Taking breaks is key. One popular method is the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks your work into intervals of 25 minutes followed by a 5 minute break (with longer breaks interspersed throughout the day). When you say you can't focus for more than an hour at a time, that's probably a signal to get up and take a break before diving back in. 🙂
When I was in grad school, I was working at the same time, and so only had a couple hours in the evening every day for studying. I found that by picking just one or two things to get done each evening, I was able to keep up with my coursework and still go to sleep at a reasonable time every night (my goal was 10pm). Sleep actually has a role in memory, so it's actually good to not deprive yourself of sleep even if you feel like you could spend more time studying.
I also tried to set a goal of having one day on the weekend without homework every week. This helped motivate me to get study out of the way, but also provided a buffer in case I ended up having more homework than expected. Most of the time I met my goal and was able to have some real downtime, which helped to reset me for the next week.
The key here is to recognize your limits, give yourself plenty of breaks when you need them, try to serialize your work so you're not context-switching more than necessary, and to get plenty of sleep so your studying sticks. Good luck!
Daniel recommends the following next steps:
Now you need to figure out how you learn best: do you need to hear something to learn it (then try singing through your studies; silly but it can work!). Do you need to see something for it to stick in your brain? (Neuroscience tells us you must focus for 7-10 seconds in order to move material from short term into long term storage). Do you need to manipulate things to better learn? (Be creative; draw diagrams, maps, timelines to manage the information.
Take breaks; walk around; drink more water. Skip the caffeine or late nights. Our brains work better if we get good sleep (8-10 hours for women, 6-8 for men). Our brains remember things in the state in which the information was inputted, so if you juiced up on caffeine, you would theoretically need to be that juiced up come test time.
Jane recommends the following next steps:
Check out some tips to help—> https://www.educationcorner.com/habits-of-successful-students.html
For some subjects, I find it helpful to have complete silence and for others, I like to listen to music.
FOCUS ON THE PROCESS NOT GOALS
Today the students are concerned with the goals but not with the process. Successful students concentrate on learning and just not trying to get the top grades. You too should emphasize on the process rather than only concentrating on the goal itself. Experts comment that there are two types of goals for the students - Performance Goals (getting 90 in Math exam, getting better rank than the friend etc) and Learning Goals (doing at least 10 sums a day, improving knowledge in Thermodynamics etc). While the first one is about proving others, the latter objectifies mastery and growth. Ironically, many schools and colleges emphasize on the importance of performance goals but if you expect your comprehensive development, concentrate and embrace learning goals.
STUDY IN GROUPS
Rubbing shoulders with the best minds of the class always helps you academically and also infuse a spirit of healthy competition among the students through which they are mutually benefitted. You can study in groups especially the subjects in which you underperformed in the last semester. When a group of college students study together, they get to explore new perspective from their friends and a better way to approach a problem. They can share each other ideas which help them to grow together.
Do not engross yourself in studies all day. It is important to take breaks even if you are under too much academic pressure. Regular study breaks helps to enhance productivity, focus and concentration. Experts suggest at least 5 to 10 minutes break is compulsory every one hour you devote to studying. If you are too concerned with the syllabus that you need to cover then you can use a stopwatch which will notify you after 5 minutes is over. Whenever you sit for a study session, assure yourself a specific reward after successful completion of the session. This is a simple way to motivate yourself when you are preparing yourself for big examinations. It will also complement your learning and memory infusing the spirit to learn faster.
Hope this was helpful Savannah
John recommends the following next steps:
The human mind is not really made for concentrating for long amounts of time. It is not you, it happens to everyone. An hour is a good amount of time. And then you will need to take a break. Your challenge with lots of homework is that you are not going to want to stay away from your studying for too long. You should stand up, stretch, walk around and then come back to a different subject. Sometimes you cannot finish your studying on a single subject at one time. You may need to break your homework into smaller components, doing your homework for a subject over several days. It actually improves your comprehension if you learn over several days rather than in one sitting.
I hope this helps and best of luck!
It takes time and practice to be able to study for a long time. I was in the same situation that I had to study various subjects and I could only study for one hour at a time.
The thing that I tried is to turn off my cellphone and stay away from all the things that might distract my focus when I was studying. I also started a timesheet to see when I started and ended studying so that I could check my study hours everyday. After I tried this study session multiple times, I noticed it became easier to study for several hours. The key is to find a way to isolate yourself from all the distractions (even short convo with your friend) and to improve your productivity by checking your study hours. It is also critical that you do this everyday until it becomes your habit.
I totally understand! Especially when you have different classes and types of work to do, it can feel overwhelming. I find it helpful to have a to-do list with deadlines. By writing everything down, I feel comfortable that I am not overlooking or forgetting anything, and having the deadlines helps me prioritize. Then, I can focus on the actual work/studying, taking one thing at a time and progressing through my list.
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