Study distractions are everywhere for students, whether it’s a phone buzzing, a TV in the background or other people chatting nearby. Distractions can even be internal too, such as not being focused or motivated to complete the work. Distracted studying not only leads to low grades but also means students often have a poor understanding of the concepts they’re learning, which can make them feel frustrated later down the line. Here’s six of the best ways for students to stay focused and productive while studying, setting them up for academic success in the future.
1. Write Out A Study To-Do List
Juggling multiple projects and deadlines at school can be stressful, meaning studying can feel overwhelming as students don’t know which tasks to focus on first. A great way to stay focused and productive is to write out a simple study to-do list before the start of the session. This way students can work out what work is a priority or ‘has’ to be completed during that session and has a physical list to cross off, which also holds them accountable. In fact, a study even suggested that the act of writing things out can help boost concentration and memory.
2. Find the Right Place To Do Work
When doing homework, it’s important that students learn what works best for them. For some, they may prefer background noise, where others may like a quieter place with no people around. It’s also important for students to recognise they may need different conditions for different types of homework situations. For example, if they need to be on a computer, the library might be a better suited environment for them to focus in rather than at home.
3. Break Down Work And Take Regular Breaks
Procrastination is a huge distraction for so many students and is usually because tasks feel overwhelming, meaning they don’t know where to start- resulting in them not starting at all. Breaking down large projects into smaller tasks can feel much more manageable and helps students stay motivated. It’s also a good idea to split study sessions up into 35-45-minute work sessions with a 10-15-minute break every hour. Taking regular breaks has even been shown to help students retain information and increase productivity levels.
4. Put Phones On ‘Do Not Disturb’
Resisting the distraction of phones is very difficult for many students and can have a negative impact on productivity levels while studying. The easiest way to avoid these portable distractions is activating ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode and putting them somewhere out of sight. In fact, having a phone free zone can be hugely beneficial when it comes to students focusing and retaining information.
5. Listen To Music
If students are trying to study in a busy environment or can just hear the general household noise in the background, it can be very distracting. That’s why using headphones to listen to music can make it much easier to focus and enable them to zone out any noise. Research has also found that listening to classical or instrumental music improves concentration while working.
6. Use Rewards
Having some motivation can go a long way when it comes to focusing and working hard while studying. Encourage students to set up a simple reward system for when they’ve completed their to do list or a big homework project. If they get everything done they intended to at the beginning of the session, they can reward themselves with something like watching a YouTube video, a movie or just hanging out with friends.