How to Study Better

Studying goes beyond just scholastic work to other activities that require concentration, such as writing a big report for your company, getting a blog out, or writing a novel. Of course, if you’re a student, these tips will help you get that term paper cranked out.

How can you study more effectively?

1. Remove distractions. Turn off your phone, get off the internet, and don’t answer the door. If possible, turn off your small children, too, by having your spouse or another responsible adult care for them while you’re trying to concentrate.

2. Go to distractions. Sometimes the background hum of a coffee shop or library is just the right formula to help you focus. Ditto for putting on the radio. I mostly like to work in complete silence, but every once in a while, changing it up motivates me.

3. Get physical. Moving your body can get your mind moving, too. Go for a walk or run, play in your garden, or bake cookies. The change in physical activity can help inspire you. Just be sure to have a way to take notes or have your phone ready to record voice memos. You don’t want to miss any insightful ideas you have.

4. Block out the time. If you’re having difficulty getting started, promise yourself that you can stop if you work really hard for a set time, like an hour. If you don’t feel like you’ll be trapped all day at your desk, it might be easier to get moving. Do this several times throughout the day if necessary.

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Similarly, use necessary tasks as a break if you’re really pressed for time. So your laundry can become a break, as can taking a shower. Anything to turn a long session into digestible bits is helpful.

5. Plan a reward. Knowing that a prize awaits you can help motivate you to finish. Do something that doesn’t demolish your other goals (a small dent in them is ok… you have to do what you have to do!). Maybe promise to treat yourself to dinner out if you finish early, or allow yourself to take a day off from the gym and just relax. Choose something that feels like a genuine treat, but not something that will leave you terribly behind in another area (like eating a whole pizza if you’re trying to lose weight!).

What do you do when you want to concentrate and crank out the work? Please leave your comments below, and please sign up for my (spam-free!) newsletter list at the top of this article.

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