I want to study, but I cannot focus. What should I do?
A lack of focus and concentration is common among both students and adults, but you need strong focus for effective study sessions and success. Student life can be challenging when you’re having trouble focusing and making the best use of your time.
Fortunately, you can use several techniques and apps to help increase your attention span and keep you sharper and more focused. Keep reading to learn what you can do.
Methods to improve your focus
Several factors can contribute to a lack of focus, including procrastination, lack of sleep, low energy levels, and distractions.
If you’re a college or high school student, consider the following study tips to maintain focus now, and keep your studies on track:
If you’re distracted and can’t concentrate, take a slow deep breath to help you calm down. Feeling anxious and panicked can make studying hard work. To work out why you’re unable to focus, you need to discover the cause.
Second, find something to laugh about. Remember that it’s not the end of the world when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. Laughter is a great stress reliever and releases endorphins. Laughing will calm you down and make your brain receptive to new information.
Finally, take a break. During your study sessions, giving yourself timeouts from the material is essential. Allow your brain to process the new information by doing something entirely different, like grabbing fresh air by going for a walk. Avoid jumping on social media, as it may hold your attention for longer than planned or even increase anxiety.
Isolate the problem
Here are some possibilities that could potentially be causing your lack of focus:
Your study environment does not support learning. You may have too many distractions like talkative roommates, background noise, and an uncomfortable study space.
You’re feeling tired because you’re not getting enough sleep.
You’re experiencing Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms.
You don’t understand the material and feel anxious that you’re behind.
You can’t stop getting pulled into distractions like playing video games.
The best way to study when you can’t focus is to figure out why you’re having trouble focusing. Find a quiet workspace or a lovely coffee shop to take the time to isolate what could be stopping you from concentrating.
Manage the cause
When you can control the cause of the problem, you’ll likely feel empowered and motivated. These feelings will benefit your study habits, allowing you to learn the material and feel like one of the top students. The more powerful you feel, the less stressed and anxious you’ll feel. Managing the cause of your lack of focus could mean seeking therapy, improving your organization, or minimizing distractions before they become distracting.
Create a study schedule
Create a study plan based on the Pomodoro technique, which suggests breaking up your study sessions into short chunks. Time yourself for 30 or 45 minutes of straight study, then when your timer goes, take a 10-minute break. The Pomodoro technique offers several benefits, including improving your attention span and concentration. In addition, it makes planning your study sessions easier.
Get a head start
Stress can cause difficulty in concentration and focus. Try starting early to avoid stress and the feeling of not having much time available for study. If possible, download the material via your online learning platform before the semester begins.
There are a few ways you can create accountability for effective studying. For example, you could pair up with an accountability partner. Preferably the partner will be another student, although they don’t need to be, as long as it’s someone you can trust to hold you accountable in completing your session.
Arrange to study together for the whole day, set a schedule, and create a to-do list of the topics you want to cover. If you bail or don’t complete the session, your study partner should hold you accountable using an agreed method.
Quick tips for effective study
Here are some quick tips for effective study and time management:
If you’re finding it hard to start, set a minute on your timer to mentally prepare yourself by telling yourself that you’ll begin studying once the minute is up.
Create a detailed study plan.
Keep track of your completed tasks.
Only keep on your desktop what you need to study.
For brain stimulation, listening to Classical or lo-fi music helps.
Put your device far away. Phone notifications can cause major distractions.
Regular exercise and getting enough sleep increases your attention span.
Stick to the start and end times of your study schedule.
Use focus-boosting tools
Several apps can help increase focus and support successful study and online learning. Here are some of the popular ones:
The Pomodoro Time Pro app uses the Pomodoro technique to help you to focus on one task at a time and take regular breaks.
Trello helps you to organize and prioritize your tasks.
Zero Willpower helps with desktop and mobile distractions by blocking websites.
Speechify is a text to speech app that will read your course material out loud to help you learn more effectively as you listen.
Staying focused with Speechify
The Speechify text to speech app supports successful online learning by helping you to concentrate more on the material. Active listening is the fastest and most effective way to absorb new information, and it can help students multitask while studying.
How can I force my mind to study?
There are several ways you can motivate yourself. Try to figure out what’s causing you not to want to study, then remove the problem if you can. For example, consider putting your smartphone on Do Not Disturb to avoid distractions.
What should I do if I am not studying well?
If you have an unsuccessful study session, try to be positive. Consider taking a break to go for a walk and take a deep breath to calm yourself and refocus. Find out why you’re not studying well, then change that circumstance if possible.
Why do I have trouble focusing while studying?
One of the most common reasons for problems studying is distractions. There are several techniques and tools available to help you to focus. For example, you can try the Pomodoro technique, which specifies 30-45 minutes of studying with 10-minute breaks.