Dreading the upcoming exams? Who doesn’t? Even the nerdish students get exam jitters and it’s all too natural. Being frightened shouldn’t be your biggest fear. It will happen and the only way to overcome that is to focus.

But it’s the same old story every time. The moment your exams come up, your concentration goes out the window. You get distracted easily and then all your set goals go haywire. Reining in your concentration at such times might seem like the hardest thing you’ve ever done. When you feel that way, remember that it’s time to plan a workout for your brain.

To strengthen your body, you do workouts and play sports. Likewise your brain also needs workouts. It’s not hard to picture a brain at the gym, pulling dumbbells. That’s exactly what your brain needs to boost concentration; lots of exercise.

The following activities are special trainings that will strengthen your mind and will sharpen up your focus and concentration.

Revamp Your To-Do List into a Distraction Inventory

Studies have proven that once you get distracted, it takes you about 25 minutes to get back to deep concentration levels at the task on hand. A single Snapchat, Facebook notification or a message on WhatsApp is enough to sidetrack you from your studying. Or you might suddenly remember the funny vine you had to see. Keep a hold of yourself! As soon as you feel the urge to do any of these things, note it down somewhere.

With time, you’ll find quite a collection of such things and you’ll realize that you’ve successfully created your very own Distraction Inventory. Congratulations! You now have a personalized list of the distractors that plague your concentration! Know Your Enemy!

The Living Statue

This is a simple activity that, believe it or not, will definitely improve your concentration. All you need is a chair, preferably a comfortable one. Sit on the chair and try to keep still, don’t even move a muscle. Hold the position for as long as you can without straining yourself.

When you first start to do this, you might notice a lot of involuntary movement of muscles. Don’t worry. With practice you’ll be able to control them too. Though it sounds easy, it is anything but that. The immobility of your body will put you in a state of complete rest and hence make you concentrate better.

Attentive Listening

This time, include a partner and just listen. But isn’t this what we do all the time? We do but the trick is to listen attentively. Be an active listener. Focus all your energy and senses to concentrate on what the other person is saying. This simple activity increases your focus and helps with your relationships too.

This will also be effective the next time you attend a boring lecture. Concentrate on listening in class and maybe you won’t freak out when exams come up.

After a few days of practicing, you’ll find that you can focus more and your mind won’t flit from one thing to another. But the key is practice. If you manage to give your brain the daily dose of exercise, you can be the master of focus. Seems too good to be true? Try out these activities and prove yourself wrong!