How to boost your attention span when studying from homePosted on 08/03/2017 by Jess O'Connor
Do you struggle to stay focused on one task?
Do you find yourself constantly checking your phone or browsing Facebook when you should be studying?
Do you spend ages staring into the fridge even though you’re not hungry?
You probably have a short attention span.
When studying from home, it’s tough to stay on task. There are so many distractions vying for your attention – the couch, the television, the pile of washing in the corner of your room (just to name a few).
If this sounds familiar, here’s a technique that will help you increase your attention span.
Use a timer
Did you know that most people can only focus for around 20 to 40 minutes before they need to take a short break?
Set a timer for 20 minutes and promise yourself not to give in to any distractions during that time. Ignore your phone and stop checking social media. Just give your full concentration to your study.
After the timer goes off, take a short break. Set another timer for 5-10 minutes. During this time, you can do whatever you like – stare into the fridge, browse Facebook, watch funny cat videos. Just make sure as soon as the 5 minutes is finished, you go back to studying.
Repeat this cycle (20 minutes study, 5 minutes rest) for as long as you can. After about 4-5 cycles, take a longer break (30 minutes) to eat some food or go for a stroll.
Try to work your way up to 40 minutes of study, 10 minutes of rest if you can. Your attention span will increase with practice.
Here are some of the things we love about using a timer:
- You get to “treat yourself” every 20-40 minutes with a quick break – so you always have something to look forward to.
- It’s amazing how much work you can get done in 20-40 minutes when you’re truly focused.
- Pretty much everything can wait 20-40 minutes, so there’s no reason to cheat.
- You will start to learn how much you can get done in a few hours, which will help you plan ahead.
- If you’re short on time, you don’t need to study for hours – just 40 minutes of timed, distraction-free study is better than nothing.
- You can teach your family to respect the timer, too. Let everyone know not to interrupt you until they hear the buzzer!
- It becomes a fun game – you can get competitive with yourself to see how much work you can complete in each 20-40 minute cycle.
So what are you waiting for? Try using a timer today! Just remember to turn your phone on silent or put it in another room. The timer system doesn’t count if you cheat. Good luck and let us know how you get on!
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