It’s difficult to study. Whether you’re a veteran student working on a Ph.D . or a freshman in high school, staying focused while studying is a struggle we all encounter. We have a number of tools and approaches that can help you decrease the stress of studying and stay focused on what matters, whether your main difficulty is social media, procrastination, time management, or a mix of all three.
And, if you’re like most of us, you’re facing issues you’ve never faced before this school year. Many of us are fighting the internet like never before because we are learning remotely and losing the drive and pressure that comes with in-person learning and communication. So let’s get started!
1. Locate a suitable setting:
It’s all about the location, location, location. Finding the perfect place for you to study is an important aspect of every effective study session. For some, the silence of a library is vital, but for others, the moderate bustle of a coffee shop might provide just enough background noise to keep them focused. Whatever your taste for background noise, it’s critical that your study space has a few essentials.
Flat, clear surface with enough space to comfortably accommodate all of your materials and laptop outlets – if you need to study with your computer, having a close power source can avoid you from having to stand up and interrupt your flow.
Comfortable seating (or standing place) – When looking for a place to work, try to find one that has the required furnishings to encourage proper posture for lengthy periods of time. Sitting upright, whether in a comfortable desk chair with back support, on an exercise ball, or at a standing desk, has been demonstrated to boost energy and confidence, as well as improve overall mood. Furthermore, sitting in a slouched position can predispose your brain to sentiments of pessimism.
Do you require assistance in ensuring that you have the proper setup? Here are Yale’s suggestions for setting up an ergonomic desk.
2. Establish a study routine:
When it comes to keeping concentrated while studying, it’s critical to establish a pattern that will assist you in finding your flow and attention. Having a pre-study ritual that includes things like cleaning your desk, closing your door, gathering all of the resources you’ll need, putting on headphones, and making a to-do list is a fantastic place to start. Taking five minutes to set up your workstation will not only help you physically prepare for studying, but it will also help educate your brain to more easily transition into a focused state. Your mind is free to focus on what is most important when the environment around you is devoid of distractions. Do you need some assistance organizing your ritual or routine? Examine your daily routine.
How to stay focused while studying. Is your work-at-home schedule becoming a chore? Change it up a little. Start your mornings with a walk or simply head outdoors for some fresh air and a glass of water – whatever it takes to get your blood pumping and release any restless energy. Add things you enjoy to your mornings or study sessions, such as journaling, dancing, lighting a candle, stretching, or listening to a podcast. The goal is to do it every time you need to study, regardless of the activity, so your brain can more readily convert into attention mode.
3. On your phone, tablet, and computer, block distracting websites and apps:
Distracting websites and apps, if you’re like most of us, can kill any productive, focused studying session. You sit down to study and are interrupted by a notification or a headline that draws your attention. Distractions like these, which appear to be little at first, quickly steal minutes and then hours. It takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus on your job after being interrupted.
4. Break up and space out your study sessions:
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge to absorb when studying for a test. The majority of study-related stress is caused by poor planning and time management, which leads to intense cramming the night before.
According to studies, splitting your studying into many, spaced-out sessions enhances retention significantly over time. So, while studying for an exam the next day might help, the information is much more likely to be lost the next day. It’s also far easier to stay focused for 30 minutes than it is for an eight-hour cramming session.
5. Employ the Pomodoro Method:
The Pomodoro Technique is ideal for breaking down your study time into small parts. It’s easy: pick one activity to work on, set a timer, work until the timer goes off, and then take a break.
6. Locate the most effective tools:
Having the correct tools can make all the difference when it comes to taking your studies to the next level. Whether you need assistance with organizing, prioritizing, or focusing, there are solutions available to help.
7. Concentrate on your abilities:
One of the most common mistakes students make, according to Daniel Wong, is focusing on grades rather than skills and learning. It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of a grade, but education’s ultimate goal is to provide students with the skills and information they need to contribute more successfully in the real world. Remembering to concentrate on the learning rather than the grade can help alleviate some of the tension and strain that comes with studying.
8. Make time for rest and relaxation:
It’s critical to schedule leisure into your study sessions, no matter how much you have to study. Self-control and mental energy are limited resources that will be depleted as the day progresses. To avoid burnout and stay focused for longer, schedule brief breaks to check Facebook, look up a subject that was off-topic, or grab a cup of coffee. Having a tiny reward to anticipate at the end of each session might also help you stay motivated.
9. Get some exercise:
Regular exercise has been found to enhance not just your body but also your brain in studies. According to research, boosting blood flow to the brain can improve your focus for up to two to three hours in the short term. Exercise has also been demonstrated to boost mood, sleep, and reduce stress and anxiety, all of which can impair cognitive function. Long-term, exercise has been demonstrated to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and slow the aging of the brain.
Researchers recommend 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week, or 150 minutes altogether, to begin reaping the advantages of exercise.
10. Write weekly, monthly, and annual reviews, and adapt as needed:
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” says management guru Peter Drucker. He’s basically arguing that you can’t develop something until you track and measure your progress.
Taking five minutes at the end of each week (month or year) to assess your habits, routines, and progress can help you notice patterns in your workflow, as well as identify inefficiencies, change your habits, and improve your work.
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