Do you find it hard to focus when studying?
There are so many distractions these days: text messages, videos, email, and social media.
Not to mention your own wandering mind.
Over the years, I’ve taught thousands of students how to study more effectively.
I’ve come up with this list of 20 tips and techniques to help you concentrate while studying.
(To get 5 additional tips, download the free PDF below.)
1. Use your phone camera or webcam to record yourself studying
This tip may sound strange, but it works.
Set up your webcam or your phone camera to record a video of yourself studying.
The idea is to create accountability.
Instead of having a friend check on your progress, you have a camera watching everything you do.
Knowing that you are being watched will remind you of your objective.
Just when you’re about to get distracted, you’ll remember that everything you’re doing is being recorded.
It’s a useful reminder to yourself that you’ve made a commitment to study.
2. Use Focusmate
If you want to take it to the next level, use Focusmate instead.
With Focusmate, you make a pre-commitment to study for a 50-minute period at least one day in advance.
You then get paired with a real-life accountability partner.
You must turn on your webcam during the 50-minute session. This means that you and your study partner can see and hear each other during the study session.
If you leave your desk without giving an explanation, your study partner can report you, and vice versa.
Similarly, if you don’t turn up to your study session or if you are late, your study partner can report you.
Non-compliance results in the system marking you down. If your score falls below a certain level, the system will eventually lock you out.
But if you keep your commitments and complete your study session, the system will reward you with points.
3. If you don’t feel like starting work, take 1 minute to prepare yourself mentally
Sometimes you may not even feel like getting to work.
When this happens, take a minute to prepare yourself mentally.
Set a timer for a minute and tell yourself that you’ll start work when the timer goes off.
By doing this, you’ll be much more likely to get to work at the end of the minute.
This is called an “implementation intention”.
Any time you signal to yourself an intention to do something, it makes it easier to begin that task.
In this case, the implementation intention is to set a timer for a minute before starting a study session, if you feel like procrastinating.
So, if you find it hard to motivate yourself to start studying, take a minute and prepare yourself mentally.
By doing this, you will eliminate the resistance you were experiencing. [Read more…]