Whether it is the start of a new school year or the night before a test, some students might find it challenging to maintain focus while studying. However, this lack of concentration is something that can be easily improved.
After reviewing the available research, we offer you a few tips to focus on academic work.
Lack of sleepcan quickly zap your attention, no matter how old you are. Without sufficient sleep, your brain might be foggy and your eyes heavy. This is because your energy is being focused on trying to stay awake rather than paying attention to the lesson.
Therefore, it would be best to set up a schedule that allows you to go to bed around the same time every day. Of course, on some days, you might have tons of homework to get through. So, you might want to come up with ways to find help, such as choosing an academic platform to edit my paperor compromising on your other activities to find extra time for your assignments. Regardless, getting around eight hours of sleep is necessary to feel well-rested and achieve better balance.
Another aspect that can significantly impact your focus is your eating habits, especially breakfast. Plenty of scientific studies suggest that not having breakfast can negatively influence your mental performance, including your attention, ability to focus, and memory. Unfortunately, many students tend to skip breakfast, often regularly.
If you are having difficulties focusing in class, why not try to have a healthy breakfast before you leave home? Try foods such as eggs, almonds, blueberries, and oatmeal that are filling but do not make you sleepy, either.
Similarly, attention should be given to what you eat throughout the day. Junk and processed food can make you feel sleepy and induce feelings of fatigue.
Instead of simply trying to listen to your teacher, start taking notes in class. This can help you stay active and productiveand can even take away the need to seek distractions elsewhere. And if possible, try to use a notebook and pen rather than using a laptop.
This way, you will process more information and, thus, will likely pay more attention in class. Moreover, you will actively engage with the topic by listening and then summarizing it in your world. This can help you understand the topic better and remember the information later.
The points above can help you focus more in the classroom. However, back in your room, things can get easily out of hand when you are trying to study. This is because you are surrounded by plenty of distractions - be it your phone or even a tv playing in the background.
Hence, the first aim should be to minimize these sources of distractions. For young students, the biggest challenge would be to stay away from phones or prevent themselves from checking out social media on their laptops. The only way to deal with this would be to block distracting websites while studying.
You can download an app that can do this for you on your phone and laptop. And make sure that you adhere to this self-imposed rule to stay away from distracting websites while studying.
The average human brain can maintain focus for only around 20 minutes. Beyond this, you are likely to lose your attention no matter how hard you try. And these days, it is widely observed that attention span is shrinking further these days.
So, instead of forcing yourself to focus continuously for hours, take breaks occasionally. Set a time frame of 20 minutes to focus, which can be followed by a short break. However, make sure that you don't take long breaks.
Multitasking might seem like a simple way to get a lot done quickly; however, it turns out that it can be counterproductive. Juggling multiple tasks at once can make it harder for you to focus, and you might even end up missing some details when studying that might be rather important.
For instance, think of your concentration as a torchlight. If you shine the light on a particular point, it will appear bright and clear. However, if you try to spread the same amount of light across a large area, you will not be able to see anything clearly. So, if you are already struggling with attention, make the most of what's available by focusing on one task.
Students need not be told of the advantages of technology. So, why not turn to it to improve your focus too?
There are a variety of apps that can help you train your brain and improve your focus. Some of these even come in the form of games that can keep you engaged and makes the process more enjoyable. Similarly, you can also try a fun learning app that offers creative ways for you to study. This way, you will not find yourself easily distracted if you are engrossed in the process of studying.
Students can also use their tech skillsto develop a well-balanced study schedule with dedicated apps. Those like 'Pomodoro times' can help students split their study sessions into manageable time frames. Moreover, as noted above, apps can also help you block unwanted distractions to help you stay on track.
Researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center conducted a study to understand the relationship between meditationand mental focus. The study revealed that meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, as well as depression. Improving your mental healththis way can boost your attention span and memory.
Meditation is, in fact, quite simple to practice. You can find a calm and comforting place and focus on your breath. The aim is to practice avoiding thoughts and distractions that often invade our mind.
If meditation seems too overwhelming, head over to YouTube and search for 'guided meditation' tracks. These can help you be more mindful and calm your mind. You can also try breathing exercises that can get you to regain focus.
While these tips can be tremendously useful, bear in mind that building focus is not something that will happen overnight. Not only young students but also adults struggle with maintaining their attention.
And it takes time as well as practice to strengthen their concentration skills. The first step to improving your attention span is to understand how it is affecting your life. Do you struggle to focus in the classroom or when studying at home? Do you find yourself getting distracted easily by unimportant details?
Once you have a clear idea of what's going on, you need to make more effort to value your time and energy. By working on your mental focus, you will find that finishing your school work or studying for a test is not that difficult.
Following the steps we suggested above can be a great way to get started, and you will find your focus improving gradually.