Stay focused while studying

Tips to stay focused while studying

Focus / October 4, 2021

Many students complain that they just can’t concentrate, and that minds race from one thing to another and their thoughts are all over the place - except on their studies.

But almost everyone has the ability to concentrate. Think of a time when you were totally engrossed in something you really enjoyed, for example a movie, a book, a game of rugby or netball. The trick is to use the right strategies to unlock your natural ability to concentrate and apply these to your studies. If, however, you try the strategies below and still struggle to concentrate, contact the Library and Learning Centre; we may be able to provide additional support.

Getting started

  • Your choice of study space can influence your level of concentration. Choose a study space with good lighting and ventilation, which is a tidy, organised and pleasant place to work. This will help reduce distraction.
  • Leave your cell phone outside or turn it off.
  • If you like music that’s okay, just ensure it is not a distraction.
  • Draw up a study timetable that takes into account your energy levels at different times of the day, and stick to it.
  • Divide your work into logical sections that have a beginning and an end. Our brains are holistic, so you’ll find it easier to work on something that forms a whole, rather than something that's left hanging midway.

Make a plan

Managing your time while studying

Set goals for each study session

  • Before you begin studying, take a few minutes to think about what you’ll achieve.
  • Write down your goals for the study period. For example: ‘Summarise pages 40-65’ or ‘Complete the outline of Assignment 1’.
  • Set yourself a time limit before you start. For example: 'I’ll summarise Chapter 2 in 40 minutes'. By doing this, you're setting yourself a goal and your subconscious mind will start working on completing the task in the time available.