For some people, getting ready to study for an exam can be a real challenge, especially if they tend to be distracted during study time.
In this article we will review different tips for not getting distracted by studying , which will significantly help you to boost your concentration when focusing on the topics you need to learn in order to master the subject and pass the assessments in the best possible way.
9 tips to avoid being distracted by studying
In the following list we are going to see several advices and recommendations in order not to be distracted by studying; applying them during the study days will guarantee to get the best out of them.
1. Find an appropriate environment
The first thing we must do is select a suitable place to study. Several factors will have to be taken into account that influence the selection of the work environment. Ideally, it should be a quiet place, away from any kind of disturbing sounds (sonic pollution) among other distractors.
It is also recommended that the place of study is not a place we associate with rest (e.g. our room).
2. Pre-assemble materials
It is not enough to find a quiet place; it must also be a place where we have the necessary resources at hand for study; it is no use studying in a quiet place if we do not have the required material and that forces us to get up and go looking for things many times, which exposes us to distractions.
An effective way of simplifying the study process is to properly arrange all the materials you will need before you start studying , so that the study is interrupted as little as possible.
If you have the information on an external storage device or email, we recommend that you download it to your computer and keep it on your desk for added convenience.
3. Find study partners
Finding good study partners is an important motivational factor , because we can learn best when we relate to people who have similar objectives and level of knowledge as we do.
Making study groups helps to cover more content related to the topics of the evaluations; each one could dedicate himself to study a topic in depth, and then, in the collective discussions of the study days, explain it to the rest of the colleagues and solve doubts.
4. Carry food on hand
Having snacks available for study is a good way to enhance our use of time. We can reward ourselves with a small snack after studying a topic for an hour, for example, and then take a break.
Besides, studying with hunger is very difficult , and depending on where we are, looking for a bar or restaurant could take too long.
5. Take breaks
The breaks are important to be able to consolidate in the best way the knowledge we are memorizing . If we study in a continuous way and we do not allow our brain to process the new contents properly, it will be more difficult to remember those contents in the future.
The ideal is to take scheduled breaks . You can set an alarm to make sure that you don’t miss a break in the study dynamic. On the other hand, it is a good idea to have the exact time of each break defined. This is one of the easiest tips to keep from being distracted from your study, because you just have to program warnings on your watch or smartphone and obey them when they ring.
6. Find the motivation
Being willing to study against our own will is not something that favors our concentration much, the ideal is to look for the reasons why it is convenient for us to study. In this way, we will be able to achieve an internal motivation that will help us to strengthen our concentration .
A good way to achieve this type of motivation is to set a short-term achievable goal , so that we can go after it and feel that we are moving positively towards its achievement. For example, reviewing a chapter of the syllabus and finishing it in the next 4 hours.
7. Avoid deferring goals
Once you have everything you need to start studying, you may have intrusive thoughts that make you put off studying, and instead of sitting down to read, you do something else. Ideally, you should recognize these thoughts and fight them quickly.
Don’t let procrastination take control of your actions , when you have everything ready in front of you immediately start the study activity you have planned and you will see how as you go along the intrusive thoughts and the temptation to procrastinate will dissipate.
8. Manages anxiety
Usually, the feeling of anxiety is present when we feel that we have many issues pending and we haven’t made any progress. Managing this anxiety is important, because if it is very intense it can paralyze us, as we try not to expose ourselves to anything that reminds us of that obligation.
One way to avoid this characteristic feeling at exam time is to make a schedule of the topics to be studied, all in order of relevance. That way, we can focus on these tasks in a sequential way, favoring an immediate perception of our progress, and we avoid anguish from taking over our mind. The more orderly we are in planning our study day, the more we will keep our anxiety away.
9. Regulates computer use
Currently our academic and work activities revolve a lot around our electronic devices (computers, smart phones, tablets, etc.), which undoubtedly represents a help when getting information. However, we must bear in mind that these devices can also play a distracting role for our mind.
The ideal is to use them to get the material we need and the specific knowledge that can help us study properly. If you see that you use them a lot to distract yourself, you can try to do without them while you study, or set clear limits to their use (for example, always keep them offline).
- Fuentes, L. and García-Sevilla, J. (2008). Manual of attention psychology: a neuroscientific perspective. Madrid: Síntesis.
- Styles, E.A. (2010). Psychology of care. Madrid: Centro de estudios Ramón Areces.