6 ways to stay focused and motivated when studying

After the last 2.5 years of re-learning how to manage our time, goals, and tasks from home, it looks like our schedules are seemingly returning to the way they once were. The return of in-person classes is exciting. Being able to return back to your college campus with your peers and friends, participating by physically raising your hand rather than using Zoom’s feature, is something we definitely won’t be taking for granted. So whether you’re looking to build new study habits, learn new study skills, or improve your grades for this upcoming semester, BlockSite’s got you covered. Here are 6 ways you can stay focused and motivated during your study sessions in college. Let’s dive right in.

Staying Focused

  1. Create a study checklist
    • Crossing or checking off tasks from a to-do list has got to be the original form of ASMR. There’s nothing like working hard on something and being able to finally and officially say you completed that task, that project, that assignment. In creating a study checklist, not only will it help you organize and prioritize your work, but it also serves as a great way to track your progress to avoid feeling overwhelmed or underprepared. You can focus on your goals that you want to achieve in each study session and not have to worry about whether you missed something or not. Your lists can cover all sorts of materials needed to create the ultimate study session from checking out the right books, organizing and collecting class notes, and general to-dos.
  2. Set aside online distractions
    • For a successful study session you need to remove any sources of distractions. Distractions like social media, messaging friends, browsing YouTube and more. And while some might find it enough to turn off their phone or put it in a separate room, that solution doesn’t always fit everyone’s needs. Even though your phone might be physically far away from you, what about the work you’re doing on your computer? You basically have access to everything on your computer that you have access to on your phone. And because we are BlockSite, we know how tempting it can be to just want to take a quick glance at what’s happening on TikTok. Or the sudden need to find a YouTube video from 5 years ago that you just remembered. So we recommend temporarily blocking access to specific websites to eliminate the temptation of wanting to visit them, which will only enhance your focus throughout your study session. You can read all about how to temporarily block websites while you study here.
  3. Have a specific study time and environment
    • A cluttered desk, a loud background, an uncomfortable chair, these are all aspects that can affect your concentration and in turn, the impact from your study session. When you know it’s time to study, and you want to create that positive, focused atmosphere, choose an organized and quiet spot whether at home or in the library so that you can spread out and get to crossing off your checklist.

      Pro-tip: Make your study environment one that makes you feel comfortable. Organized and quiet doesn’t have to mean cold and not creative. Spruce up your desk with your favorite pens, a blanket, and even snacks. Leave small notes to remind yourself of your goals and what you’re working towards as motivation.

Staying Motivated

  1. Create study goals and rewards
    • We all love to be rewarded, especially when performing tasks that seem less desirable than what we really want to be doing in that moment. When you’re studying, after you’ve mapped out your checklist and goals for each study session, it’s important to also pre-plan rewards to give you that sometimes needed extra push of motivation.

      For example, let’s say that you want to complete chapters three and four of your business textbook. When you complete the reading and questions, reward yourself by taking yourself out for a coffee, by eating your favorite snack, or enjoying an episode of your favorite TV show. But make sure to write it down within your list! So that you don’t forget the fun and rewarding part of studying. This study tip will keep you motivated through the incentive of having something to look forward to, which can often be our biggest drivers.
  2. Consider building a study group
    • Never underestimate the power of group work and organization. And no, we aren’t talking about group projects. Study groups can be the perfect environment for staying both focused and motivated to complete your work. When you’re studying as part of a group you all have the same end-goal- to comprehend the materials you’re reading in order to perform at your best level. It makes you more accountable to show up and get the work done. And as an added benefit, not only are you surrounded by a positive environment of learning, but you’re able to discuss concepts, study materials, and ask questions to your group. Talking through these types of questions, and hearing it explained from different perspectives, can actually be really beneficial in understanding the material.
       
  3. Divide and conquer the bigger assignments 
    • We totally understand that the workload of college students can often feel overwhelming. And when work feels overwhelming, it can become challenging to prioritize and organize what needs to be done, and ultimately do the work. If you have a huge final exam coming up, or a research presentation, set a plan to accomplish a little bit of that project and studying each day. Focusing on one thing at a time, rather than diving in to finish everything at once can help keep you from panicking or procrastinating. You’re making it easier on yourself by dividing the big assignments into smaller, manageable pieces that don’t look, or feel, as overwhelming.  

As a friendly reminder to any college student reading this, sleep is your friend and will help you in more ways than you know! Pulling an all nighter in the library won’t make you feel better – even if you’ve finished your assignment – because you will be exhausted, and you won’t be able to perform at the same level as you could on a full night’s rest. 

Staying focused and motivated while studying is something that everyone has experienced, and struggled with, at least once throughout their collegiate careers. And it’s even something that professionals face on their own daily tasks. Being proactive now in how you manage assignments, will set you up for the future. With the right time management, motivation, and assistance, you’ll be able to meet your goals and become the student you’ve always wanted to be.

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