13 Ways to Stay Focused While Studying

Exams are approaching, deadlines are piling up, and the pile of empty energy drink cans keeps growing in the corner of your dorm room. And yet, you haven’t even made a dent in your to-do list because of so many distractions. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, here are some of the best strategies that can help you maintain your focus while studying:

1. Ditch the caffeine

Drinking too much caffeine can make you hyperactive, which can be counterintuitive if you’re trying to study or do homework. Moreover, it can also disrupt your sleep patterns, which can throw you into a cycle of drinking coffee to wake yourself up and then not sleeping because of the caffeine, something that can sabotage your studying efforts even further.

Instead of coffee or tea, try flavored water without artificial sweeteners or other drinks with little to no caffeine content. Better yet, stick to plain water.

2. Keep your phone away

For many of us, our smartphone is the biggest distraction of them all. One minute you could be checking a message, and then the next thing you know, half an hour has passed and your phone is still in your hand. To avoid your phone from distracting you, keep it as far away from you as possible when you’re doing schoolwork.

3. Play white noise

According to research, your brain’s auditory centers can become focused when you hear white noise, improving memory and concentration. Try playing white noise during your next study session and see if it helps you remain focused.

4. Keep your desk organized

A messy desk can make it harder for your brain to remain focused on the task at hand. Keep your study area clean and organized so that your brain is not distracted by the clutter.

5. Go to the library

The library is one of the best places to study at college or university. But when you go to the library, make sure you study instead of being on your phone the whole time.

6. Study alone

It might not always be a good idea to study in groups, especially if you and your friends tend to distract each other during your study sessions. Instead, study alone for the first half of your revision time, and then study as a group when all of you have read the course material.

7. Talk to roommates and neighbors

College dormitories and apartments are notorious for being rambunctious. If the noise keeps distracting you, politely ask your roommates or neighbors to tone it down a little. They might not be too keen to do so, but it’s worth a shot.

8. Invest in noise-canceling headphones

If the previous tip doesn’t work, buy a pair of noise-canceling headphones so you can have peace whenever you want.

9. Get enough sleep

Your brain has a harder time focusing if it’s deprived of sleep, so if you feel sleepy, allow your body to rest. It will be much easier to focus afterward.

10. Block distractions

Using an app on your phone or Internet browser, block distracting sites or notifications when it’s time to study.

11. Limit multitasking

Many people become excellent multitaskers in college. But while this skill can be useful, multitasking can affect your efficiency as well as the quality of your work. When doing schoolwork, limit your tasks to two or three at a time.

12. Learn to say no

Your roommate wants to watch a movie with you, your friends are inviting you to eat, and your lab partner is bugging you for a joint study session. Sometimes, everyone wants to do something with you while you’re desperately trying to study. But as tempting as socializing might sound right now, you have to learn how to say no.


13. Start work early

Procrastination is the biggest enemy of college students, and it’s a tough one to beat. But if you want to increase your focus levels while studying, start your work early so that you aren’t forced to cram. In this way, you can take your time with your work, which makes it easier to focus on each task at hand instead of trying to absorb everything at once.

Noisy neighbors, rambunctious roommates, and endless notifications: these are some distractions in college that can make it harder for you to focus. Fortunately, these strategies can help you maintain your concentration and make it easier for you to perform well in your academics.

Do you have any other studying tips to share? Please leave them in the comments below!

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