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How to Study with Intense Focus


Picture this – you are seated in front of your textbook or notes (or laptop/tablet or any other digital device, considering that many notes are passed along in digital medium). You are all set and determined to make the most of the day. Fast forward, by the end of the day, you realize that you have achieved little to no progress in attaining your goals for studying.

If this is an all too familiar scenario for you, then do not fret; here are some techniques and tips for studying with intense focus:

1. Decide upon a single thing to do the next day

This might be quite surprising for you and even ridiculous at some point. You are generally taught that to be resourceful, one must practice multi-tasking or at least be able to do several tasks per day – which is suitable to an extent.

However, if you are facing problems with the inability to focus, it is better to decide upon a single task to do the next day on the night before. After completing the said task, repeat the question to yourself again, then move on to the next task.

2. Create a weekly plan

In addition to deciding upon a single task for the next day, create a weekly plan for the tasks you wish to accomplish at the start of the week (either on Monday morning or Sunday night). Either you can use a calendar or calendar apps such as the Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, SavvyCal, Fantastical 2, etc.

Keeping a weekly list of tasks to be done helps you organize, prioritize, and clarify the necessary works to be done.

3. Get adequate rest

Most of us may have heard the story of the woodcutter, who once found out, to his dismay, that he was able to chop a lesser number of trees regularly with each passing day, despite putting the same amount of effort. When he re-evaluated his work, he noticed that he hadn't sharpened his axe for many days, which lowered performance.

Similarly, we need to have a daily amount of rest and sleep to sharpen our skills. Most of us need at least 6-8 hours of sleep per day to function correctly; else, the fatigue may end up clouding our minds and, subsequently, our abilities.

4. Stay away from the areas which deplete your focus

Now, while it is essential to have adequate rest by indulging in your interests, staying away from the areas that divert your focus to elsewhere is imperative. For instance, it may be a message or notification from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, etc. If those sites are necessary for your field of work, you can allot a set schedule wherein you will be able to take a break from the tasks and devote the required time.

To regulate your screen time between the sites, you can install apps such as BlockSite, Freedom, Focus, OFFTIME, etc. Many of these apps are available in both androids as well as desktops, adding to the benefit.

5. Adjust yourself to a daily routine

With all the above factors, set yourself into a daily routine into which you can easily adjust. If you work at home or operate from outside (whether a classroom or library), organize your schedule to fit into that routine.

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