7 Things To Do If You Can’t Stay Focused During Studying

Studying. Guh. It’s not fun, but it has to be done, especially if you want to ace that test. Even though we know this, it often doesn’t make it any easier to stay focused while studying.

If your mind has a tendency to (frequently) wander while you’re studying, know that it happens to even the most dedicated students. The key thing is to not let it derail you and ruin all of the hard work that you’ve put in. If you find that you just cannot seem to stay focused while you’re studying, try these things. Here are seven things to do if you cannot stay focused while studying.

Take A Break

Yes, you heard me. It might seem like the least likely thing you should be doing right now, but hear me out. You cannot study for hours on end. If you do, you'll be so zoned out at the end that you won't be retaining anything. Everyone needs a break, so, get up from your desk and do something that has nothing to do with studying. Go watch TV. Better yet, go on a brisk walk around the block to get your energy levels up.

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Eliminate All Distractions

By *distractions,* I mostly mean your phone. Putting it on vibrate or even silent isn't enough. Turn that sucker off. And if you're still glancing over at it, put it in a drawer or remove it from the room. Set yourself a power study time, i.e. an hour, and don't look at your phone again until you're done. Also, watch out for other electronic distractions like your TV, radio, or computer. If you're studying on your computer, close off any windows that don't relate to studying. That includes your email.

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Consider Joining A Study Group

If you're really struggling to stay focused yourself, having other people around could help. The key is choosing a study group where people actually want to study. You don't want this to be a social fest. Being around other people while studying can be helpful because sometimes they will make you think about a topic in a different way or they'll inspire you to focus on something that you might have glossed over.

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Use Your Finger Or Highlighter To Keep Focused On The Material

This is such a simple trick but an effective one. Rather than just reading something, use your finger or highlighter to point out the words as you're reading them. It forces you to keep focused on what you're reading because you have to follow with your mind and fingers. Sometimes when we're reading, our eyes can be on the page, but our brains can be somewhere else.

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Make Summary Notes

Summary notes aren't a waste of time. They help you condense all of the information into manageable chunks. As you're making the notes, you're also learning because you're thinking about all of the connections between the topics and you're figuring out how to describe three paragraphs in a few lines. At the end, you'll have some great notes to review at the last minute before the test.

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Try Creating Study Games

You might think that creating games would be a waste of precious studying minutes, but as you work on the games, you're actually still learning. Flash cards are a quick and effective game. Another *game* that you can create in seconds is when you give yourself a topic and you have to write how much you know about it in a certain amount of time. It'll highlight areas you're struggling with and shows ones that you know really well. Plus, having a task to do keeps you focused.

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Have Something To Eat Or Drink

This goes back to the taking a break thing. You're not a robot and need things to keep you going. Instead of automatically reaching for sugary snacks and coffee, try to choose healthier options that are high in energy such as bananas. If you keep relying on sugar and caffeine to study, you'll have a high then a crash. And after the crash, it'll be harder to study. Not to mention that sugar and coffee aren't the best foods for your brain.

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What are your study tips? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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