There were two woodcutters, both used to cut woods for their living. Both of them work for the same time in the forest. One woodcutter becoming richer and richer while other was poor. One day a learned wise man saw their daily routine to find out their differences.

He learned something that changed his life & his way of thinking.

Both woodcutters used to work for 8 hours but the difference was that the rich woodcutter used to spend 4 hours to sharpen his axe but the other keep on cutting without improving his axe.

Moral of the story: 

Hope you got the point. Smart work is required to get through upsc exam instead of hard work. Hard work is required to do things smartly.

Think about :

If somebody wants to study 16 hours per day, of course, he can study for up to 24 hours also. After all, 24 is more than 16 hours.

But, the question here is ‘’Why do you want to increase your study hours’’? It’s just because you want to learn more.

Let me tell you that increasing the number of hours beyond a certain point is not only futile but even can be counter-productive.

How it drains your capacity :

After every passing hour, the capacity of the mind decreases to retain & recall the things compared to a fresh mind. You will end up just see the clock counting hours but mind it, your mind might not able to retain & recall things.

The quantity of learning in the second & subsequent hours of continuous study is less than the first fresh hour. If you continue to study without break for third, fourth, fifth & subsequent hours it will be a continuous deterioration in learning quality.

Even it may be negligible in the subsequent continuous hours. Although, you may have the satisfaction of moving towards that 12–14–16–20 hours study target, your output 

with every foregone hour will add continuously less and less to your learning.

Your whole concentration is on achieving the target of studying 14-16 hours, compromising the quality of the effective study, and then how will you able to concentrate?

Studying 15-16 hours per day is possible for only 2-3 days if very necessary. 

Studying at high pitch continuously drain your body's capacity to recover & hamper retaining capacity.

What can be done :

After an hour or one & half an hour, there must be a break of 15-20 mins. So that your mind can get sufficient time to restore & recall things in mind. 

 After every break go outdoors in a green environment, go jogging, or do any physical activity. This will circulate your blood movement & helps in getting oxygen to the mind.

With this recharge of fresh oxygen to the mind, your mind will be able to learn & retain things.

Your output will increase manifold.

Just don't stick with the pages you also want to remember something. Yes, you can study a novel or any interesting story continuously for 16 -20 hours if you want, although it’s not advisable.

But preparing for civil services or any other competitive exam is not like a story or novel, you need to remember the facts & concepts. For this, your mind needs sufficient time.

Don't deprive your body of sleep & other physical activity, it hampers your power to remember.  Need not to mention that all those stress hormones going to kick in a very bad way.

How to plan studies effectively :

Out of 8-10 hours, fix 6-8 hours per day for continuous new learning & remaining 2 hours for revision the previous days/week/month studies in a planned way. This will train your

mind to grab & retain new things & also your mind will be trained in recalling the previously stored items. 

In this way you are sharping your axe !

Like every machine & any other living being our body also has the optimum capacity, if it is utilized in a proper way it will work better & for a longer duration.

No need to torture your brain, mind and soul for 16 or 24 hours. It isn't an exercise. It is simply learning, retaining & recalling things. Study slowly. Enjoy it and concentration will come along. 

Best Way out :

The success mantra is the continuity & consistency of studies. Make your schedule in such a way so that you can study 8-10 hours daily on a routine basis without compromising

on other necessary leisure activities. 


Best of Luck!

Happy Studies!

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