Improving your concentration will make you more efficient in your studies, allowing you to get through your readings faster and achieve better results in exams. Here are ten ways you can increase your concentration while studying, no matter what subject you’re taking.
1) Create a suitable study space
The type of space you study in can influence your focus and attention. If you work from home, you might have a separate desk from everything else or one that’s tucked away in another room. However, creating a dedicated study area will allow you to get into study mode when it’s time for studying. Avoid high-traffic areas like the kitchen or lounge. Set up your space with the necessary tools that’ll assist your studying. And make sure you are comfortable in your study space.
2) Reduce distractions
Whether at home or in a library, it can be easy to get distracted by your surroundings. Turn off your TV and put your phone on silent. Turn off your internet connection. If people are making noise, go somewhere else. Record your stray thoughts on a notepad instead of acting on them. Make it as easy as possible for yourself to focus on studying (for as long as is necessary). Once you’ve cut out all distractions, you’ll find that concentrating isn’t too hard.
3) Drink lots of water
We tend to underestimate how much we need to drink, so paying attention and keeping yourself hydrated is a good idea. When your body isn’t getting enough water, there’s a higher chance you’ll feel tired and distracted. And a more immediate effect of dehydration is a reduction in concentration – which might explain why fatigue is often associated with lowered productivity at work. A simple solution: keep a glass of water on your desk as an easy reminder.
4) Don’t starve yourself
One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to improve their concentration is not eating enough. Your brain needs fuel to operate, and it cannot do well on an empty stomach. Instead, try munching on something healthy while you study, so you don’t have to take any precious time away from studying. Or have a nutritious meal before studying. You need to be able to focus on course material – not on your stomach.
5) Exercise daily
Physical activity helps improve mental ability and memory. A 30-minute moderate exercise like a walk or a jog can increase brain functions. If you are not active exercise-wise, you can start with simple activities like a 15-minute walk during a study break. Then, you can gradually increase the duration and intensity of the exercise.
6) Time your study periods
It’s best to study in blocks of 45 to 60 minutes with 10-minute breaks in between. During the breaks, feel free to do whatever you please. It’s a great way to recharge your mind. Use a clock or timer to pace your studies. This is an excellent way to staying productive and using time efficiently.
7) Switch from passive to active tasks
Passive tasks like rote learning, copying down lines from books, etc., do not engage the brain. They do not contribute much to learning. With active tasks, your brain is highly engaged. Active tasks include deeply understanding the content and applying them to problems. Such tasks include completing exercises from textbooks or giving a practice exam.
8) Use soft background noise
Listening to soft, instrumental music can help you relax. Another great option is listening to white noise in the background by turning on a fan or heater or playing sounds of rain or the waves of the ocean. Such sounds promote focus and blocks out other noises, helping you concentrate better.
9) Reward yourself
Make sure you are rewarding yourself so every academic milestone you reach. Such rewards increase the level of dopamine in our brains which helps us feel happy. Following such practices reinforces good study practices. The rewards can be anything – hanging out with friends or even going out for a meal.
10) Read out loud
Reading your notes out loud helps the information to sink in faster. We aren’t suggesting you shout out your material when in a library. Instead, a soft whisper also helps.
There are so many different ways you can increase your concentration. Exercise, take breaks, avoid distractions—all of these are crucial for improving your ability to focus on tasks at hand. Here’s to happy studying!