5 Tips to Improve Concentration When Studying

1. Create a Distraction Free Environment
Distractions are a procrastinator’s best friend. While studying, anything that disrupts the task at hand can severely inhibit studying potential. Some of the most common distractions are cell phones, people who interrupt, and background noise. Yes, if you turn off your phone you might miss a call, but it’s worth it to improve your study environment. If you have a problem with people constantly interrupting you, the solution is usually as simple as a “do not disturb” sign on the door. For those of you with loud neighbors or just a noisy environment, listening to music or turning on a fan can help, but make sure the music is instrumental and monotonous.

2. Study Where You Focus Best
Many people seem to have a set-in-stone rule that studying can only be done in their room/dorm, but in reality there may be several places better suited for studying. When choosing a location to study, places such as libraries without many distractions are often good choices. Try not to change where you study too often as new environments often lead to new distractions. Try to study in a not-too-comfy chair at a table instead of on your bed. Also make sure to have plenty of direct light so your eyes don’t tire too easily and there is no glare from indirect light.

3. Keep Your Mind Sharp
When preparing to study, think of when your energy level is usually highest and study harder subjects then, and save the easier subjects or ones you enjoy for later. Also, Sitting in one position for hours can easily tire anyone, so shift position often to keep blood flowing well, but be sure to keep good posture (sit up straight) to aid concentration. Caffeine should be used in moderation, because any energy gained is often cancelled out by added lack of concentration or anxiety.

4. Break Time
It may sound odd, but one of the most important aspects of studying is when you’re not. It is very important to take breaks every hour to avoid frustration and maintain concentration when you come back. When you take a break, make sure you get up and walk around to keep blood and oxygen flowing well to your brain. If the work is becoming too frustrating, take a longer break and come back when your mind is fresh. During your break, drink water and have a small snack to keep thirst or hunger from distracting you. However, make sure to eat only small snacks as any large meal will make your body want to rest. Other good habits during your breaks are to take deep breaths and to stretch, further assisting blood flow and oxygenation.

5. Schedule Everything
One of the biggest problems with studying several courses is the anxiety that comes with realizing how much you really have to study, and the question of “Will I have enough time to study all of this?” The best way to fix this common problem is simply by answering your own question. Schedule a certain amount of time to study for each subject at the same time and same place each time. Harder subjects will require more of your time, easier ones less, and moderate ones somewhere in-between. It is very important to devote a certain time and place to studying, so that it becomes associated in your mind and you will have no problem getting into the material the moment you sit down.

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