Updated: Aug 24
How to Study Effectively Without Being Distracted
You know how hard it is to study when there is so much going on around you. Your phone is buzzing, your friends are texting, your dog is barking and your mum is nagging. How can you study effectively and concentrate on your homework with so much going on? Well, don't worry. We've got the most effective study tips and methods to help you study smarter, not harder. Whether you like to work in long stretches or short bursts, in silence or with music, at home or in the library, we'll show you how to find the best way to study for you. And believe us, it will pay off when you ace that test or nail that essay. So let's get started!
What are the top most effective study tips ?
You may have noticed that different people study in different ways. Some like to work on one big task until it's finished, while others like to switch between smaller tasks. Some need a quiet environment, while others enjoy some background noise. There's no right or wrong way to study, as long as it works for you. For example, I have two children who are both good students but have completely different study habits. One likes to sit at the kitchen table and set a goal for the day, like finishing an essay outline by lunchtime. The other prefers to use the Pomodoro technique, a method of breaking down work into short chunks with breaks in between. They both get good grades, but they use different strategies to get there. The key is to find out what kind of learner you are and what kind of study method suits you best.
Top tips to proactively get the best out of your study sessions
Tip #1 - Tell everyone to get lost!
Yes, I mean it! OK, maybe don't be so rude, but you get the idea. You need to find a place where you can study without being disturbed by other people or pets. If you can't do this at home or in your room, then go somewhere else, like the library or a quiet coffee shop. Let your family and friends know that you're busy and that you'll talk to them later. You'll be surprised how much more you can get done when you have some peace and quiet.
Tip #2 - Schedule a time that suits you best
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you work better when you have a deadline or when you have plenty of time? Do you prefer to study in long sessions or in short bursts? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself to find out when your brain is most alert and productive. Once you know this, you can plan your study schedule accordingly. For example, if you're a morning person, you might want to wake up early and study for a few hours before school or work. If you're a night owl, you might want to stay up late and study when everyone else is asleep. The important thing is to find a time that works for you and stick to it.
It is important to take regular breaks during your study sessions to rest your brain and body. You can take a 5-minute break every 25 minutes, or a 15-minute break every hour, whichever suits you best. During your breaks, you can stretch, drink water, eat a healthy snack or listen to relaxing music. Avoid looking at your phone or social media during your breaks, as this can be distracting and stressful.
Tip #3 - Remove Distractions
We all know how tempting it is to check our phones, browse social media, watch videos, play games or do anything else that's more fun than studying. But these distractions can seriously affect your concentration and memory. So do yourself a favour and put away anything that might distract you from your study goals.
Put study periods in your calendar and stick to them. Especially in the run-up to exams. Set aside a time each day and use the Pomodoro Method to focus in small, concentrated 25-minute periods followed by a water break. After four consecutive 25-minute sessions, take a walk to clear your head. Also, make sure you schedule your breaks so that you can quickly get back into study mode.
Most importantly, put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode, turn off notifications and keep it out of reach so you don't pick it up out of habit. These methods will help you stay motivated, manage your time effectively and improve your productivity.
Tip #4 - Use Revision Tools To Help Retain Info
Do you use revision cards – question or info on one side, the answer on the back? Do you write out copious notes to memorize? Do you use different colour pens to categorize topics or statements? Or are you one of the lucky few who can read a page and commit it to photographic memory? Choose what works best for you and be consistent so you’re focused on the topic, not the different methods of retention.
One such method is Mnemonics. This is a memory technique that helps you remember information by associating it with something else. You can use acronyms, rhymes, songs, pictures or stories to help you remember facts, dates, names or formulas. For example, you need to remember the order of the planets in the solar system, you can use the sentence "My very eager mother just served us noodles" to remember Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Or try the example to remember the colours of the rainbow, using the name "Roy G. Biv" to remember red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple. Mnemonics can make learning more fun and effective by using your imagination and creativity.
Tip #5 - Organise Revision Notes and Study Space
Ideally, you will have been reviewing your course work regularly, and making study notes / cheat sheets along the way, knowing you'll have to revise for exams periodically. No? oh well, this is another tip for you then!
You may be given a head’s up from your tutors on the topics that will be included in exams. Note them down, and organize your study notes accordingly. That way, you can methodically work through each topic thoroughly, and you know where to find them for quick recall sessions.
Organising your personal study space is essential for effective study, as it can help you focus, isolate yourself from distractions and create a comfortable environment for learning. Check out our FREE study space guide with the best tips to ensure effective study and improve your academic performance.
Tip #6 - Test Yourself Regularly
One of the best ways to study effectively is to test yourself on the material you're learning. This will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses as well as strengthening your memory. You can use flashcards, quizzes, past papers or online tools to test yourself on key concepts and facts. You can also ask a friend or family member to quiz you, or join a study group where you can test each other. Testing yourself not only helps you prepare for exams, but also boosts your confidence and motivation.
Tip #7 - Do Not Procrastinate!
I advise this in the very first chapter of my book From High School to Uni (see link in our SHOP tab to buy). Procrastinating just puts off the inevitable last minute panic, which blocks your brain and prevents you thinking clearly. Last minute cramming leads to stress, insomnia, anxiety and will prevent you from doing well in your studies or exam. Schedule regular study periods where you go over class notes to remind you of the topics – easy to preach, less interesting to do, I know. But it does help, I promise!
Find Your Ideal Study Method and Apply It
How to study effectively is up to you - it doesn't have to be boring or stressful. There is no single universal study method that suits everyone. You have to find the one that allows you to be the most efficient and focused possible. It could even be enjoyable and rewarding if you find the right study methods for you and monitor your progress.
Whether you prefer to study alone or in a group, in the morning or in the evening, with long or short sessions, the main thing is to stick to it and avoid distractions. Knowing you're improving and progressing will help motivate you. Remember to find a distraction-free place to study, set realistic goals and rewards, use a variety of resources and formats, use mnemonics and other memory tricks, and test yourself regularly.
By doing these things, you'll be able to study smarter, not harder, and achieve your academic goals. We wish you good luck!
If you liked this post and want to learn more about getting organised for university, visit our website fromhighschooltouni.com and sign up for our FromHighSchooltoUni newsletter to get access to more tips, tricks and resources that will help you ace your exams. Just click below and get started today!
© 2022 FROMHIGHSCHOOLTOUNI LTD