“I learned that focus is key. Not just in your running a company, but in your personal life as well.” – Tim Cook
In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with distractions. It can be difficult to stay focused on anything for more than a few minutes at a time. When it comes to studying for exams or working on a project, the focus is essential.
You cannot stall your dreams or your goals anymore. You have to go after them with all you have got.
Here are 7 ways to avoid distractions and stay focused on studying:
1. Studying at Home is Not for Everyone!
A study on Chinese students recently found that the academic performance of lower-grade students usually declines in the online learning mode. This could be due to the duration of online learning as well as physical and mental health issues students faced while studying from home.
Many of them suffered from:
- Eye strain (84%),
- Cervical stiffness (79%), and
- Anxiety (66%).
If you are not comfortable with online learning, consider face-to-face learning once again. College campuses are opening up and you can get back to your old study habits.
But if you have to learn online, you need to set up a proper learning environment in the home or the dormitory where you are staying. You must also do regular exercises to remain fit physically and mentally. This will also improve your concentration.
To avoid eye strain, students should use paper-based study material as much as they can if they choose to learn online.
Virtual learning communities, like Tutorhelp.Club, offers students a chance to learn more interactively and have discussions with energetic and cooperative experts to get instant study help online.
2. Pay Attention in Class
Whether you are studying online or offline, paying attention in class is the most effective learning strategy. Lecture notes provide the essential framework for your understanding of the subject matter.
You can take brief notes to help you remember what was taught in class. But don’t try to write down everything the teacher says. That will only distract you from listening and understanding the lecture.
When you are struggling to pay attention, it may help to stand up or sit in the front row. Taking breaks to walk around or stretch your body will also rejuvenate your mind and help you focus better when you resume studying.
3. Minimize Distractions
The biggest distractions come from social media notifications. Turn down your email and avoid taking telephone calls or reading text messages when it’s time to study. If you are working on a project, set a specific goal for the day and stick to it. Let your family and friends know that you need some time to focus on your work so they can avoid disturbing you.
Allot separate time slots for socializing online or offline, and studying. Once you have made some progress, take a break to relax and enjoy your hobbies. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your studies.
You can also try the Pomodoro technique – studying in short bursts of 20-30 minutes with 5-10 minute breaks in between to keep your mind fresh.
If you study during commuting, you can wear noise-canceling headphones to minimize extraneous noises from crowds. Listen to calm music or Nature’s sounds to minimize background noise and help you focus.
4. Skim, Listen, Read, Repeat (SLRR)
When you are trying to grasp a new concept, it may help to first skim the text to get an overview – before the class. Then listen to the lecture in class or audio recording on the topic. After that, read the text again more slowly and try to understand it thoroughly. This is best done after the class where you can emphasize the sections covered in the class.
Repeat this process until you are confident about the material.
This strategy helps you focus better and improves your understanding and retention of the material.
5. Guide Your Mind to Think about What You Are Studying
If you are one of the students whose mind often wanders, this is the best technique for you. Do not rote memorize. Think about the information you are learning. Relate it to your personal experiences and everyday life.
Try to make connections between what you have observed and what you are learning. If you have doubts, ask the professors or online experts to explain them to you once again.
Giving your mind a direction and food for thought will keep it from wandering into unproductive pursuits.
6. Review Study Notes Often
Even while taking notes, students tend to not write down everything that the professor says. After the class, they may forget what was taught. So, it is important to review your lecture notes and study material often. This will help you remember the concepts better and perform well in tests and exams.
You can even try writing summary points of each chapter to help you revise later. This will also come in handy when you have to prepare for exams at the last minute.
Make a daily or weekly schedule for studying and allot some time for revision every day. If you have difficulty remembering what you have studied, take practice quizzes or solve sample papers.
Best times to review notes on a subject are:
- After the class,
- Next morning, and
- Several times a week until the day of examination.
Reviewing notes several times in the interim will help embed the concepts better in your mind.
7. Use Planners and Reminders
Many times we lose focus because we lose sight of what needs to be done – and how little time we have for it. If you are prone to this too, make use of the technology.
Many phone apps and websites help students manage their time and tasks better. From setting reminders for studying and doing assignments to blocking out time slots for leisure activities, these can help one stay on track with his or her studies as well as take some load off the mind.