Students often have difficulty with concentration and focusing on what they are supposed to be learning. It is a fairly common problem. In fact, not only young students but adults also often have problems focusing when trying to study. We may be distracted by looking at our phone, staring at the fridge searching for a snack, taking the dog for a walk, or having some fun with Fair Go Casino login – whatever we can find to do in order to put off studying. But the good news is that there are a number of tried and tested focus techniques as well as some very good apps on the market that will help them extend their focus and thereby attain good grades.

Techniques to improve focus

There are a number of things that may cause someone to lose focus like not getting enough sleep, poor energy levels, procrastination and becoming distracted. If you are a student in college or even at school, the following tips may help you to maintain focus.

Remaining calm

If you find yourself feeling distracted and unable to focus on what you are learning, start taking a few deep breaths which will immediately help to calm you. If you are anxious, studying will feel like a hard slog so it is important to figure out why you are having such difficulties.

At the same time, it is important to keep a sense of humour. Make sure you keep things in perspective. Everyone experiences times when they feel overwhelmed and being able to laugh will help you to feel less anxious as your brain will release endorphins making you better able to receive new information.

It is also good to set yourself rest times. This will give your brain the opportunity to process the new information. Go for a walk and enjoy some fresh air and a different atmosphere. It is best to stay away from social media during this time as this is likely to have the opposite effect and may add to your feelings of anxiety and keep your attention for too long.

Identify the problem

  • What could be causing your difficulty in focusing?
  • Perhaps the environment is not suitable for learning, too many distractions.
  • Could it be you are tired and are lacking sleep.
  • Have you been tested for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  • Perhaps the learning material is proving too difficult and it is making you feel stressed out.
  • Are there too many distractions vying for your attention, for example, using social media or playing video games.

It is crucial that you identify the reason why focusing is proving so difficult for you. Find a quiet place to sit and figure out what the issue is.

Solve the problem and move on

Identifying the problem will be very empowering. Feeling empowered will motivate you to excel in your studies and you will likely see your grades improve. The more in control and empowered you feel, the less anxious you will be.

If you are unable to identify the problem yourself, you should seek out counsellors who can help you before the problem becomes overwhelming.

Put together a schedule of learning

You could use the well-known Pomodoro technique to do this. The Pomodoro is a time management method. Basically, it recommends chunks of, say, 25 minutes study sessions followed by five, or ten minute, breaks. This way of set study times aids concentration and helps with attention span.

Don’t leave everything to the last minute

Being prepared can eliminate stress. Try to get hold of the study material prior to the beginning of the term or semester. This way you can look over the material beforehand and this will greatly reduce feelings of anxiety.

Working with others can be useful

Having a partner to study with can be a great way of creating accountability. In fact, it doesn’t necessarily have to be another student but just someone who will be “checking” and holding you accountable for finishing particular learning sessions. Having a partner to study with can be an incentive to complete a list of tasks that you both set, say for the study session.

Suggestions for effective study

  • Set a time, say on your phone, to begin a study session.
  • Put together a well- defined study plan.
  • Make a note of all your completed assignments.
  • Keep your desk clear of anything other than what you are learning at the time.
  • Having classical music or lo-fi music playing can create a calm and relaxing environment and is good for brain stimulation.
  • Turning off your cellphone so that you will not be distracted by notifications is a must.
  • Making sure you get enough sleep and exercise will help to promote good attention span.
  • Keep to the times of the study schedule you have put together.

Using focus enhancing apps to help you

There are a number of apps that may be useful:

  • The Pomodoro Time Pro app – a time management app.
  • Trello – a task organiser.
  • Zero Willpower – blocks distracting websites.
  • Speechify – makes learning easier by reading out your study material.  This can help you to focus more and concentrate on the material at hand.  Listening to material is useful for many students and is an effective way to absorb information. Having to read a lot of material can be difficult, especially causing eye strain, so having it read to you with Speechify is a good and helpful option.