Even with the best intentions, there is only so much we can retain while reading or studying. Although it may sound obvious to you, focusing on what you are doing can make a big difference in the quantity and quality of the information getting into your brain. This article will introduce you to a few concentration techniques I used which, in return, might help improve your study skills.
When learning how to concentrate on studying, one must first pay attention to what impairs one’s ability to focus: distractions. Exams are stressful for most people. Having a clear mind helps to study effectively for exams. During study sessions, writing exams, or academic essays you may want to delay family or friends related issues to avoid distractions and emotionally charged scenarios. Kindly inform your surroundings about your up-coming exam session.
Then, make sure your desk and room are clean and organised by putting away any visual or auditory distractions. Here is a list of suggestions to help you concentrate on studying and write successful exams.
- Keep distractions away from your study environment.
- Prefer non-lyrical music (i.e. no speech). (Try this playlist I use whenever I study!)
- Turn off TV, radio, digital devices, or any other sound producing device.
- Turn off and put away digital devices.
- Avoid having your computer nearby (e.g. with Facebook, Twitter, Email).
- Close Facebook and any other social media, including your mobile phone (e.g. SMS).
- Take short breaks (e.g. 5 to 15 minutes) every hour or so.
- Avoid too much caffeine, energy drinks, or sweet drinks.
Sleep plays an essential role in your ability to concentrate on studying. Usually, one needs 8 to 10 hours of continuous sleep every night. Sleeping helps your brain to organize the information and creates connections between new and old concepts. Although short naps can help regain mental alertness; they should never replace a good night of sleep. You might be on Instagram at 1 AM checking out your friends’ posts but think about the valuable minutes of sleep you are missing out on– believe me, you’ll regret it the next morning!
Your mind holds great powers! Athletes using visualization techniques have experienced great results in their sports. Follow their example, close your eyes then visualize yourself walking in the exam room. Then, continue with sitting down, feeling calm, ready, and confident. In your mind, visualize yourself writing a successful exam then leaving the exam room feeling assured and satisfied. Visualization helps to get mentally prepared. It’s a good way to manage stress and a great concentration technique.
I hope these tricks are useful to you as well! Good Luck!