Staying focused while studying for finals is arguably a more challenging task than most final exams I’ve found. If you’re like me and have trouble keeping your eyes on your study guide as people walk past your table at the library, then keep reading for my tips that will (hopefully) solve your distraction issues!
>Go it alone I’m not sure exactly how many times I’ve tried to give study groups a chance, but every time I leave a group study session I end up feeling like I didn’t review anything. And trust me, there are few worse feelings than walking away from a review session during finals time and feeling like you’ve just wasted your time. Save yourself the agony and try studying on your own and see how much you retain. Which brings me to my next point…
> Say goodbye to distractions Be honest with yourself here. If having your phone out on the table isn’t distracting to you, but feeling the vibration overtime you get an email is, turn off the vibrating setting. If having clutter on the table while you study is a distraction, only take out what you need for one subject at a time. To get the most out of any amount of studying, you need to be free of any and all distractions.
> Along the same vein, face a wall While this may seem very “don’t-put-baby-in-a-corner” circa Dirty Dancing, I find that facing a wall, especially if I’m studying in a public place, keeps me from gazing around at everything and everyone around me. I find this helps the most when I’m at the library, oddly enough. Often when I go to the library to study, I find myself trying to read all of the book titles or guessing what subject everyone else is studying (I know, it’s ridiculous). Do yourself a favor and give yourself nothing else to look at except for your study materials.
> Breaks are important It might seem counterintuitive to allot time for breaks, but research shows that the brain needs time to rest in order to have time to process and absorb tons of information – especially when you’re trying to learn a lot of information at once. However, breaks are only effective if they’re not taken advantage of. At home my breaks include: putting in/switching the laundry, going to the bathroom, refilling a glass of water, checking my email, etc. At the library or other study locations breaks can include: going to the bathroom, finding the water fountain, taking a lap around the floor, getting a coffee, etc.
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How do you stay focused?