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How To Focus On Studying

Alita Rudnitskaya knows how to help students to go through session successfuly.

How To Focus On Studying

In recent weeks, I literally have not moved away from my computer, constantly performing various tasks: I am writing coursework, scripts for films and series (I am a student of School of Media), conducting researches on social networks and communities in them. Sometimes it is very difficult to get yourself to work, especially when it is sunny May outside the window. In this article, I decided to examine the problem in more detail: why we are distracted, how often it happens and how to cope with it.

Recently, an article appeared in Neuron magazine, sponsored by scientists from Princeton and California Universities. They talk about how to focus and be distracted is an integral process of studying.

Even while you are reading this article, it may seem to you that you are completely focused on it, but it is not. In fact, your attention has time to weaken and grow stronger about four times, while you read to the end of this paragraph.

It is known that when we are distracted, the brain begins to scan the environment and tries to understand if something more important is happening there than what you are doing. This distraction is connected with evolution: the life of primitive people was full of dangers and constant wariness saved their lives. Now the ability to be distracted helps us notice a car moving toward us as we cross the street. But more often she plays a cruel joke with us: we can easily take a smartphone, start flipping through a news feed and forget about everything in the world.

A psychologist at Harvard University believes that it is necessary to distinguish between random and deliberate distraction. People who find little time for dreams on the schedule experience much less than those who do not allow themselves to do this, but still indulge in dreams at some point.

In a study of 84 people were asked to do a simple task on a computer for an hour. Those who allowed themselves two respite during the entire time of the assignment showed a higher result than those who worked continuously.

But what if the work needs to be done immediately and the time is very limited? Here are some effective techniques that will help you not to be distracted from the task.

  • Prepare all the necessary materials in advance

    While studying, do not waste time searching and choosing pens, felt-tip pens, rulers, notebooks, and suitable literature. This is very distracting, so prepare everything before you get to work.

  • Forget multitasking

    It seems to us that people who do several things at once are smarter and more talented than us, but this is not so. It’s just that their mode of operation does not suit us, and ours does not suit them. Specialists from Stanford in 2009 examined 100 students who thought they worked great in multitasking mode. A series of tests were conducted on attentiveness, the ability to remember new information and move from one task to another. So, many multitasking students did worse with the test: they could not concentrate on the task, they were constantly distracted by everything.

  • Make a to-do list

    In the evening or at the beginning of the next day, take 15-20 minutes to write a list of tasks that should be completed during the day. Arrange them in order of importance to you. If preparation for the exam is on the nose, start with the topic that you haven’t fully understood, and only then repeat the one you already know.

  • Find a reason to laugh

    Many people think that funny videos are the cause of procrastination. But there are also those who think the opposite: such entertainment not only does not prevent us from concentrating, but, on the contrary, helps. Psychologists believe that laughter can help us maintain willpower, which in the future will help us concentrate.

    Humor is an excellent source of replenishment of psychological reserves and, as a result, leads to greater diligence in the performance of tasks. So say scientists. So do not blame yourself for watching funny videos, but do not forget about the measure.

  • Find a companion to work together

    Find someone close to you in spirit, focused on learning, and start studying together. Learning with someone in a pair is a great idea, so you can share thoughts with each other and see things from a completely different perspective.

    If you like communication and people, then you better not consider this option. And if you are an introvert, then this method is perfect for you. Choose a comrade who is not an ardent extrovert, otherwise he will chat without interruption and distract you from your studies. Try to find someone who will be smarter than you, and who will not mind clarifying incomprehensible moments for you.

  • Find a quiet place

    Children's cry, the noise of cars outside the window, conversations in the next room contribute to the production of stress hormone. The higher the cortisol level, the more difficult it is to concentrate. If you have an important job to do, ask relatives and neighbors to be quiet, close all windows, or use ear plugs.

  • Get rid of gadgets

    It is impossible to concentrate when messages and notifications arrive every minute. There is only one solution - get rid of digital irritants. Take the smartphone to another room, turn it off, or set it to Do Not Disturb. On the computer, leave only the programs you need to study, close all the tabs that distract you, and turn off the sound.

  • Use concentration apps

    Failed to postpone the phone? Then try to download the following applications to improve concentration.

    Forest - is an anti-procrastination app. When a person needs to concentrate, he plants a virtual tree. If you close the program ahead of time, the tree will die, and the process of growing the tree will need to be started again. The essence of the application is that a person concentrates on work or study, and for a while forget about the phone.

    Freedom - is an application and website blocker. The application may block both access to the Internet and to sites you have selected. You can also schedule locks. Use it regularly and your ability to concentrate will become a habit.

  • Plan a distraction

    It is believed that in full concentration a person can be no more than 90 minutes. Take this time as a basis, observe yourself and understand how much you can work in a state of maximum concentration.

Text by
Alita Rudnitskaya