coffee or tea for 2 months consistently without a break and
after those two months you will surely feel that you are less lazy and more consistent over your work and slowly you can become consistent in other aspects,
this will also boost your confidence and mental toughness and you can slowly expand the time table and routine into other areas like practicing essay answers and doing revision of other subjects of UPSC & build habits in those.
You should definitely try it once.
This is the reason why you should prepare time table and routine during UPSC preparation.
You should know that majority of the UPSC aspirants who have cleared the exam and become officers spent more than
two years of time preparing for exam in such case creating the time table and routine is highly important strategy which all the aspirants have used during their UPSC preparation.
Create a to-do list
Another important strategy you should use is to create a to do list first thing in the morning before you start preparing everyday.
Having a clear to do list and all the important goals you want to achieve through out the day written down on your board will guide you and it will also keep you focused and
it becomes more organised and you can slowly learn to prioritise your goals and learn to say no to other things such as watching movies, playing games or chit chatting with your friends on social media or you can be tempted to
study other subjects of UPSC which can be waste of time and become unproductive sometimes because you clearly know that you will have to achieve certain goals on a particular day.
You need to make sure that you set SMART goals by the way SMART is an acronym of specific measurable attainable realistic and time bonded goals.
Setting such type of targets and goals will help you motivated to finish your goals throughout the day.
Find a quiet place & Clear down study desk
Another important thing you should do is to find a quiet place which has less noise and sound and other people like your friends and
family members cannot interrupt and distract you during your studies & you should clear down all the unnecessary things on your study desk and your environment should be clean and neat.
Having your environment and desk clean and organised will make your mind also clean and organised because
according to a study of science daily, your external environment will play a huge role in your thoughts and thinking pattern.
This is important if you want to avoid distraction and laziness.
For example if you want to study history on a particular day then you should only place history related books on your study desk and
remove all the necessary subjects from the desk and this will help you stay focused on history subject.
Enable do not disturb on your mobile phone, and keep it far away from your desk
And this is the main thing you need to do.
According to scientific research, our attention span has markedly decreased in just 15 years. In 2000, it was 12 seconds; 15 years later, it’s 8.25 seconds, It means the normal concentration span of a human being is around 8 seconds and our attention span is lower than goldfish which is of 9 seconds.
This is largely because of use of social media and Technology and all those social media notifications you get from your phone are the prominent reasons for the decline of attention span.
And because there is a lot of syllabus and subject you need to read during UPSC preparation you cannot afford to have shorter attention span and concentration level.
In such a case it is highly recommended that you keep your phone away and enable the do not disturb mode on so that you can focus on your studies and block all the social media notifications.
And if you how to use your mobile phone during the preparation then you can either block all the social media notifications or hide the social media apps from your screen or you can use productivity apps.
Do the difficult task early
Now as soon as you start working in your routine in the initial period because you will be having high level of motivation, energy and will power you should consider completing the most difficult task & goal as the first thing in the morning.
You should do this first because slowly when you move forward in the day your willpower and motivation to study will gradually decrease and to extend the difficult task later in the evening then
you might not be able to complete the task because you will be exhausted or you will be distracted after doing a lot of work and you will not be completing the most important task of the day.
For example if you are preparing for history mains optional subject then you should probably complete all the important syllabus of history and revise all the dates then
you should look for other parts of the preparation such as looking at maps and remembering dates and events which has less important and also easy to revise.
And also when you are doing revision don’t go off topic for example whenever you are preparing a subject you should always ask a question
How likely is it that this information will show up in the exam? If you’re really focused, you can rank the information from the most likely to the least likely,
giving the most likely material the majority of your time and the least likely the rest of it.
Asking such questions can help you stay on topic and stop you from drifting away on other unnecessary topics that are not important and waste your time.
Use Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have—rather than against it.
Using this method, you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as pomodoros.
To summarise this technique is all about breaking down your work into 25 minutes parts with a 5 minute break.
For example if you have to read newspaper for current affairs for 30 minutes you will have to spend 25 minutes reading newspaper with 5 minutes break afterwards and repeat the process.
While you are working you should make sure that you are only focusing on completing one task at a time you should avoid multitasking as it can lead to Distraction and make you less productive.
The main benefits of this technique is to increase your productivity, gamify your productivity and reduce distractions as each Pomodoro is dedicated to one task and each break is a chance to reset and bring your attention back to what you should be working on.
Even if you don’t use pomodoro technique at least you should take a break in regular intervals of time after you do revision of a particular subject.
Research shows that taking purposeful breaks (anywhere from 5–60 minutes) from studying to refresh your brain and body increases your energy, productivity, and ability to focus. Keep in mind:
Just because you have took break after studying you should not stick with phone and social media as it can have bad effect but you should rather choose other options like listen to music, do some meditation or
play online game or enjoy the nature, take a walk, shower, power nap, do some exercise, do some deep breathing, eat any food or talk to any friend.
Reward yourself when you achieve goals within deadline
Another good strategy you can use to become consistent is to reward yourself whenever you achieve your goals within the deadline.
Dopamine spikes in your brain when something important is about to happen and gives you a surge of pleasure as you accomplish the task. This in turn increases motivation and productivity. Use this piece of science to your advantage by giving yourself small rewards along the way to a bigger goal.
Because you feel dopamine spike and happy when you to achieve your goals and when you also reward yourself because you have achieved your goals it can lead to positive reinforcement and motivate you to achieve more of those goals so that you can become more happier
There are various methods you can use to reward yourself like play any online game or watch any movie in Netflix or eat any food and drink or visit any place and buy any accessory or cloth and many more things
But you should make sure that whenever you achieve any goal within deadline you should always try to reward yourself so that you can feel more happier when you achieve your goals and
because you become happy after achieving goals your brain will slowly get trained to focus on achieving goals so that you can become happier and this becomes a loop and habit slowly which can help you in the long run.
Maintain a journal
Maintaining a journal during the UPSC preparation can help you not just avoid distractions but also help you stay motivated consistent and reduce laziness.
There are multiple benefits of having a journal like, You can easily track all the goals you have completed throughout your day writing them down in your journal and
whenever you feel demotivated you can look back to your goals achieved & take inspiration & get a sense of achievement and accomplishment which can help you become more consistent,
writing on journal will organise your thoughts and your mind and you can easily reflect on what you have done throughout the day through your journal.
Writing out your thoughts and feelings might prove to be a cathartic exercise as, like reading, it makes you channel your emotions which in turn leads to a positive impact to one’s mental health, and keeps stress at bay.
Maintaining a journal can really help you remove all the distractions and help you motivated and stay consistent on your goals.
Look for some hacks & cheats
Last but not least you should also look for some hacks and cheats if you are distracted and lazy during UPSC preparation.
For example if you do not have enough time or energy to prepare for some subject like you might not have time to read newspaper everyday then you can look alternatives to reading newspapers to get current affairs like
watching YouTube videos or listening to radio and reading monthly magazines and if you don’t like to read a book to learn about a subject & concept you can also look for alternative like you can watch a YouTube video on the same topic or
you don’t like to read the book to revise the subject then you can consider teaching the subject to an audience so that you can automatically revise the subject instead of reading it through the book.
You should find ways on how you can make your subject more interesting and exciting if the subject and syllabus becomes boring it can become hard for you to become consistent over it.
You should also be your own motivator and you should stop looking for motivation from outside,
An unknown quote says, “Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.” This quote is right on the money. The goal is yours, so must be the efforts. Tell yourself, no one is going to study for you. To attain your goal you must buck up and back yourselves.
You should also have a healthy diet and healthy body and do exercise regularly and have a fit body so that you can become less lazy and distracted because healthy & strong body leads to healthy & strong mind which can help you during UPSC preparation and
please never ever ignore having a 8 hours sound sleep every night, maybe you are frequently distracted during studies because you are having an insufficient amount of sleep during the night.
You should also be grateful for all the things you have and you can get external motivation by watching lots of success stories of UPSC aspirants on YouTube if you are feeling low and you can also read lots of motivational books for UPSC aspirants by clicking here.
With that said lets conclude the blog
These are all the ways you can use to avoid distractions, overcome laziness and become consistent while preparing for UPSC
Do comment down which is your favourite method I mentioned in the list in the comments section below.
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