Would you like to learn how to concentrate better during the study? In this article I collected the best strategies to eliminate once and for all those damn distractions that seem not to want to give you peace.
You’ve finally decided to prepare an exam you’ve been postponing for months. This study session is very important. You sit down, start reading the book but … the cell phone rings, the television broadcasts your favorite program, you suddenly feel hungry and out of the children’s window they play football.
In short, a deadly mix of situations that have one common denominator: they will prevent you from studying well and quickly!
But how can you improve your study and increase your productivity by avoiding distractions?
How to find the best concentration?
I wanted to summarize some infallible tips that I suggest you keep in mind. Let’s see them together.
Create the right environment
There is no perfect environment, a magical place ready for use to study well. What you can do is make a super personalized one!
But what does this mean in practice?
You’re home, look around and look for a quiet area. At best it should be your room (hopefully!), or many students prefer the living room. The important thing is that there are no potential distractions like TV on, your dog, your cell phone, the PC with a thousand windows open and so on.
Done? Well, now get yourself a comfortable chair (but not too much, you do not want to fall asleep?), A spacious table devoid of useless objects and good lighting.
On the table immediately put everything you need for the study, so you do not have to stand up because you miss something. For the same reason, put on the table also healthy snacks, fruit and vegetables, and abundant natural water.
You should study in a quiet and luminous area of your home, free of noises, sounds, smells and visual distractions. This does not mean that you will have to study non-stop for hours: you will be able to give in to distractions when you need to take a break.
The important thing is not to exaggerate and find the right balance.
Do you prefer to study in the library or away from home? The rules do not change. Try to cut out a private area with as few distractions as possible and complete the picture with the advice I will give you in a moment.
Assuming you are really determined to immerse yourself in a long session of study, what you need to do is to maintain the best possible level of concentration. But how to do it?
Keeping the right concentration is never easy, given that the sources of distraction are everywhere.
But this does not mean that you cannot adopt some simple trick that will take you to really remarkable results, in non-biblical times!
Here’s what you can do …
- Program the individual study sessions. Do not just sit in the chair and open the book: choose exactly what you will focus on in your next study session. Even better: use the tomato technique and decide how many pages to complete within the next “tomato”.
- Evaluate the change of subject matter if boredom assaults you: often changing the book or topic can allow your brain to recharge.
- Integrate your study plan with a program that includes other activities. Woe to think that the study should be your only reason for living: plan the day in such a way to have time for your friends, your favorite sport, an exit to the cinema, the family, and so on. Do you think it is not possible?
- Use the white sheet technique for ideas. Many students are distracted and lose concentration because during the reading they are assailed by thoughts of all kinds and they fear to lose them in the street. In this way the thoughts remain in the mind during the study, harming learning. Instead, keep a white sheet nearby to write down everything that comes to mind while you’re studying.
- Reward yourself. A small prize is often the best strategy for maintaining high motivation. Try to reward your commitment with small or big rewards, you will give a good jolt to your motivation!
- Change method. If the method you are following (if you have it) does not convince you and does not bring you the desired results, try to change it!
Find the concentration again (if you lost it)
But what can we do if the concentration seems to be irretrievably lost?
If your mind has started wandering and you can no longer catch it, do not be discouraged. In fact, there are some simple strategies that are particularly suitable for restoring the right mood.
The first thing I advise you to do is listen to your body.
You cannot think that your energy and your propensity to study are 100% at any time of the day. Try to establish healthy habits, experiment and try to understand when and how you can do best in everything you do.
For example when you have no energy and you feel tired … sleep. There is no point in stressing your body, it is much more important to take advantage of the benefits of sleep. Not only will it allow you to regulate hormones and process information better, it will also help you regain your energy.
Another way to restore concentration and energy is to eat healthy. If you have a healthy diet, your mind will also be fit and well prepared for study. Eat fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and nuts, avoiding foods that are too heavy, refined, and nutrient-free.
Again, I advise you to engage gradually and giving priority to the most difficult things. If you are not focused, try telling your mind that you absolutely want to study for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you may have found the right motivation to continue the study. Seeing is believing!
Start with the most difficult tasks: once you pass the most difficult rock, the road will seem to you downhill.
Use the pre-reading technique
Another suggestion that you should keep in mind to improve your concentration in the study is to use the pre-reading technique.
It is a small change in your habits that will bring great benefits!
Before tackling a particularly voluminous book or the notes that you have painstakingly taken to class, try to get a clear idea of the monster you will have to face.
First read the chapter index, introductions and conclusions, create a mental map in which the links between the various topics are very solid.
With this preliminary path you will avoid that annoying sense of loss and you will be more motivated.
Plan every move!
The last suggestion I want to leave you is one of the most important: plan every move!
Try to implement a study plan that will guide you in the days and weeks of training, avoiding to concentrate all the effort behind the exam. Spalma instead the hours you want to devote to training from here to the final test and also schedule time to review.
Of course it is practically impossible for anyone to respect a 100% plan, and this must be taken into account; but having a study plan will help you to face your study days with much more relaxation and focus.