In these days and age of phones and Buzzfeed articles, our attention span is getting shorter and shorter. We have difficulty concentrating because of these occurrences when studying important subjects, especially if it’s a topic we don’t particularly enjoy. Modern e-learning techniques such as gamification are an example of encouraging interactive learning which helps with the problem of lack of focus. However, sometimes all we can do is buckle down and study. Here are a few steps to make sure you’re making the most of your time.
Understand your body
Are you a morning or an evening person? Do you work better with snacks or without? In your room or in the library? Your environment and habits are what will shape your discipline and concentration, so keep track of what works best. It also depends on the subject you are learning: if it’s on your computer maybe you need to use distraction free apps to reduce distractions. To make it fun, turn it into an experiment. Every 2 weeks try something new and you’ll eventually learn what are your optimal work conditions.
Plan your study schedule
There’s nothing worse for your concentration than sitting down, getting ready to study and not knowing where to study. Plan beforehand, whether the evening before or the morning of that day. Use a method called block scheduling and schedule each subject you want to study, how and where. This means you don’t have to worry about being behind on something or not being aware of the steps to follow.
Take a break
Your brain needs a rest, it happens. Plan a break in between your study periods and make them healthy. This could be a short walk outside, a call to a friend, grabbing some food, or even meditating. This will allow you to stay focused and also control when you allow for distractions and when you don’t. Slowly, you will start to create a reasonable sense of self-discipline from the different methods you use to improve your concentration.
Fuel your body. Always have a bottle of water next to you and maybe some snacks or coffee that helps you. A healthy snack could be a combo of dark chocolate, nuts, cheese and some rye bread. Fueling your body means also doing regular exercise. This will leave you with a fresh mind and with even more energy to study harder, whether on a computer or at a desk. Fuel also means a good rest. An app like SleepCycle can help you wake up at the best hour that makes you feel rested.
Improving your concentration is all about practice. The more you get into the habit of forcing yourself to concentrate on each of your study tasks, the more productive you will be. Remember these four steps and not only will your concentration improve, but you will see the results, motivating you to study even harder.