Hi! I’m sure you find studying for competitive exams to be stressful and difficult at times. It requires your time, patience and a lot of willpower. It is quite natural to lose focus in these times. So, here we bring you 4 simple ways of getting your focus back on track. We have also listed some of the apps that you can use for the same.
Four Focusing Strategies
1. Create a system
Creating a system or a routine is very much important in exam preparation time. This is a period when you will either get done with your boards exams and prepare for the entrances, or you may have to continue studying for both side by side. Hence, try to create a routine that suits you and make a list of all the things that you need to study. For this, I highly recommend you to do the following:
a) Get a planner: Make a planner or get yourself a diary where you can jot out everything you need to study.
b) List it out: Start your day by making a To-do list of the topics you need to cover and at the end of the day, analyse and tick off what all you completed. This way you will always be on track.
c) Unclutter your surroundings: Try to study at a clean uncluttered space.
d) Have proper time slots: Having a routine enables you to focus more on studying as you are already in a disciplined mode and not have to make any decisions regarding the study plan, session, etc. Having proper morning and night routines lets you focus as well as unwind.
Pro tip: Always remember to keep a bottle of water and a few healthy snacks on your study table. A hungry and dehydrated brain cannot function properly.
2. Be mindful of your time
a) Plan study session according to your own needs: Introspect yourself before making plans for studying anything. You are the best guide for knowing yourself and you must know about your study traits as well. By this I mean, you should know what time of the day you can focus more or you have a tendency to fall asleep. This way you can plan study sessions correctly. If you are more focused during the early morning, start the toughest portion at that time. Similarly keep any practice or mock questions for the afternoon when you feel sluggish.
b) Schedule study breaks in the planner: Plan out any event like family functions or meeting friends in your planner so that you know in advance about your engagements. This will help you balance personal life with studying, as well as ensure you do justice to both.
c) Use time blocking method to schedule study sessions: Fix particular times for each activity of the day. This is known as the time blocking method. You can use Google calendar to time block your entire day. You may use apps like Boosted Productivity, Time tracker to see where all you spend your time.
Pro tip: Always keep a notebook or a planner and plan your day to always be focused.
3. Incorporate healthy habits
You must be wondering what healthy habits have got anything to do with focus. Well, let me tell you! Your healthy habits create a healthy you, that lets you focus and improve your concentration. No wonder our parents always ask us to eat healthy! :O Turns out healthy food habits and exercise both works wonders for your brain power and concentration levels. Hence, make sure you do the following:
a) Workout regularly: Go for that jogging session or follow a quick yoga session from YouTube.
b) Maintain healthy sleep routines: Try to sleep at the same time everyday and complete 7-8 hours of sleep.
c) Eat healthy: Always eat healthy and snack on fruits. Here are some great brain boosting foods.
d) Practice mindfulness: You can try doing mindfulness activities such as journaling or meditation to keep your anxiety levels low. These healthy habits will let you keep focused for long periods of time.
You can check out apps like Headspace, Daily Yoga, Calm, My fitness pal, Sleep tracker for incorporating these healthy habits.
Pro tip : Journaling your anxieties, insecurities, stress or just writing about your day helps you in decluttering your mind making you more focused towards your exam preparation.
4. Create a distraction free area
In today’s fast paced life, distractions are what keeps us from being productive or focused in our work. That constant beeping of the mobile phones is indeed a focus disturber. Follow the simple ways of creating a distraction free zone:
- Prioritize: List out your study topics priority wise. Here a great read to help you prioritize and design your study strategy.
- Focus on single tasks: Do one thing at a time and always start with the most difficult topic
- Phone out: Keep your phone away from the study room or just switch it off and give it to your parents
- Focused internet use: Try to study from books but if you need a computer, use any app to block all the websites that you do not require. You can use Stay Focused or Freedom. If you still can’t leave your phone, try to use Forest, Engross, App Block to block out any applications and have a focused study session
- Use Pomodoro Technique: You can try the Pomodoro technique to study in limited focused time period and take regular intervals of break
- Use Music: Also use study music to have a calm environment. You can try Brain.fm for amazing calm music
Pro tip : The day you let go of your distractions, you can conquer almost anything and that includes focused studying.
So here we go! We hope these strategies and apps help you focus much more and keep you tuned into your studies for as long as you want.
All the best!