9 Tips for maintaining good concentration while studying

  • One of the problems a student faces when taking exams is not so much to have enough time to tackle the notes but to get all that time saved to get rid of other tasks; it really pays off.

     The key to achieving this is based on the level of concentration that we manage to maintain; how? We offer a few tips and guidelines that will help you achieve maximum productivity.

     #1 Know your limitations and strengths

     The key to productivity is that we are in full capacity to develop the task at all times. To do this, we must know at what points of the day and what specific actions we feel are at an optimal point to study. Do I need to drink coffee before or call my sister ask to help write me a paper, is it after sports when my brain is most active, am I unable to tackle a task properly after lunch? Ask yourself these types of questions and use the answers to...

     #2 Plan your study day

     One of the techniques that work best when it comes to undertaking the study with enthusiasm is to know that, after X hours, we will have a break in which we can swim, chat with friends, have a snack, etc. and reactivate ourselves to then be able to face another X hours. Before you start, therefore, plan these schedules and the measurable objectives you want to achieve at the end of the day (read the syllabus up to page X, learn and retain a chapter, etc.).

     #3 Organize breaks

     It is part of the planning of the day that we have just defined that we should consider a break every few hours. Remember the Pomodoro technique that we talked about when we told you how to disconnect from the study? Although it is not an exact science and every student will take a break at different times, no matter how much we can stay focused for hours, it will have an impact on our performance, so whether it is every 25 minutes, every hour, or every two, define when to stop.

     #4 Make use of the residence hall study room

     Why distinguish between a study room and a library? Why go to a residence hall study room instead of staying in your room? The purpose of defining and adapting a room for the study comes not only from being equipped with what is necessary for correct assimilation of concepts (large tables, comfortable seating, direct and indirect lighting, etc.) but also from being the necessary environment where there are no distractions such as a ringing cell phone and where the whole environment knows that it cannot and should not disturb you.

     #5 Use "markers"

     We use the word "markers" because we are not only referring to those flashy fluorescent markers but to anything that serves to "mark" a concept and helps you to remember it. Do you need music to study? Use it as an ally and not as a distraction in those mechanical tasks, retaining the concept you review in the key of the song playing or even for the recommended five-minute breaks. However, when it comes to tasks that require greater concentration, it is much more advisable to do it in absolute silence.

     #6 Be careful with food

     We already indicated the point of knowing our limitations. After eating, we feel heavy and unable to tackle any task is because we have taken too much food and difficult to digest. It is very important to know the keys of nutrition and study and apply them to avoid these situations. On the other hand, eating healthy food, regulating the consumption of coffee and chocolate (good under control, harmful in excess), and eliminating fatty snacks are some basic and useful recommendations.

     #7 Release accumulated tension

     Studying with the tension of reaching a goal that we see as impossible or with other handicaps that cross our minds is counterproductive and harmful to concentration. As much as we may think that it is a waste of time and that it will slow us down in achieving our goal, at this point, it is better to stop, do an activity that makes us release all the tension (run in the park, go to a swimming class, etc.) and come back liberated and eager to tackle the task. Do not hurry. You will find time for other moments, but these are necessary.

     #8 Self-activate with rewards

     Don't just set goals. Add some kind of reward to them. Whether it's watching a movie, being able to dine that dish you deprived yourself of at lunchtime to not feel that heavy digestion, double swimming session, or a scheduled activity at the gym ... These types of rewards act as stimuli not only to meet the goals set but to do them properly.

     #9 ... sleep

     Do not entrust all the responsibility of keeping you active and awake to coffee. It is necessary at least 7 hours of sleep a day. Still, more than quantity, we should worry about the quality of those 7 hours: disconnect, do not turn over the plan from bed, maintain proper sleep hygiene (away from stimuli such as mobile, laptop or television, with darkness and good ventilation, etc.) and stay away from caffeine and other stimulating drinks at least five hours before going to bed.

    All these tips can help you not only to dedicate hours to study, but to squeeze them and make the most of them, but ultimately the key to making them work is to know our routines and capabilities as well as having the environment and the right environment to carry out these tips.