As the middle of the term is almost approaching, I thought it would be an appropriate time to address an issue a lot of students face – how to focus whilst studying. As someone with a relatively short attention span, I find myself often doing multiple different things at once which can sometimes be counterproductive. Listed below are a few ways that I have found useful in helping me focus, especially when studying for prolonged periods of time.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with a subject after about 30-40 minutes, switch to another topic that interests you. If you have been studying lectures for a while, it may help to refer to other mediums such as textbooks or internet resources, which present the same material in a different context. Educational YouTube videos can also be a great diversion from the traditional pen and paper resources.
Take a short break:
Taking a short refresher break after studying for a sufficient period of time can work wonders both for your memory and concentration. Not only does this time help you cement the information you have just learnt, but it also helps you refocus and restore your mental energy.
Make coffee your companion:
If your feeling exceptionally fatigued or overwhelmed with work, a cup of coffee may help you feel attentive and mentally alert. However, ensure this is done in moderation to prevent your tolerance to coffee gradually building up – you never know how easily you can go from one cup to multiple cups of coffee a day!
Do something active:
This is one of my favourite points, as I find that going for a quick run or dance class really helps me clear my brain, reduce stress and look forward to getting back to work. If you’re not an ardent supporter of going to the gym, a brisk walk or a couple of yoga stretches in your room will work just as well.
Create a to-do list:
Physically writing down all the tasks you have can be a great way to monitor your progress. I personally prefer noting down my tasks in a bullet journal, which enables me to quickly track the number of tasks I have left to do. There are also few things more satisfying than crossing off all the things you have achieved during the day.