August 26th 2010
Maintaining your concentration while studying is a big problem that greatly impacts on the productivity. Many students complain that they just can’t stay focused, and that minds race from one thing to another and their thoughts are all over the place – except on their studies. However, try some simple tips below to see unexpected changes
1. Turn Off Distracting Technology Devices
It’s not a good idea to study with your cell phone on, even if it’s set to vibrate. As soon as you get a text, you’re going to look – the promise of a notification is too tempting! Avoid the temptation altogether by shutting your devices off and even putting them in another room. Need an even more drastic option to keep yourself honest? Ask a friend or family member to hold onto your phone during your study session.
The same goes for your computer and tablet unless you’re using it to study. In that case, be sure to disable every distracting application and notification before you begin the study session. If you find yourself giving in to social media or game cravings, try an app like Freedom or Self Control to temporarily block access. Tell your friends and family that you’re entering study mode so that they know not to contact you unless there’s an emergency.
2. Study During Your Peak Brain Times
Schedule your most challenging study sessions during peak energy periods, when you anticipate feeling most energized and focused. If you’re a morning person, that means you should be studying as early as possible. If you’re a night owl, choose an evening time slot. If you aren’t sure what time works best for you, reflect on your most successful studying experiences. What time of day did they take place? When does your brain feel most effective in general? Pencil in study sessions during these periods, and stick with them.
3. Reframe Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts make studying all impossible. If you find yourself frequently repeating self-defeating thoughts, try re-framing them into more positive statements. If you think “I can’t do it”, then try your best to find some reasons that help you think “I can do it. It’s not that tough”
The next time a negative thought invades your brain, acknowledge it and try to turn it into a positive statement. Over time, studying will feel less like a burden and more like an intentional choice you’re making in order to achieve your goals. This mindful approach will make you feel more empowered and motivated and subsequently will increase your study productivity.