So, you have found the best time and place to study and you are in the mood to finally get your assignments done. You have already pulled the laptop, the textbook, and important notes. However, after several minutes of reading your textbook, you start getting distracted and thinking about cute kittens. Then, you go on Tumblr and look at photos of kittens for twenty minutes. After that, you come across DIY dorm décor on Tumblr and spend some time looking at those pictures. Then you start thinking about your own dorm and start organizing your closet. Next thing you realize is that it is 1 a.m. and you are overwhelmed. So, you just make an arrangement with yourself to wake up early and finish the rest of your assignments.
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Almost every student has gone through this cycle during their first several weeks of studying at college. When I found out that my grades were plummeting, I decided the time has come to take control of my studying habits. Here are several pieces of advice that might help you cope with similar problem.
Put Your Phone away
My smartphone used to be my main distraction. Even if I put it on silent, I still would pick it up every several minutes to check whether there were any new notifications. Very soon, I realized that I could stay concentrated only when my cell phone was charging on the other side of the room. I did not see or hear it, so I did not even think about it. Due to this, I could shift my mind’s focus from the smartphone to study.
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Keep Yourself Alert
Sometimes, we lose our focus just because the material is too boring and it makes us want to sleep. Always keep yourself alert by eating a healthy snack, like fruit or nuts, or by a quick workout. If it does not work, simply splash cold water on your face.
Use Little Rewards
You are the only person who knows the best way to reward yourself. It can be something delicious, throwing a party or going to movie with a friend. Reward yourself for finishing your work.
Do not try to study everything that you have to for one class for several hours straight. It is much better and more effective to break it up into segments, with short breaks in between. Use such breaks to go for a short walk, check your phone or exercise. By doing so, you avoid a burnout and refresh your mind so it is much easier to stay concentrated on your studies when you get back to it.
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Play Focusing Music
This should be non-distracting background music without lyrics. Actually, this may not work for everybody but it works for me because if I study in silence, I easily get distracted with thoughts not related to studying.
I hope that some, if not all, of the tips above help you study effectively and improve your grades.