These days, we have so many distractions and temptations that it's hard to focus 100% of the time on learning. Smartphones and social media have made it nearly impossible for many people to disconnect and put their attention on studying. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help pull your focus toward your schoolwork (and they're fairly easy to do). The key is to stick with things that work for you and keep your mind active. Here are some of the best tricks for doing just that.
If you're tired because you stayed up late last night, or if you're starting to get bored with the reading material, start your study session or preface your class with a brain warm-up. Play a word game (which you can download on your phone), do a puzzle, or even do a simple picture search (Where's Waldo will do just fine).
Before a big test or an important class, fit in a workout or go for a jog. Getting your heart rate up and exercising regularly will send oxygen-rich blood to your brain, which will help you when it's time to learn and retain knowledge.
Learning on your own can become repetitive and boring, so enlist the aid of a friend or fellow classmate who can help quiz you and take part in study time. You can even make a game out of it to keep your mind engaged.
Unless you're expecting an extremely important phone call, you don't have to keep your device by your side while you're in class or reading. Smartphones are handy, but they are also big distractions, especially if you belong to a lot of different social media sites and constantly get notifications and messages. Put it away and enjoy the thrill of all those notifications when you come back to it.
When you're in an environment you can control--in your own room while studying, for instance--make sure you're comfortable. Wear comfy clothes, eat something before you start working, have a drink nearby, and keep the temperature a little on the cool side, as being warm will make you sleepy. If you're uncomfortable while you're trying to get reading done, it's likely you won't retain much of what you're looking at.
It's important to change things up a little if you are a particular type of student. If you typically sit back and listen, but don't engage much in the classroom, make it a point to answer questions and have a back-and-forth with other students and the teacher. If you find that you talk a lot during class, sit back and listen mindfully next time.
If you're having trouble in a particular class, it could be because you aren't engaging your brain the right way. Some of us are visual learners, and do our best work when ideas are presented to us with images or graphs. Others need to hear instructions before we can comprehend them. There is no one right way to learn, but it's important to figure out what works best for you and put it to use when you're studying. We live in age where there are constant distractions trying to divert our attention away from the task at hand. It's never been easier to become sidetracked. That said, there are things you can do to remain focused and get done what you need to. Try our advice for staying mindful and see the difference it makes!
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