Being a student can be difficult because of the pressure and demands of studying for quizzes, tests, and exams. Each subject requires attention and focus for you to increase your chances of passing with high grades. However, certain factors may affect your focus and concentration.
Your loss of focus may be due to prolonged studying levels causing mental and physical fatigue, making the study process even more difficult. It could also be due to other dynamics such as lack of sleep and certain mental health conditions. Or, it may simply be because you succumb to the numerous distractions around you, such as social media or television, affecting your ability to focus and concentrate.
But worry not! This article discusses a few tricks you can explore to boost your focus and concentration. Keep reading!
1. Take Cognitive Enhancers And Supplements
You can explore different mental enhancers and supplements available in the market, such as ones with Beta-Carbolines derivatives, that may help you regain focus and concentration. These supplements come in various forms and may stimulate your brain power. Moreover, these may also help to boost the hormone ‘dopamine’ which may help lower feelings of being drained and helps you to feel good.
Remember that you must always check with a doctor before trying any mental supplements, especially if you have existing health conditions. This way, they can provide you with a recommendation for a supplement that fits your needs.
2. Eat Concentration- Enhancing Foods
Certain foods are known to enhance concentration and focus. For example, avocados are known to increase cognitive function. They are said to increase lutein levels in the eye and brain, which are active when you’re studying. Walnuts contain protein compounds that are known to enhance information processing speed, memory, and concentration. That said, ensure to incorporate concentration-enhancing foods into your diet.
3. Identify Your Learning Style
Students have different means of studying which is most effective for them. It may be challenging to retain focus and concentration if you’re studying in a way that doesn’t go with your peak mental operating design. The different types of learners include:
• Visual Learners: If you’re a visual learner, you focus and concentrate better when you work with diagrams, graphs, shapes, and motion. You would study a graph and derive a narrative about it rather than read an entire paragraph. When you see a depiction or a picture, your mind retains the actual image, and you may be able to reproduce the image without having to refer back to it.
• Auditory Learners: Auditory learners focus and concentrate better when they hear the material they are studying. If you can listen to a lecturer explain a concept without props or illustrators, you may be an auditory learner.
You may even be able to remember what was said in a particular lecture without taking down the notes to help you remember. You may also enjoy hearing other students revise their work by telling you about the different concepts to a point where you can recite the information that has been shared with you.
• Kinesthetic Learners: Kinesthetic learners grasp concepts better when engaging in hands-on activities. For example, kinesthetic learners may find it difficult to read about a lab experiment; they would rather experiment itself. Instead of a lecturer explaining the different types of chemicals they are working with, they would rather test out the chemicals. The hands-on muscle memory built while learning concepts is what will help kinesthetic learners to focus and concentrate.
• Reading And Writing Learners: Learners who focus and concentrate best while reading and writing are those who need to take down notes and are comfortable reading through an entire textbook that only contains words. They don’t necessarily require the sound effects, visuals, or hands-on activity that other types of learners require. Lecturers read out information, and as they take notes, they grasp the concepts.
• Combination Of Learning Styles: A combination of learning styles means that you are both a visual and auditory learner and sometimes a kinesthetic learner, for example. It doesn’t necessarily follow that every student fits in a particular category as you may be a combination.
Knowing and understanding your learning style is vital in enhancing your focus and concentration. You can explore the different learning styles and see where you enjoy, focus, and concentrate the most. You can then consistently apply the particular learning styles for the best results.
4. Create A Schedule
Creating a schedule may help you to focus and boost your concentration. Consider scheduling the most challenging topic subjects first so that you focus on these during the time of day that you have the highest energy levels. The easier tasks you can then complete as you wind down. As you create your schedule, try not to organize it in such a way that will pressure you to complete the entire list in a short time, as you may then rush the study process, which is counterproductive.
5. Find A Study Partner
A study partner’s motivation and encouragement may help to boost your focus and concentration. Where you may have decided to entertain distractions on your own, a study partner’s sense of study dedication may naturally influence your focus and concentration levels. Together, you may be able to tackle the strenuous subjects you otherwise may have found draining on your own.
It’s important to rest when you feel like losing focus and concentration. Resting can take form in many ways, such as taking a nap, watching a few television episodes, listening to relaxing music, or taking a walk in nature.
The more you force your mind and body to work beyond the capacity and threshold it can take, the more you damage yourself. You may end up experiencing burnout, whereby your body crashes, and you’re unable to function throughout the day in need of rest, which slows down your progress. You may also find that although you’re studying, you cannot retain the information.
Exercising is another way of boosting your focus and concentration. When you exercise, you release dopamine which helps to make you feel good, and when you do, focus becomes more straightforward than when you feel sluggish.
You can explore different types of exercises which work best to boost your focus and concentration—for some, light ones such as yoga, stretching, and dancing work better than heavy exercises, which leave one too exhausted to focus. Consider forming an exercise group or club with colleagues to motivate and make the whole exercise process enjoyable.
Socializing may help you recharge and take a breather from studying. When you return to the study desk, you may realize that the time you spent away with your friends helped you to regain study perspectives and that you may have restored both your mental and physical energy.
You can decide to spend an afternoon with your friends sitting in the park or the backyard simply sunbathing and enjoying a few snacks. You can also go out for a few drinks and dinner or enjoy a movie, play, or poetry night. Depending on your hobbies and interests as friends, socializing may help you take a breather and give yourself a much-deserved enjoyable time.
9. Avoid Procrastinating
When you procrastinate on studying or completing assignments, you only increase the pressure towards the expected delivery time, which can be mentally and physically draining. However, avoiding procrastination and tackling bite-sized tasks throughout a set period helps to focus on one topic at a time without the time frame pressure. Pace yourself accordingly, and you may find that the process won’t be as demanding compared to last-minute preparations.
10. Change Your Study Environment
In some cases, simply changing your study environment may help boost your focus and concentration. For instance, if you’ve been studying in an enclosed room for prolonged periods, consider shifting to an open-space area such as a patio, outdoor coffee shop, or a park. The fresh air may help you refresh as you continue studying.
If you regularly study from your campus library, consider studying from a lecture hall that makes you feel comfortable; or some laid-back reading from the comfort of your home. Assess the space around you and how best you can change study environments regularly to avoid mental fatigue.
11. Avoid Distractions
Once you start focusing on distractions such as social media, you won’t have enough energy required to focus on your studies, meaning you won’t focus and concentrate as you need to. Consider allocating specific time to scrolling social media; this shouldn’t be more than you would allocate to your studies. Close the social media tabs that may be open on your desktop as you study because you may easily decide to click on the open tab.
When it comes to your phone and social media, you can download apps that regulate the amount of time you spend on social media. Some apps log you out once your regulated social media time has been used up, allowing you to focus on your studies.
Social media isn’t the only distraction since these come in different forms. For example, sleeping can be a distraction and in that case, avoid studying from your room where you may easily decide to nap. Take some time to figure out the distractions around you and devise a plan to eliminate these.
Studying isn’t always easy and may require you to boost your focus and concentration. You can consider taking mental supplements, rest, socializing, and exercising for your energy levels to increase. Incorporate concentration-boosting foods into your diet, create a schedule that you can stick to, and consider finding a study partner that holds you accountable for your progress. Procrastination only adds pressure, so try to pace yourself and avoid last-minute preparation.