6 Practical Tips on How To Focus On Studying

focus on studying

Hey, you there.

Yeah, you.

Are you there?

Good, now try to stay focused, we have some important things to discuss – focus.

Today we are going to look at my five tips to improve your focus while studying. I have implemented these tips in my own life over the last few months, and I have seen my focus and productivity skyrocket.

In short:

plan your day and know what you need to do before you start studying. Put your most important tasks on a sheet of paper and go through them one by one.

Next, get rid of all distractions and don’t multitask, put your phone away and tell everyone to go away. Get enough rest, so your brain is fresh when it’s starting to study and go for frequent walks to get more creativity and relaxation. Also, create daily routines when you’re going to study, try to study every day on the same day.

And last but not least, think of your why, the reason behind your studying. 

In this post, I’m going to dive deeper into the explanation I gave above, so let us jump right in!

1. Plan your day and make time to focus on studying

Planning is an essential key to create focus and improve your productivity. When we go fight the day without a plan, we get stressed out and do not know where to begin or what to do. With preparing our day beforehand, we get a clear idea of how we want to start the next day.

Most people go to bed and just let themselves go through the motions the next day. They think they will figure it out on the go, and get things done whenever they have time.

Most likely, they will still get some things done, but not nearly as much as they would have liked to.

Know what you have to do

When we know what we have to do, and when we have to do it, we accomplish more. That is because when we let our brain look at what we are going to do, our brain prepares for what’s to come.

The study time will not be random or accidental; you planned it. That way, you think about what you want to study before you start studying.

How do you do that?

You can do it in hundreds of different ways, with an app or a calendar or just a sheet of paper.

I would recommend you to use something that you are comfortable with, and you will have to use it every day, so you better enjoy the process :).

Some people like to write it out on their computer and some like do it with a pen.

focus on studying

The How-To:

Here are some basics of creating a plan to focus on studying for the next day.

  • Put all the tasks you must do in your planning first (groceries, laundry, work, workouts)

  • Then write your MIT’s (Most Important Tasks) next to it, and look at your plan, see where you can fit them in.

This is a concise explaining of how to plan your next day, but do not underestimate it, it is simple and effective.

If you want to have a template you can use every day, I made one for myself some time ago, and I share it as a template with you here, for free! 

2. Get rid of distractions, no multitasking

This one looks pronounced, a lot of us do not think about it – including me. I have always seen myself as one of the most productive people I know, but even I do not always get rid of distractions and just keep multitasking, more than I would have liked…

Even right now, I wanted to check my resources on multitasking and landed on a LinkedIn page, instead of just focussing on writing.

Don’t multitask

We all believe we can do several things at once, and we can get more done if we do everything at the same time. But nothing is further from the truth. A study conducted by experts shows that multitasking can decrease our productivity by about 40%!

While we cannot multitask, we switch tasks really fast, interrupting the task we are working on. Do not fool yourself believing you are special, you are unique of course, but not that kind of special ;).

A short experiment on Peter Bregman himself, a researcher from Harvard, discovered a couple of things when he decided to not multitask for one week. He was curious about what techniques would help and if it would improve his overall focus.

A couple of things he noticed were that he became more present in the moment when he was with his children and in nature. His stress dropped dramatically, and he got more patient during his day-to-day, he was in no rush because he was just doing one thing at a time.

But most importantly, he made really a lot of progress on challenging projects like writing or strategizing. Instead of getting distracted like usual, he now pulled through hard moments during projects.

focus on studyingSo, next time you are about to study or do something that requires focus, put all the distractions aside, and focus only on the work at hand.

How? Some small tips are:

  • Put your phone in flight mode or somewhere in another room

  • Make sure you are not getting any notifications from whatever on your pc.

  • Block time to study for 60-90 minutes (plan the day before 😉 )

  • Tell everyone to go to another planet or something…

3. Get enough rest

One really overlooked aspect of focus is actually; rest. We always think we just have to sit down and put ourselves into a flow state by forcing ourselves to work even when we are tired.

But this is not how it works.

When we rest more, our focus increases immensely. Our brain is more rested and has more energy to focus on one particular thing for a more extended period.

In the book Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, you can find many people throughout history who have had a lot of focus and concentration thanks to a lot of rest.

4. Walk more

Resting can be done in various ways, sleep more during the night, take naps during the day or just step away from your work, and go for a walk.

It has been said that Einstein had a daily routine of just taking a walk to rest his mind, so he could focus more on the work later. And many more influential people do this.

When you walk, your brain chemistry changes, you release endorphins that actually help you to sleep better and reduce stress in the long term, this will help you focus more when you’re studying.

I will write a post most thoroughly on this topic, it has a lot of scientific things to it, and I don’t want to bore you now with all the details hahaha! 🙂6 Practical Tips on How To Focus On Studying 1

5. Create routines for focusing on studying

Creating routines has something to do with planning your day in advance, but it is more what you do regularly every single day.

If you have well-established routines in your day to day, your brain will notice patterns. It will know when you are heading to work, when you are starting a deep-focus task or when you go to sleep.

If you do not have any routines set in place, and you just do everything randomly, your brain will get more stressed out and will not know when you are trying actually to rest or when you want to work.

With routines, you need to use less of your determination and willpower. When you brush your teeth in the morning, it does not require much willpower; you just do it because it is part of your daily rituals.

The same holds true for when you want to sit down to learn or do any other tasks, it will become part of ‘your routine’!

Use your planning to create routines

Look again at your plan, and see where you have time each day to study and try to study at that same time. Try to do it for a short period each day, even if for some days it will just be five minutes.

The creation of habits should not be too hard. You do not have to start off and tell yourself that from now on, you will study every day for 3 hours, from 7 AM till 11 AM.

No… that would just make you quit as fast as possible. Start small and make sure you just do it every day.

6. Have a meaningful end goal in mind

With that said, the next part on how you can focus on studying is to have an end goal in mind with everything that you do. If you need to focus on your studies, think about this: what do you actually want to achieve with it?

Do you want to become smarter? Do you want to get into a new career? Or do you just want to do it because people say it is right for you?

Think of the reasons why

Think about the reasons why you want to focus when you sit down. It will remember you why you are actually doing it. And a lot of times it can really motivate you.

You can do this by creating a vision board, or have your goals somewhere written down. It will help you remember the ”why” behind your studying, and it will make your studying way less mundane. 

Whenever you want to start focusing on studying, you will be reminded of your why’s and it will create a spark in you, and you will make yourself concentrate more.

focus on studying

Make it emotional

Try to really think of a big reason behind your actions, something that really hits you emotionally. Because if our goals hit us emotionally, we are way more inclined to take action on them.

It has been proven that people give up way faster when things get tough; they get more anxious and fearful and quit the things they initially set out to do.

Make it meaningful

But research has also proven that when our thought is aimed at a meaningful goal, we associate this hard thing with something more meaningful, and even this small thing can give us meaning in our lives, and we will have a bigger chance of doing the work.

There are a lot of things that play with motivation, but having a meaningful end goal in mind is also an essential aspect of it.

Conclusion

These were my five tips on how to improve your focus while studying.

Of course, there are way more things that work to improve your focus, and everyone is different. But I always like to share the ideas that work for me.

If you struggle a lot with your focus and you drastically want to improve it, I would suggest you take 1-2 tips and try to apply them right away in your life.

For example, start planning your day in advance and create simple routines where you work every day at the same time.

Small steps every day will eventually amount to a massive pile of success! 🙂

See you later, guys!

Nick.

The Daily Planner

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Nick Colo

I’m a 23 year old psychology dropout currently living in Antwerp, Belgium. I’ve started a couple of companies all from scratch from my desk at home by the power of self-education. I have a mission to share my knowledge about self-education and help people create their desired life through the power of self-education.

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