How to Stay Super Focused While Studying

How to Stay Super Focused While Studying

When I was in college, I wanted to try studying in places other than my dorm room. So, I checked out the library, the field on a sunny day, a coffee shop. You know what I discovered? I couldn’t stay focused in any of those places. They were all Distraction Central for me.

All those locations had too many people making way too much noise. I need to study in a small, silent room with no one else in it. I even hated studying in the library. The library, people. (Loved the old book smell, though!)

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Coffee shops are horrible places to study.” quote=”Coffee shops are horrible places to study.”]

We all study in different ways. I am obviously a loner, while some students NEED to have others around. I can’t have music on, while some always have music in the background. I need super bright light, but some people love the dark. You do you.

However, we all need to be able to focus while we do homework, study, read, or write a paper. Let’s talk about the things most likely to break your concentration and changes you can make to ensure focused studying!

Oh, hey – I created a checklist and parking lot for you! Parking lot? Read to the end and you’ll know what I’m talking about! 😊

focused studying

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How to Stay Super Focused While Studying

Find an ideal study space

You should have a set study space that is ready for you. You need someplace fairly private, quiet, and well-lit. Seriously, don’t strain your eyes to read that textbook! Given our love of technology, your preferred spot will also probably have wifi.

A private or semi-private space will ensure 2 things – there are few distractions and it is quiet. Other people are usually a problem because they move around and make noise, pulling you out of your studying zone.

Sometimes, a private place to study is not possible. You can create your own study carrel, using this privacy shield or DIY it with some folders. You can set it up on your desk and still work around your roommate or sibling without their movement bothering you.

Even if you’re alone, though, sound can still be a problem. That neighbor with the really loud music will drive you nuts! In that case, consider a small sound machine or some noise canceling headphones.

Have a plan

Ever tried to grocery shop without a list? You buy stuff you don’t need and then realize you forgot several key items. Studying without a plan is pretty similar. You waste time and don’t get much done.

Instead, create a study plan and write it down. Before you start, you will be able to grab all the supplies you need (pens, notebook, textbook,) and be ready to work. When you sit down you know exactly what you’re going to study and how long you will spend on it. It’s also much easier to refocus yourself if you get off-task.

Turn off your phone

Good Lord, your phone is the biggest distraction of them all. The easiest way is to put your phone in another room. While that may work when at home, this presents some problems if out and about. Keep it facedown on the other side of the room, if possible.

If your phone *has* to be with next to you, put in on airplane mode or Do Not Disturb. Even if your phone is on vibrate, those constant vibrations will distract you each and every time they happen. (Worried about the apocalypse while in DND mode? On iPhones you can pick contacts whose calls will still come through.)

Take breaks (yes, breaks)

You might think that to study, you need to stay chained to your desk all night long. Wrong. Your body needs to move and you need to give your brain some breaks. This doesn’t mean work for 5 minutes and then play on your phone for 30 minutes though.

This is why I love the Pomodoro Method. You work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. Get up from the desk and actually move around during your break. Grab a small snack and then get back to studying. After a few hours, take a 30-minute break, de-stress, and let your brain process all that information.

I’ve found that a timer helps with this process a lot. You could use the one on your phone, but then your phone can become a distraction (see above.) I really like this one and this one!

Shut down intrusive thoughts

Let’s face it, your thoughts can often get in the way. You were studying for the Chem exam, but suddenly you’re making a shopping list or texting someone back who texted you last week.

You can create a parking lot to “park” these random thoughts. Write your intrusive thoughts down in the parking lot when they pop in your head and then put them to the side or turn the paper over. When you’ve finished your assignment, look over your parking lot and handle those issues at that time.

Grab that parking lot and the checklist by clicking below!

focused studying

These tips should help you focus more during your next study session! Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Related Posts: How to Be Productive When You Just Don’t Want To, 5 Ways to Prepare for the BIG Exam, Create an Effective Study Space, How to Stay Focused with the Pomodoro Technique, How to Avoid These Common Study Fails

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