Staying focused while studying can be hard sometimes, but we’ve got some tips to help you next time you decide to hit the books.
1. Find your optimal study space.
If you are someone who tends to get distracted while studying in your room, go to the library! If you are someone who likes peace, quiet, and solidarity, stay in your room. Finding where you work the best is the first step to staying focused.
2. Make sure your study space is tidy and organized.
As mentioned before, your study environment is a big part of the studying process. Make sure wherever you’re working is clean and well-organized. Having a messy space leads to more distractions and less studying. Also ensure you have a study space big enough for all your books and supplies.
3. Know and avoid your distractions.
Are you someone who abhors any kind of noise during studying? Or are you someone who works better with background noise (TV playing, quiet conversation)? Are you easily distracted by your phone notification and/or the internet? Know your weaknesses and avoid them at all costs while studying.
4. Don’t be scared to ask for space.
If you’re at home, don’t hesitate to ask your family for quiet time and exclusion from chores during a busy week jammed pack with tests and assignments. If you’re staying in res, don’t hesitate to ask your rowdy neighbours to quiet down.
5. Find your study soundtrack.
This tip is for those who work well with listening to music while they study. Find out which genre is right for you–one that does not distract you. The best kind of study music is those that do not have lyrics and is fast-paced, providing a soundtrack that will encourage you to be quick and efficient. One such genre is video game music, as it is designed to give its players a sense of urgency, which incidentally is perfect for studying.
6. Take appropriate breaks.
Find your work to rest ratio. Some would recommend 45 minutes of work and 10 minutes of rest. Other would recommend 50 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest. Don’t let people convince you that taking breaks makes you lazy. Rests are much needed to avoid burning out. Find your balance and stick to it.
7. Set attainable study goals.
Don’t set the bar too high, or else you’ll feel overwhelmed and/or disappointed when you don’t finish 2 weeks worth of work in a day or get the 4.0 GPA right off the bat. On the other hand, if you set the bar too low, you won’t finish your work on time, and that’s not good either.
8. Make a study plan.
Divide up your assignments and test studying into manageable chunks. Planning ahead will give you a better sense of what you need to do and when to do it. By making a schedule, it will be easier to force yourself to hustle and get your work done on time. It is recommended to arrange study chunks by time (1 hour for this project, 1.5 hours for that test).
9. Find your optimal memorization technique.
The tests and presentations of today’s school system require heavy memorization. Figure out if you work better with flashcards, reading out loud, practicing in front of others or just intense repetition.
10. Don’t pull that all-nighter.
Hopefully, if you follow the above advice, you won’t need to pull an all-nighter. Sleep deprivation is no laughing matter, despite it being common to brag about how little sleep one got. Get your 8 hours and your brain will be much more cooperative the next day, just in time for your very important test or presentation.
Do you have other tips for staying focused? Let us know in the comments!
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