Needless to say, studying is not easy. With a whole lot of distractions around, concentrating on studies is tough. Social media, television, procrastination are just some of the big bullies when it comes to easy distractions. Whether you are in school or pursuing a Ph.D., students are trying to find innovative ways to focus on studies.
Our guidelines are backed by psychological research, student opinion and general awareness. We have tried to enlist a few guidelines for the best ways for students to concentrate on studies. The following point wise tips for students to focus on studies are not exhaustive or exclusive. Feel free to add your own personal ways that help you concentrate better.
Guideline for the best ways to concentrate on studies
Select Your Portions
The first step for a better concentration level is to select the portion for studying. Set a realistic goal. Do not try to cover vast portions all at once. Selecting a huge portion to study will simply tire and drain you out. Space out your studying sessions over the day, giving yourself adequate water breaks or fresh air in between. Studying every day can avoid last-minute cramming before exams.
Set out A Good Time in The Day
Setting adequate time for studying at the right time of the day is one of the key ways to concentrate on studies. Find your right time when you are fresh and concentration levels are high. Your own biological clocks in your brain lets you decide when is your best time to study.
However, having said this, scientific research has shown that the best time to study is in the morning after a good night’s sleep and a wholesome nutritious breakfast. The natural morning sunlight is also conducive to the learning atmosphere
Design a Timetable
It is important to generate an all-inclusive timetable. Your timetable can be a daily timetable, a weekly or a monthly one. Create your timetable keeping in mind any unavoidable social gatherings that you may have to attend. Allot regular intervals for a healthy snack in between. Creating a timetable helps you to stick to a routine and thereby aids in completing portions for studying.
Apply the Pomodoro Technique
This technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It uses a timer to break down work into intervals. This technique propagates that each task is completed within 25 to 30 minutes separated by short breaks.
The Pomodoro technique should be ideally applied for every task you perform in a day. Particularly applying the technique to your studying schedule can avoid procrastination and increase efficiency. Practicing the Pomodoro technique has proven to be one of the best ways to concentrate on studies.
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Create a Favorable Learning Environment
Creating a favorable study environment is one of the best ways to focus on studies. Some students may be comfortable with a quiet atmosphere, while some prefer a distant activity for better concentration. Whatever is your choice, make sure you create such an environment for yourself. Ensure that you have a desk and comfortable chair placed. Make certain you have only your study material on your desk. Overcrowding your desk with unnecessary material may lead to unneeded distractions.
Keep Gadgets at A Distance
While studying, ensure that you keep gadgets and distracting applications away. Today, it is almost impossible to stay away from social media and gadgets. They have become your link to the outside world. You cannot avoid it totally.
However, at the same time, they pose a heavy distraction while studying. So, it is advisable to allow a certain time in the day to reply to texts or browse social media apps. A 15 minute to half an hour dedicated time in the day is sufficient for social media entertainment.
One of the ways to concentrate on studies and improve efficiency is to organize yourself. Organize the day in such a way that minimum time is wasted and maximum time is utilized. Organize your table, your books and stationery such that they are a hand reach away from you. This avoids multiple trips to the bookshelf and thereby a time saver.
Focus on Gaining Knowledge
Academicians and educational experts have always stressed on gaining knowledge rather than securing high grades. It is ultimately what you learn that gives you a flourishing career. Concentrating on gaining knowledge rather than on securing high grades reduces the stress of studying. With reduced stress levels, the concentration power increases.
Whether you believe it or not, including a good exercise regime in your daily schedule is one of the best ways to increase focus on studies. Even if you are unable to hit the gym due to a tight schedule, a short walk is highly recommended. A brisk walk in the neighborhood, yoga, stretching or simple breathing exercises can work wonders on increasing concentration when studying.
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Many students eat a lot of energy-giving foods like chocolate and chips during exams. They explain that this is to “stay awake” during the hours of studying. This is a misconception. The trick is to eat healthily and eat a lot of brain-boosting foods during your snack breaks. Keeping your brain in full power mode is one of the best ways to improve concentration on studies. Since your brain is in work mode throughout, this is the time you need to pamper it the most. Some basic and simple foods to increase your concentration levels during study hours are:
Fruits like blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may delay brain aging and improve memory.
Nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts. A study by the Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Centre, California suggests that eating nuts regularly strengthens brainwave frequencies associated with cognition, healing, learning, memory and other key brain functions.
Eggs are rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids, eggs improve memory, focus and cognitive functions.
Green tea is an energy booster, more often replacing coffee or tea which has large amounts of caffeine present in it. Research results of Stefan Borgwardt, MD, PhD, from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Basel, Switzerland shows that drinking a green tea extract enhances memory performance.
Review Your Work
Reviewing your work is as essential as doing it. After completing a chapter, ask yourself as many questions as you can. Do not stick to standard text book questions. Devise your own questions and answer them. Measure your own standards depending on how you have answered questions.
Apart from the above tips to increase concentration while studying, some more uncommon effective techniques at can be followed are:
Do Not Study in Bed
Lying down in bed and studying can be extremely comfortable. A bit too comfortable. This means that you could end up falling asleep or taking a short nap at the wrong time. Even sitting upright on a bed could end up in a bad back. So, make sure that you sit at a desk with a good chair while studying at all times.
Optimise the Temperature in Your Study Room
Interestingly, research has shown that temperature in your study room plays an important role. Most research shows that a temperature between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius is conducive to a good studying atmosphere.
A unique research study conducted by Alan Hedge, director of Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory, Cornell University showed that when temperatures were between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius typing errors reduced by 44% efficiency increased by 150%. Based on this data, we can conclude that ideal temperatures increase efficiency.
Put Out Your “Do Not Disturb” Sign
Informing your family and friends of your study schedule for the day is your way of displaying a “Do not Disturb” sign. Having no disturbances during the day is one of the best ways to focus on studies.
Do Not Overdo It
This could be a controversial tip but not overdoing or cramming portions into a single day could be an effective way to concentrate on studies better. Dividing your portions or chapters into several hours or days will be helpful in the long run.
Play the Brain Game
Brain training games are one of the best ways to increase concentration while studying. Attempting jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, crosswords, word searches and other brain teasers can help enhance your problem-solving skills.
Good Night -Sleep Tight
Always remember that a good night’s sleep is essential to perform any task the next day. Being tired decreases your reflexes and thereby reduces your concentration levels. Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night and be fit and ready for the next day forward.
In conclusion, we can state that there is no particular right or wrong method to study correctly. Try a few hits and misses here and there and a few trial and error patterns. You will finally create your unique best way to concentrate on studies and increase your focus levels.
The above guidelines can promote concentration. They have no ill effects or no possibility of decreasing concentration levels. So do give these tips a try. They will only do good for your everyday habits.
Studying is not a Herculean task after all!