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How to Stay Focused While Studying

by BetterSleep
Apr 26 • 4 min read

Whether you’re a young student in high school or a mature student getting a PhD, staying focused while studying is a challenge. Procrastination, social media, a smartphone, friends and family, kids and sunny weather outside can all cause us to get distracted from the job at hand.

Studying remotely can be even tougher. When there is no one around looking over our shoulder and keeping us in a routine, the pressure is on and motivation can wane. Luckily, there are a range of tools and techniques you can use to help keep you focused, and that can be adapted to suit your needs.

Find the Right Environment

Any successful study session needs the right environment. And, once you find that perfect space, your brain will know when it’s time to study, making a focused state easier to achieve.

If at home, find a space that isn’t associated with sleep or relaxation. Of course, this can be tough if you work and sleep in one room. If this is the case, dedicate a small space to become your study area.

Create a Study Schedule

A key factor in getting focused is creating a study schedule and sticking to it. The quickest way to get nothing done, is to open your laptop and think ‘’now what?’’. A study schedule sets out what you need to get done, on what day and by what date.

It should also incorporate breaks and rewards, so your brain knows it has relaxation time coming soon. A study schedule tells you when you need to focus and helps you to see progress, even if you have a busy timetable.

Block Possible Distractions

According to a study, it takes us 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task after we are distracted! Resisting the urge to pick up your phone when it beeps or flashes is near impossible. So, the best thing to do is turn off notifications or put your phone in another room entirely.

Try the Pomodoro Technique

According to researchers, short breaks vastly improve our ability to focus. The Pomodoro Technique is a way to make study sessions more productive, without getting burnt out. Simply set a timer for 25 minutes of study time and have 5 minutes rest straight after. Repeat this process until your task is completed.

Use Ambient Study Music

While everyone is different, several research studies have shown that listening to the right music can help you focus and study better. The benefits of ambient study music include:

  • Improves focus
  • Lessens distractions
  • Calms the mind
  • Increases concentration
  • Improves performance under pressure

The best classical music for studying, according to science, is Mozart. Dubbed the ‘Mozart Effect’, a group of students who listened to Mozart, had a temporary enhancement of spatial temporal reasoning performance, which basically means a better ability to think through problems.

Focus FAQs

Does Chewing Gum Help with Studying?

Recent research showed that chewing gum increased alertness by up to 10%.

How Do Peppermints Help You Focus?

A study at the University of Cincinnati found that smelling peppermint before taking a test, helped people concentrate better during tasks that needed sustained focus.

Can Herbs Help You Focus?

Some herbs and supplements have been shown to boost cognitive health, such as ginseng, sage, guarana, rosemary, rhodiola rosea and ashwagandha.

Improve focus, reduce stress and get more done by listening to curated sounds from the BetterSleep app.

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