How can I improve my concentration?
Establish a study routine
- Establish a weekly routine of study times. Print out a weekly planner [see link, at right].
- Prioritise your tasks and allocate a time using a daily planner. Print out a daily planner [see link at right].
- Focus on a single task at a time.
- Determine your most active and alert times of day (are you a morning person or a night owl?). Do difficult tasks when you’re most alert (e.g. writing drafts, reading texts). Do less demanding tasks in your low concentration periods (e.g. proofreading, filing).
- File reading notes and lecture notes separately.
- Use different folders for each unit of study.
- Start work with a clear desk. Set a timer for 5 minutes and do a speed-clean before studying.
- Make sure you have all the study aids you need close by: dictionary, text books, calculator, etc.
- Make summaries of your notes for quick revision.
Create a suitable study environment
- Most people prefer quiet study environments, either at home or in a library. Some people need background music. Other people need background noise and work best at a cafe or in the busier areas of the library.
- Make sure your chair is comfortable.
- Your study area should be well lit to avoid straining your eyes.
- Check the temperature in your study environment – if it’s too warm, you may get sleepy. Fresh air will keep you alert.
Change your habits
- While studying, turn off Facebook and Twitter. Also, turn your mobile to silent and move it away from your desk.
- Tell friends and family you’re studying and can’t be disturbed for a while.
- Establish a routine by studying at the same times every day.
- Exercise before and between study sessions.
- Study for 50 minutes and have a 10 minute break.