Can’t Focus On Studying – What To Do

Cant Focus On Studying

To improve focus while studying:

  1. Create a designated study area with minimal distractions
  2. Set specific goals and break study sessions into manageable chunks
  3. Take regular breaks to avoid burnout
  4. Practice mindfulness or meditation to enhance concentration
  5. Stay organized with a study schedule
  6. Get enough sleep and maintain a healthy lifestyle

How Can You Remain Focused On Studying?

Remain Focused On Studying

Studying is not always easy and losing focus makes it even more challenging. But, a few practices can help you enjoy learning and remain focused till the end. Here are some of them;

Looking For A Conducive/Suitable Environment

A successful studying session needs a good location. Different people will feel comfortable while studying in certain areas. For example, some enjoy the comfort of a quiet library, and some love a noisy place such as a coffee shop. Whatever your preference, it is essential to ensure that you have the following;

  • Enough clear space where you can comfortably place your laptop and other crucial materials
  • Adequate power supply for your computer. If you are using your laptop for studying, it is essential to ensure that you have a nearby outlet to save you the time and energy you will otherwise use to go charge your device. Moving up and down is one of the major causes of losing focus when you are studying.
  • A comfortable studying posture. Working from a place where you cannot sit or stand comfortably will cause you distractions. It is, therefore, necessary for you to choose a location with comfortable furniture to ensure you have a suitable posture for a prolonged period. You can choose a desk chair with comfortable back support and an exercise ball, or you can go for a standing desk.

An upright posture helps to increase confidence and energy levels and also improves your mood while studying. Conversely, a slouched posture makes your brain tired and may leave you feeling hopeless. 

If you are looking for a suitable environment for remote learning, you can try the following;

  • If you love studying while sipping your coffee and don’t have a coffee shop nearby, you can make yours at home.  Get a good space without any clutter, organize all your study tools, and ensure they are within your reach.
  • If your surroundings are noisy such as ongoing construction in the neighborhood or noisy roommates, you can use headphones to listen to excellent music. This noise-canceling technique will work perfectly to keep away distractions. 
  • Go to a nearby coffee shop if the home environment is too quiet and you miss the hustle and bustle of such places. 

Creating A Study Routine

A study routine is vital if you need to stay focused on what you are doing. You may create a pre-study ritual such as;

  • Clearing your desk and closing the door
  • Putting together all the materials you need for the session
  • Preparing a to-do list
  • Putting on your headphones

When you take a few minutes to set up your space, it helps to prepare you both physically and mentally to study. Your brain will also transition to focus with little or no effort, allowing you to concentrate on whatever you are doing for a more extended period. A workspace that is free of distractions trains your brain to focus on what is crucial at that moment. 

If you feel that your study routine might become monotonous, you can try to switch it up. You can start by taking a little walk, taking a glass of water, or doing a little exercise to help release any negative vibe and get your blood pumping. You may also combine your study sessions with what you enjoy, like stretching, dancing, listening to a podcast, or even lighting a candle. Doing all this helps your brain to transition easily into a focus mode. 

Blocking Any Apps Or Websites That Are Distractive

Your studying session could be distracted by notifications from apps and websites on your tablet, computer, or phone. It can only be wise for you to block such apps during your study time. You may find yourself concentrating so much on headlines, ads, and notifications and before you realize it, your focus will be somewhere else. Such interruptions will steal a lot of your time, and it may take a long time to refocus. 

If you are using Windows, iOS, Chromebook, Mac, Android, or Linux devices, you can choose a site blocker such as Freedom to keep away distractions. To use this site;

  • Choose the apps or websites that you want to block 
  • Select your device
  • Choose the length of time that you want to keep off the notifications

Proper Time Management And Planning

One of the most significant contributions to losing focus on studying is poor time management and lack of planning. You may find yourself overwhelmed, especially when studying for an exam, and this will stress you. According to some research, dividing your studying into many spaced sessions will help improve your retention a great deal.  

Applying The Pomodoro Technique

You may also use the Pomodoro technique to split your study sessions into manageable amounts of time. This technique requires you to;

  • Choose a project to work on 
  • Set a timer (decide on the appropriate time), but this technique requires that you take 25-minutes (uninterrupted on one task)
  • Work on the projects until the timer rings.
  • Take a break from the project (usually 3 to 5 minutes)
  • Repeat the cycle thrice, then take a break (usually 25 to 30 minutes). Using this system will help you to remain focused, on-task, motivated and also prevent burnout. You can combine the technique with Freedom to keep off distractions. 

Using The Best Tools

Some great tools are available to help ease you with focusing, prioritizing, and even organizing your studying. The table below gives a summary of some of these tools.


Tool 

Description

What it does

Todoist 

An app for the to-do list and task management

Helps to simplify tasks, goals, and projects into workable lists. You will also see your progress and productivity.

Trello

It is an online tool that helps in organizing tasks and managing projects.

It lets you visually split large tasks into manageable assignments. You will arrange your projects into categories or lists, assign members and due dates. You will also see your progress as you work.

Schooltraq

It is an online academic planning tool for students.

It helps you to sort, arrange, and plan all assignments and homework. You will also access your work from anywhere across all your devices. 

Brain.FM

This online tool utilizes the ability of music to influence one’s mental state.

Brain.FM has an Al music composer that uses auditory rhythms. The rhythms help you to meditate, remain focused, and sleep.

Streaks

An app that helps one create positive habits. 

This app makes sure that you concentrate on the things you want to improve daily. Your streak will be extended every day when you complete a task. You can also track your progress and statistics, which helps you stay motivated.

Coach.me

It is an app that provides habit and goal tracking.

It is useful, especially when you find it challenging to achieve your set goals. 

Zoom

An app that helps one connect and communicate remotely with others

You can ask your friends to join you for a study session over zoom. 

Focusing On Skills Instead Of Grades

One of the main mistakes when studying is to focus on grades other than learning and skills. If you stay focused on acquiring knowledge rather than improving your grades, you will not only minimize stress, but you will remain motivated. 

Planning Some Downtime

Regardless of how much you need to study, it is necessary to have some breaks to do other tasks. It is human to feel fatigued both physically and mentally, and a small break to check your emails, Facebook, or grab a cup of coffee will help prevent burnout. 

Regular Exercise

Engaging in regular exercise will benefit both your body and brain. Regular exercise will also help increase blood circulation, enhance your sleep and mood, and reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have also shown that exercise helps slow down the aging process and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. You can schedule about 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day to help you stay focused once you resume your studies. 

Avoid Studying In Bed.

A bed is a place that we associate with sleeping and relaxing. If you try to study here, you will most likely be tempted to lie down or sit with your legs across. These positions can never be conducive to learning as they will lead to back and neck aches. You may also find yourself taking a nap which is not your initial intention. So it is essential to use a proper desk any time you want to study.

Conditions that affect concentration

There are several conditions that can affect an individual’s ability to concentrate. These can range from temporary situations, such as fatigue or stress, to chronic conditions or disorders that require medical intervention. Below is a comprehensive list of conditions that could impact concentration levels:

1. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

  • This is one of the most prevalent and well-known disorders affecting concentration.
  • It can manifest as inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or a combination of these symptoms.
  • People with ADHD might have troubles focusing on one task at a time, thereby affecting their concentration.

2. Depression:

  • Depression can result in the reduction of cognitive abilities, including concentration.
  • This is a common symptom that can make everyday tasks challenging for those battling this condition.

3. Anxiety Disorders:

  • The overly active mind with anxious thoughts often leads to difficulties with focus and concentration.
  • Symptoms can vary from person to person, but often show up as restlessness or feeling on edge, and trouble concentrating.

4. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS):

  • A constant state of fatigue that doesn’t get better with rest can significantly impact concentration.
  • People with CFS often experience cognitive difficulties, known as “brain fog,” which includes issues with concentration and memory.

5. Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders:

  • Continuous lack of sleep, or poor-quality sleep due to disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome impacts cognitive function, including attention and concentration.
ConditionImpact on Concentration
ADHDDifficulty focusing on one task at a time
DepressionImpairment of cognitive abilities, including concentration
Anxiety DisordersOverthinking leading to difficulty in focusing
Chronic Fatigue SyndromeExperience “brain fog,” which includes issues with memory and concentration
Insomnia and Sleep Disordersimpact cognitive functions, including attention and concentration due to lack of sleep

Conclusion

Studying is tough, and most of the time, we find ourselves wandering and losing focus. But, cultivating good habits and engaging in the proper practices and procedures mentioned above can help us stay motivated and energized to study and achieve our goals

References:

https://www.daniel-wong.com/2020/05/02/how-to-focus-when-studying/
https://www.lecturio.com/blog/nursing/why-cant-i-concentrate-how-to-focus-on-studying/

 

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