Trying to figure out how to focus on school, homework, and studying can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, developing healthy study habits shouldn’t make you feel like you’re being overworked. We can minimize distractions and maximize our productivity without having to sleep in the school library. This guide will help you learn how to focus on school or studying, balance your work with your social life, and create a comfortable study space for efficient learning.
Once you’ve found what works best for you, your brain and your teachers will thank you! Before we get to our study tips, let’s look at why it can be difficult to stay concentrated sometimes.
Why is it Hard to Focus Sometimes?
In a world of constant communication and entertainment, to say that it’s “easy to get distracted” is somewhat of an understatement.
Homework or study sessions can quickly feel less important than social media, spending time with friends, or checking out the TV show that everyone’s been talking about. If you feel this way, don’t worry, you’re far from alone — and we’re here to help!
We sometimes find it difficult to stay focused while studying because our brains are telling us that the work we’re doing isn’t as valuable as other ways we could be spending our time. It is almost as if our minds are a friend who’s nudging us every few minutes, reminding us that we would surely get a lot more pleasure from browsing the internet than a textbook. This is why it is a big help to stay focused on our long-term goals when we want to study.
When we tell ourselves that immediate gratification (such as scrolling through social media) is more important than our future goals, we lose valuable skills like time management and self-control. Train yourself to complete your most vital tasks, like homework, before moving on to the stuff you really enjoy. This practice will help you appreciate both studying and free-time even more!
How to Improve Focus on Homework & Studying
The first step when considering how to focus on studying is to keep schoolwork prioritized. Before we go over some of our helpful study tips, make sure you mentally prepare yourself for work-mode. Think of it as putting everything else on pause while you concentrate on homework.
Ditch Distracting Things (And People)
Distractions like your phone are great for connecting us with other people. However, we need to halt this constant communication when it’s time to concentrate. One tip that an academic advisor once told me was to focus on the people who truly want you to succeed. These people won’t be upset when you say you have to study.
If someone is distracting you, try politely telling them that you need to start homework. A good friend won’t mind, but a poor friend may get upset and ask that you change your habits. The first step in learning how to focus on school studies is to build a social group that wants to see you succeed.
Find a Good Workspace
To start our search for the perfect study space, we first need to figure out what type of environment makes you the most productive. Some people enjoy the silence and bright lights of a library.
Meanwhile, others might prefer to set up in a bustling coffee shop. Some get much more work done from the comfort of their own bedroom than they do in public spaces. You may want to try out a few environments before settling down.
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If you already have an established space but still find that you’re getting distracted, consider a better spot. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
Ask yourself some of these questions to narrow down your options:
Do you prefer dead silence or white noise?
Try to avoid a busy coffee shop if you can’t stand people talking loudly. Conversely, remember a pair of headphones if you’re studying someplace quiet and need white noise or music.
Do you need multiple breaks or marathon sessions?
Think about whether or not you’ll have to spend any money to access your workspace. Coffee shops require you to purchase an item. If you’re the sort who needs to stretch their legs every hour or so, you probably won’t want to have to buy another espresso each time you come back.
Libraries are perfect for working all day long.
Is your bed really the best spot for you?
Many find that one of their favorite places to study or take notes is their bed. In this article “How to Focus When Studying: 20 Uncommonly Effective Tips,” academic expert Daniel Wong gives practical tips and information on work concentration. Wong says that the bed is one of the worst places for productivity because the brain associates our bed with unconsciousness and relaxation.
If you frequently study in bed, try working in a different setting for a week. This may help you get more work done because your brain connects being out of the house with alertness.
On the other hand, if you can’t seem to take notes or read a chapter without something distracting you, perhaps the bedroom really is the best workspace for you (just not your bed)! If possible, you can set up a small desk in your room. This lets you continue studying in your bedroom while keeping you awake and alert.
Set a Schedule and Have a Plan to Focus on Homework & Studying
It can be a daunting task to write down your study schedule before you even know what your week will look like. After all, what if your friends suddenly want to go out when you’ve already set time aside for studying? This is an understandable impulse, but one that you need to overcome!
Sometimes we worry that something better than schoolwork will come along and mess up our plans. This is our brain trying to make us believe that our short term goals are more important than our long term goal of graduating and finding a career.
If you use a scheduling app or create a planner of your own, it will make the task of finding this balance much easier.
Your social life should not decide your study schedule. Instead, your workload should determine how much you are able to see friends. It is a huge help to write down all of your short term and long term goals each week. Expect to be distracted, so if that happens, you’ll be able to take a break, check your goals, and keep yourself concentrated.
Managing Work Time and Screen Time
Some people are better at running cross-country, and others are born sprinters. Strengthening your mind’s stamina is a great way to stay focused, but you may simply need more periods of rest than others. Take a 10-15 minute break every once in a while to go to another room or get some fresh air.
If your phone must be kept on for emergencies, but you can’t stop yourself from checking Instagram or Twitter every few minutes, we have just the solution (unfortunately, this method only works for smartphones).
First, set your phone to Do Not Disturb.
If you have an iPhone:
- Depending on your iPhone model, swipe from either the top (or bottom) of your screen to open the control center. Do not pull down from the center of the screen because this instead pulls down the notification screen.
- Tap the Do Not Disturb button, which features a picture of a crescent moon. If you’d like to schedule Do Not Disturb for a certain amount of time, firmly press and hold the button until the scheduling window pops up.
- To allow certain notifications through, open Settings and navigate your way to the Do Not Disturb tab. Under Allow Calls From, choose which contacts you don’t want to be silenced.
If you have an Android:
- Swipe down from the top of the screen to pull down the control center.
- Tap the Do Not Disturb button. On most Androids, this button will be a circle with a horizontal bar across the middle.
- To allow certain notifications through, hold the button and tap “allow exceptions.”
This ensures that all notifications are silenced except close friends and family. Keep your phone on silent as you listen to music or put it away so that you don’t feel the need to check it.
CBD as a Study Aid
Each tip above can help you learn how to take notes, study, and complete pertinent tasks before moving on to the fun stuff.
Though, even if you find the perfect workspace, the ideal music, and a good way to balance your school and social life, there still might some distractions keeping you from a perfect study session.
Exhaustion and an anxious mind can halt study progression! While there’s no surefire way to keep you from getting worn out or your thoughts at bay, your best bet is to know what will keep you energized and motivated. Take a 10-15 minute break if needed. Or, step away from the task at hand for 30 minutes to an hour if you’re really feeling burnt out.
If you’ve tried these methods and know they don’t work, consider using CBD to calm the mind, relax the body, and center your focus.
CBD flower can be smoked, vaped, rubbed on the skin, eaten, mixed into meals or drinks, and even dropped underneath the tongue. All of these options mean that you can take CBD into the library, mix it into your espresso at the coffee shop, or smoke it in your home. As we’ve seen, the key to a good homework session is balance, and CBD actively helps our brain and body achieve homeostasis.
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How to Focus on School
A good attitude towards schoolwork depends on the prioritization of long-term goals. This is why we recommend writing out your goals for the day, week, and years into the future.
It is easier to say no to a late-night movie and yes to preparing for a midterm when you’re thinking about graduation and not only about that particular night.
Final Thoughts – How to Focus on School, Homework & Studying
We tend to use the word “distractions” to describe the things that pull us away from an important task. Learning how to concentrate on schoolwork is the practice of withholding pleasurable activities until we get our work done.
When we know we’ve done all of our work as best we can, the fun things are no longer “distractions” because they aren’t pulling us away from anything; they’re just fun!
Hopefully, these tips will help you stay concentrated during your next study session. We know that the balance between getting work done, hanging out with friends, and kicking your feet up to relax can be tricky to find. When we manage to find that equilibrium, however, we make the most of our day-to-day lives while simultaneously building a better future for ourselves!