Top 10 tips to study from home

How to create more focus and less distraction whilst studying? Our teacher-researchers have examined what factors contribute to optimized study performances. Read the tips below!

1. Stop multi-tasking

A lot of people believe they are good at multitasking, but actually your brain just quickly switches between the different tasks you are doing. Your working memory can really only handle one task at a time. So choose one task to focus on and only start the next one when the first one is finished.

2. Time blocking

On busy days, you tend to continue studying for as long as possible. Taking breaks may feel like a waste of time but this is extremely important and will help you to stay focused. A good method to alternate time blocks of attention with short breaks is the Pomodoro Technique. This technique includes alternating short time blocks of 25-50 minutes with short breaks. After a couple of time blocks, a longer break follows. By the way, our maximum attention span is 50 minutes.On busy days, you tend to continue studying for as long as possible. Taking breaks may seem like a waste of time, but rather this is extremely important and will help keep you focused. The optimal use of your breaks is going for a walk, listening to your favourite music or doing a meditation exercise.

A good method to alternate time blocks of attention with short breaks is the Pomodoro Technique. This technique includes alternating short time blocks of 25-50 minutes (during which you are concentrating on a specific task) with short breaks. After a few time blocks, a longer break follows. By the way, our maximum attention span is 50 minutes. So if you do that, you’ll be doing the best you physically can. Several apps based on the Pomodoro Technique are available. Check it out: Brain focus, Focus To-Do: Pomodoro Timer, en Clockworktomato.

3. Put your smartphone aside!

Your smartphone is probably one of the biggest distractions you need to resist. Did you know that every time you look at it, you need 5 to 15 minutes to be able to focus again? So turn off your notifications or put your smartphone aside.

4. Clear your head

A clear head makes it easier to focus. Try to do a ‘brain dump’ before you start studying. Write everything down that crosses your mind. Do this often to clear your thoughts and to get rid of your to do’s. End result? More structure and feeling more mindful!

5. Train your attention span

Attention can be trained like a muscle. There are several exercises you can do in order for you to concentrate better. Just practice a couple of mindfulness and breathing exercises every day and you’ll soon notice the effect.

6. Employ rituals

Employ rituals to get your study sessions off the ground. Consider to tidy your desk, meditate or do a brain dump.

7. Exercise!

Various studies have shown that physical exercise improves your attention span and focus. Even a short brisk walk can have a positive impact on your focus, productivity and well-being in general.

8. Eat, sleep, drink, repeat

A good night’s sleep, healthy food and drinking enough water are essential to stay focused. A water deficiency of 5 percent already reduces your concentration by 25 percent!

9. Make your own decisions

Everyone around you seems to have a fun and busy life. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is lurking… Forget about this and aim for JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out)! Live and enjoy the moment, without worrying about that party or Instagram feed you are ‘missing’. Focus on positive energies and good vibes right now in this moment. A night of hanging on the couch An evening spent on the couch gives your brain the opportunity to process information. End result? More creative ideas.

10. Reward yourself

It’s hard to focus when you’re not motivated. How do you motivate yourself? It helps to keep the final goal in mind. Try to see the bigger picture: your educational activities, all your lectures and assignments contribute to that one profession you want to pursue! Did you finish a difficult task? Reward yourself! This is a great way to train yourself in a positive way which will make it easier to start your next assignment; you can already feel the reward.