distractions that you faced during preparation of UPSC CSE

What are distractions that you faced during the preparation of UPSC CSE and how did you overcome them?

Based on the experiences of thousands of UPSC CSE aspirants and toppers views, It is natural for a student to feel distracted during studies. However, having a certain idea of the source of such distractions may help avoid them and concentrate more on studies. Our mind is constructed in such a manner that it is natural for it to show interests and be receptive to its surroundings. This character of mind makes it inquisitive and it is this feature that aids it in acquiring different types of knowledge. This knowledge gathering exercise is further aided by our sensory organs such as eyes, ears, nose etc. Therefore, to solve the problems of distractions it is important that first of all we understand the nature of our mind and develop an awareness of our own surroundings.

The inquisitiveness that is a key feature of our mind helping it in knowledge acquisition, sometimes proves as a distraction when we try to focus on a particular activity at a certain point in time. Depending on a person’s physical surroundings and mental inclinations, the types of distractions could also vary. Some of the common distractions that could be associated with the Civil Services aspirants could include: the urge to watch movies, listen to music, partying with friends, spending time on social media, visiting relatives, going on long trips or playing favorite online or offline games etc.

The list of these activities, which generally prove as distractions during studies, could be very long and they might also substantially vary from person to person. Therefore, rather than worrying about these activities, the best way to avoid distractions would be by striving to develop a sharp focus on the preferred activity at a particular point in time. For instance, if you are a UPSC aspirant and you wish to study for a certain number of hours, then during that time it is important for you to ensure that you take interest in your studies and have complete focus in that. You can further ensure that by taking a proactive approach and be mindful of the output corresponding to your input in terms of the devoted time.

It may also happen that despite your best efforts you are not feeling focussed and still feeling distracted to do something else. During such eventualities, it may be alright to indulge in those activities provided you are fully aware that such indulgences serve just as a break and not as a complete divergence or departure from your primary duty, i.e., studies. If you cater to your distractions in a measured manner then such moderation could help you in devoting sufficient time to your studies despite catering to your distractions. The harm is usually done when such indulgences are too much and too intense and at the cost of your studies. Doing in a measured manner, what otherwise could prove as distractions would actually serve as a healthy and much needed break.

Naturally, it is important to distinguish between avoidable distractions and much needed breaks. A particular activity that could be called as a distraction during your study could be considered as a well deserved break if that is done at a designated time and for a designated duration. What you should try to imply here is that rather than taking a negative approach and worrying about what you should not do, it is better to take a positive approach and focus on what you ought to do. This positive approach would not only help you focus more on your studies but also help you in leading a balanced life during the course of your preparation. To know further on how you can improve your focus on your studies, you may read my answer to the Quora Question: “What is the most difficult thing for a UPSC aspirant? How does he manage it?” Please remember that the journey of Civil Services preparation requires you to have such stamina through which you can stick to the ground for long. That is possible only if you study on a regular basis with regular breaks so that you peak at the right time.

If you have a multiple set of interests, then you can depend on those interests to have a break. Unless they are harmful to yours and others health and morality, these varied interests that you have are positive activities and it is good to be attracted towards those activities. Also, it is important to cater to such attractions by giving small amount of time at definite intervals. The key to avoid their harmful effects is by keeping a track on such activities in order to ensure that they do not prove as a deflection or complete departure from your goal. For instance, if you like to watch a movie you can take a break and go and watch a movie. Similarly, if you like to listen to the songs, then you can take a break and listen to your favourite songs. If you like to indulge in some creative activities such as painting or playing music instrument, then you can take a break and paint or play the music instrument. Technically speaking, these are nothing but, provided they are done at the right time and for the right duration.

Remember that the opposite of distraction is attraction and an understanding of this dimension will greatly help you in avoiding the harmful distractions. Thatswhy, it is important to have a very clear idea of your goal before you start your preparation of Civil Services. When you are clear about your goal, and if that goal is to be a Civil Servant, then it will help you feel attracted towards that goal. Naturally, and as a corollary, this will also help you feeling inclined towards the means to reach that goal. So don’t worry too much about your distractions, rather take keen interest in your primary object of attraction – the preparation of the Civil Services. This approach will assure you to prepare better with minimal distractions and ensure your success in the Civil Services examination.