Just 10 minutes on Instagram. Then, accidentally, you find yourself on TikTok. Then suddenly an hour has gone by, you have no idea what you’ve just watched and your work is still sat in front of you. Annoyingly, this is quite familiar to a lot of us, and with so many universities asking students to attend online lectures, and complete their work from home, we’re having to tackle studying from home more than ever before.
If you’ve had enough of procrastinating, and deadlines are moving ever closer, implementing a few of these tips could make your focus better than ever.
1. Set a schedule
Often aimlessly (or franticly) trying to get everything done in one go means that we actually end up getting nothing done. This can feel really overwhelming and make you feel like you don’t want to do anything at all.
When you start your day of online lectures, revision, or an essay with a deadline of less than 24 hours, set a schedule for when you’re going to get what done.
Scheduling in your work hours as well as your breaks will give you a bit of structure in your day, as well as the satisfaction of ticking off each task.
2. Put your phone on the other side of the room
Maybe the toughest tip to take on, but the temptation to pick your phone up and just have a few minutes (or hours) of scrolling is too much to resist.
Putting your phone in a different room is a great way to forget about it for an hour or so. If your social media addiction is so bad, maybe ask your housemate to hide it from you for an hour and really put your focus to the test.
When you see your screen time drop by 50%, you’ll feel very accomplished.
3. Regular cups of tea
This is probably a no-brainer for most of us, but a cup of tea has a world of benefits when you’re studying at home. A warm, comforting cup of tea and maybe a chocolate digestive or two is essential to boost your mood when studying.
It gives you a reason to take a break whilst you boil the kettle and gives you something to do whilst you read through you work.
4. Regular Breaks
You might be thinking to stay focused you need to be working and doing nothing else. But allowing your mind a break from your work is the key to keeping your energy up. Allowing yourself timed breaks to do whatever you like for 10-15 mins is key to not causing burn-out, and keeping your focus up when you turn back to your work.
Try going for a quick walk outside to get some fresh air, or having your cup of tea in the garden. This will keep you feeling fresh and energized.
5. Stay Hydrated and Well Fed
Maybe the most important tip in this list to pay attention to.
Keeping your energy up starts with what you put into your body. Make sure to keep a water bottle near your desk at all times, and remember to drink it. Make sure to remember to eat good, healthy meals to keep you going (snacking on some chocolate and crisps is also very much acceptable).
It’s also vital to keep your micro-nutrients up to keep your focus when studying. If you’re looking for a vitamin boost on top of your meals, try some of our daily multivitamins or a vitamin B to keep that brain running like a well-oiled machine.
6. Listen to a playlist
We’re not talking about a karaoke-style sing along session, save that till later in the day, but something that will actually help you to focus.
Many of us hate silence and need something to listen to whilst their working. If this sounds like you, try finding some calming (but not so calming that you fall asleep) background music. Playlists with no lyrics might be best for those of us who struggle to multi-task, this will make your whole study experience a little less mundane and a little more fun.
There are also many playlists that claim to actually enhance your ability to focus; definitely worth a try.
7. Take a gym break
Sitting down at a desk all day, staring at a laptop, can make you feel a little less than human sometimes. Your joints feel like they’ve aged 20 years, and your bum has gone a bit numb.
Moving around is essential for your mind and body when you’re trying to study from home.
Whether you prefer some yoga to calm your mind after a long day of revision, or you want to run out your stress from the day, moving around is vital for both mental and physical health.
Promising yourself an hour of whatever movement you love at the end of the day might be what you need to keep your focus.
Take home message:
Effectively studying from home is a huge challenge, especially for those of us who struggle to focus at the best of times. The good news is that there are things you can do to ensure you get as much out of your home study sessions as possible. So, make sure you have plenty of cups of tea, your favourite snacks, and enough time to do something you love and move your body.
Future you with a fully ticked off check list will thank you for it.