What is the best way to get focused and start studying?
I have such a hard time starting projects, homework, studying, etc. and it's so frustrating. Sometimes when I do start I can't get focused and I'm not sure why. Help.
Great question! To be honest, different strategies and tips work for different people. The first thing to do is to pay close attention to your focus, productivity and ability to retain meaningful information as you try different techniques.
#1 Knowing your optimal study environment and how your mind works is key. Some people like the allure of a quiet library, private room, or small cubicle. There they can bury themselves in the material and masterfully complete assignments with little to no distraction. I personally find the library dull and a catalyst for instant naps. My environment of choice is a coffee shop or bookstore. There, I can find a table, budget a specific amount of time for each assignment and have the right amount of stimulation (caffeine or tea, instant access to the bathroom, and healthy distractions for my 5-10 minute breaks in between subjects).
#2 Be aware of your optimal study hours. Again knowing how your brain works is important. For example, I am not a morning person. So my optimal hours are late afternoon 11am-2pm and late night 5pm -11pm. During these times, I am focused, energized and performance ready. I use the time in between for lifestyle activities, gym, networking, dinner, etc. Truly do some investigating to find out what works best for you. Not everyone is a 8am- 5:30pm kind of person.
#3 Schedule several mini breaks during your study sessions. Your brain can only focus for so long before it starts looking for healthy distractions subconsciously. I do 45minutes to a hour on and 5-10 minutes off. This cycle allows me to check email, play on the internet or social media (for the right amount of time) and get right back to business.
Hope this helps!
What a great question. I think that this a challenge for me from time to time. There are probably many right answers, but let me see if I can help a little bit.
One thing to consider is why you do you have trouble focusing? Are you afraid or bored by the studying? It can be hard to want to study if you feel a sense of anxiety about it. If you are struggling in a subject, you may want to consider getting help during study time. I avoided math like the plague because I knew at some point, it was not going to make sense to me and I would get frustrated. I didn't have the kind of help that I needed because math was so easy for everyone else that I felt foolish asking for help.
Another element to consider is how you approach studying. I am not sure if you are in high school or college, but the motivation there can be different. In high school, you sometimes don't get to choose the subject. It can be boring or challenging and that makes you reluctant to start. I would say find a reason to do your homework. Good grades can be a great motivator. Try to think about why you should do homework. In college, motivation is a bit easier since you paid for this class. I failed a class in college and it was such a waste. It was like burning money. That was a great motivation for me to pass, especially since the money was coming in part from my mom.
I also would recommend scheduling your homework time, kind of like a class. I would make it the same time on the same days. It's like scheduling a doctor's appointment or dinner with a friend. With homework, you should consider what is the best time for you to do homework. When do you have fewest interruptions or have more energy to study? This is unique to you and not always easy to determine. I am a morning person so learning something or working on projects is best in the morning. That meant Saturday mornings when I was in high school. My second best time was right after school. I mean right after. I would get home and while I was still in "school" mode, I would do my homework.
You just need to figure out what works best for you. No one really likes to do homework, you just need to find a way to make it the best experience it can be. Good luck.
Here are some ways you could try to help you stay more focus:
(1) Put away your phone - It is so easy to get distracted by a text message or notifications from your phone. To avoid any distractions, you could try switching off your phone entirely or keep it where you could not see it.
(2) Break down to smaller goals - It is always easier to motivate yourself to do something in smaller tasks than jumping into a large task. When you are studying, try to break down the chapter into different sections, and when you are done with the section, take a 5-10 minutes break. This could help increase your productivity!
(3) Study buddy/Quiet place - Try to find a study buddy that could meet with you regularly and hold you accountable for sticking to your study schedule. However, if you are most likely going to be distracted by your study buddy, try to find a quiet place and study alone.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
Hey Ariel! What an awesome and completely relevant question to ask. Depending on what your journey looks like you will have many years of studying and doing homework. When you get into the professional world you will have assignments and tasks to complete as well. So finding a way to stay focused is certainly an important task not only for now, but moving forward. As someone who as A.D.D, staying focused on homework was not always my strongest area. I would easily get distracted and would take way more time to do one assignment then it should have. I would say that my biggest advice is finds what works for you. Everyone has different study styles and ways that they like to stay focused. For me music was more of a distraction than something that helped me maintain my focus. I would typically go into a quiet room and take the time to truly study the material. I told myself “if I can stay focused for 2 hours and knock this assignment out, then I can have the rest of the day and I will truly understand the material.”
Another important key factor that helped me was staying organized. If you simply try to remember everything that needs to get done, you are bound to miss something or have to scramble to get it done last minute. Staying organized for the week will help you maintain your focus and have a schedule to when you set aside time to study and when you have time for other activities. I used to keep a desk calendar in my room and I would fill it out every Monday with the week plans. I would set aside time to study, write down important due dates, and also schedule time to relax and be social. Maintaining a schedule will give you organization and time to prepare for the times that you are going to have to maintain focus to get your work done.
Everyone has a different method of staying focused and executing the tasks that need to be completed. You can see this both in your educational and professional journey. It is important for you to discover what works best for you and just know that you have to execute on that method. Retaining the information even from one assignment can have a long term impact on how you look at material moving forward, so take ever assignment seriously and remain focused. No matter what method works best for you, I know that you ae going to have an amazing journey. Just know that no one way is the right way. I hope this has helped!