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As a student, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. With all the assignments, tests, and projects you have across multiple classes, it’s easy to feel like nothing will ever get accomplished. Add a full-time job and family obligations to your workload and it may seem impossible to find time to study. Instead of getting discouraged, develop a strategy to keep yourself focused. Here are five tricks to keep you on track while you hit the books.
Wherever you choose to study, chances are there will be countless distractions. It’s important to limit them as much as possible so you can concentrate on the material you need to retain. To start, turn off your phone or put it on “Do Not Disturb.” This will ensure that you don’t receive a phone call or text message that will throw you off your flow. It’ll also means you won’t be as tempted to catch up on social media.
If you can’t find a quiet place to study, wear headphones or earplugs. This can be helpful if you’re studying in a public area or have a busy household. But unless music helps you concentrate, don’t start playing your favorite song. You don’t want to be concentrating on what you’re listening to more than the material you should be reading.
Having a designated study area tells your brain it’s time to learn. This area should be relaxing and distraction free. Make sure you’re comfortable, but not too comfortable. Studying in your bed may cause you to fall asleep. Personalize your space. Add all your favorite things like inspirational quotes, photographs, or plants. This area should be a place that allows you to be productive. Remember, use this space only for studying! You’re more likely to be distracted if you also decide to eat or watch TV here.
Keeping an organized study area will help you stay focused. Everything you need to complete an assignment or project should be within reach, including books, paper, and writing utensils. Use a planner to budget your time. Write down what assignments you need to work on when you go to visualize your day. You can also rank your assignments in order of importance and set goals. This will allow you to keep track of school work as it comes in. It’s important though to work on one assignment at a time. Studies show that multitasking can hinder learning.
Food fuels the brain and can affect your concentration or ability to retain information. If you’re losing focus it may be because of what you’re putting in your body, or lack thereof. Processed or refined foods, like canned or frozen food can affect your brain in a negative way. By eating healthier foods, you’ll nourish your brain and overall, be more productive. Instead of reaching for a frozen, pre-packaged meal, try meal prepping or find easy, healthy recipes on Pinterest.
Brain breaks are necessary. Breaks may increase your productivity and can help you retain information, and even turn on the brain. Some ideas include stretching, taking a walk outside, or having a healthy snack. Yoga is great for your brain. As a bonus, yoga can also help you stress less. But remember, don’t take too long of a break. Set an alarm so you know it’s time to go back to studying.
Ashworth has resources available to help you succeed. If you’re working through your course material and get stuck, don’t lose focus and get discouraged. Ashworth has tutoring services available, as well as resources such as the LRC Library and Writing Lab. You can also use the Student Community to stay motivated and meet fellow classmates. Wherever you are on your path to a degree or certificate, Ashworth can help.