“Everyone’s time is limited. What matters most is to focus on what matters most.”– Roy Bennett
Retaining large amounts of information can be tough, especially when our surroundings are full of distractions. The present generation consumes more information in a day than our ancestors in the past did in their entire lives. Although education is advantageous and a boon, it also poses a dilemma, when you struggle while focusing on reading dry academic material.
However, it is important to remember that learning is the cornerstone of education. Whether you enjoy it or not, it will be a significant part of your life for the next several years.
As Paulo Coelho has rightly stated, “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit the target with their eyes closed.”
How to Concentrate on Studies?
This is a very simple question, the answer to which is equally complex. We have all come across situations wherein we wanted to complete a few chapters or practise certain mock tests but were not able to do so due to a lack of focus. To solve this very problem, we have recommended certain methods you can use to improve your focus.
1. Create a Plan and Study Schedule
To maintain a constant and efficient learning practice, it is necessary to create a study plan that includes your targets, deadlines, and breaks. To be able to finish all assignments and tasks on time, it is very important for you to plan an effective work schedule in advance.
Set goals for yourself at the end of each week, whether it is reading, writing, or revising. This will help you track your progress. Colour coding can prove to be beneficial in categorising subjects, and ensuring that each topic receives equal attention. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your plan will help you to maintain productivity and accountability.
Maintaining a journal can prove to be beneficial because you can write down important dates, notes, and reminders. Knowing exactly how much time you have left and when to work on a particular subject will help you stay focused and on track.
2. Create a Relaxed and Suitable Study Environment
It is essential to find a perfect learning environment to have a productive study session. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to the study environment, mine may differ from yours. However, there are a few things everyone should implement. These are:
- A dedicated study desk or space can significantly improve your concentration level, thereby improving your chances of success while studying. It will become your go-to spot that will aid in creating a focused mindset.
- A flat, clean surface with enough space to accommodate your documents and laptop comfortably is a must. There should be a power point near your desk if you require your computer to study.
- A comfortable chair or a standing workspace that supports good posture will aid you in studying for a longer duration. Sitting up straight will also improve your mood, energy levels, and self-confidence.
3. Eliminate Distractions and Turn-Off Alerts on Your Phone, Tablet and Computer
During study time, there can be numerous distractions that are likely to divert your attention. Distractions include people passing by your door, kids playing outside, music from nearby apartments, hunger, and the most common one these days- notifications from your social media.
Therefore, to stay focused, it is important to eliminate these distractions and choose a way that works best for you. You can choose various methods like closing your door, putting up a “do not disturb” sign, wearing headphones, and switching off your phone notifications. UNESCO in its Global Education Monitoring Report has mentioned the ban on smartphones in classrooms as it can disrupt learning activity.
4. Set a Timer and Follow the “Pomodoro Technique”
A helpful method to divide your work schedule into manageable time blocks is by using the Pomodoro Technique. The method is very simple: You need to select an assignment or a task to focus on, then set a timer, work until the timer goes off, take a break, and repeat this process 4-5 times.
The duration of time allotted to each task is entirely up to you, but generally, this technique suggests working on one task without interruption for 25 minutes. Once the timer goes off, take a break for three to five minutes. Repeat this process three or more times before taking a long rest of 25-30 minutes.
Thus, following this technique can help you maintain your focus, prevent burnout, and improve motivation, and productivity.
5. Track Completed Tasks and Reward Yourself
The most effective method to focus on your study plan is by maintaining a daily task list which will allow you to track your progress towards your goals and make adjustments, if necessary.
By keeping track of what has been completed, you will be able to track your progress and stay motivated. This will also serve as a helpful reminder and keep you focused towards your goals.
While studying, it is really important to stay motivated, which can be achieved by rewarding yourself for small as well as big accomplishments. These rewards can either be small, like eating a piece of chocolate after writing a paragraph or watching a Netflix show after completing a particular topic during revision, or they can be bigger like a night out with friends after completing a project or finishing a test. Thus, studying along with fun is a great way to stay motivated.
6. Don’t Pull All-Nighters – Have a Proper Sleep Cycle
It is a misconception that staying up all night to work can help your academic marks to boom and make you stay on top of the class. But the reality is different: working while sleep-deprived can actually have a negative impact on your health and productivity. Getting a good night’s sleep is important in maintaining focus and maximising learning potential.
Furthermore, sleep helps with memory consolidation and also boosts your retention power, which is crucial for studying and learning in the long term. So, instead of relying on extra caffeine, and trying to study an extra hour, make sure you prioritise getting enough rest each night.
7. Feed Your Brain by Drinking Plenty of Water and Eating Well
Food acts as fuel to your brain, and if you consume unhealthy food, you will not receive adequate energy. This simply means that nutrition holds great significance in a student’s life. It is very important to consume fresh fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water for optimal health. A news article published by the Hindustan Times mentions that a nutritional diet is important to improve mental capabilities.
8. Regular Exercise and Yoga can Help You to De-Stress
Regular exercise is the best way to improve your overall well-being and sharpen your focus. It has a profound positive impact on your mind like reducing stress, improving memory, promoting sound sleep, and fostering positivity. All of these factors ultimately help you to focus on your studies and help you achieve better results.
As a student, practising yoga can help you improve mental focus and keep you on track during study sessions. According to the National Institutes of Health, yoga helps improve mental well-being, relieves stress and improves sleep. Apart from yoga, you should also try mindful breathing during meditation to improve concentration.
Swimming is also a great activity for maintaining focus, while cycling is a popular technique for staying mentally and physically fit. Ultimately, keeping your body healthy and cultivating a positive attitude towards life are both essential for optimal concentration while studying.
9. Review Your Progress Weekly, Monthly, Annually
Assessing yourself is a great way to track your progress. Tracking your progress can help you identify areas where you need to improve and avoid making the same mistakes.
Reviewing your work means going through a topic, answering the questions at the back and checking your knowledge. Another way is to check the results of practice tests. Through these methods, you can evaluate your current understanding of the subject.
You can also improve your performance by monitoring the overall development of the subject or topic. You should ask yourself questions like:
- What is your current understanding of the subject?
- What areas do you need to focus on improving?
- How can you solve these problems?
By answering these questions and keeping a record of your progress, you can make the necessary improvements to achieve better results in your exams.
As a student, you might have struggled with maintaining focus and concentrating on your studies. Fortunately, there are numerous ways through which you can enhance your focus and achieve a state of flow during your study sessions. The above mentioned methods are effective for tapping into the potential of your mind and utilising it to your advantage.
Jagpreet is a Digital Marketing Expert and EdTech enthusiast. Having a total experience of over 11 years, he has been working in the Education industry for the past 6 years. Over the years, Jagpreet has mastered multiple trades such as Web Development, SEO, IT, Content Writing, Graphic Designing, etc. He is an extremely tech-savvy individual who loves gaming.