People think that the efficiency of students in learning is all about self-discipline and willpower. But as a student, you should not be afraid to make "excuses" as to why you cannot study at your best. Keep in mind that these reasons can be valid, and it is up to you to determine their cause and find appropriate solutions to your problem. To figure out the reason why you struggle in school, below is a list of the most common factors that prevent you from studying better.
We live in a word that is full of distractions in every corner. Your smartphone, in particular, can provide you with hours of distraction through social media apps, mobile games, text messaging, and music. As a result, it is a lot harder to resist the calls of procrastination than it used to be.
Remember that it is scientifically proven that the human brain prefers short-term rewards over long-term accomplishments. By studying, you can only reap the benefits of your actions after you graduate. But reaching the next level in a mobile game or socializing with your friends on Facebook will only take a minute.
A straightforward solution to beat procrastination is to eliminate its sources temporarily – be it your phone, TV, radio, or even your fridge. You can also take advantage of the brain's alignment with short-term goals by setting your daily objectives. And to stimulate the reward center of your brain, see to it that you get adequate breaks after accomplishing something.
Some people find bliss in working or studying in a busy café or at a friend’s house. However, some individuals can be highly sensitive to the slightest noise. If you find yourself jumping or shifting your eyes to the nearest sound source, then you may need to be somewhere quieter – like a school library.
Be wary of listening to white noise in an attempt to drown out the legitimate noisemakers. Although natural sounds such as falling rain and rustling leaves can induce relaxation, studies prove that background noise can impair your concentration. Studies reveal that white noise can even aggravate stress-induced conditions like migraines, high blood pressure, and even coronary diseases.
Studying in an uncomfortable position will not only affect your posture, but it will also negatively impact your ability to focus. Studying in bed, for example, may cause you to twist and often turn – not to mention it might lead to a stiff neck. Studying on the floor while waiting in a long line will also get you nowhere.
If you want to study, see to it that you are in the most comfortable spot you can find. Do not settle for a broken armchair, or your carpet, or the bus. You can focus more on learning if you are snug in a proper desk.
About the previous factor, remember that a good study area is well-lit. If you make it a habit of studying with dim lighting, not only will you needlessly strain your eyes, you will also induce drowsiness. Keep in mind that your biological clock is dependent on external lighting. If dim lighting is making your eyelids heavier, maybe it’s time to get a new lamp.
Another strategy is to study in broad daylight and keep your windows open. In addition to lighting up the room, a sunny day will also uplift your mood and improve your motivation.
Improving your ability to stay awake is important, but you should also know how to get quality sleep. Remember that sleep is a crucial process for memory retention. During deep sleep, the brain is hard at work – consolidating new information in your long-term memory. Getting good sleep will also improve your energy, mood, and focus on the following day.
But instead of focusing on the number of sleeping hours, you need to ensure proper sleeping conditions that will help you attain deep sleep. Anything from your bed mattress to the noise level in your room should be considered. Taking quick naps during the day is also a good idea to boost your energy as long as you keep it moderate. Excessive napping will only disturb your natural sleeping cycle, especially during afternoons.
Let’s face it – friends do not always make great study-mates. In fact, they could be your number one source of distraction. But with the right approach, they can also be your biggest motivators for studying well.
Remember that you should also develop your socialization skills as a student. Part of it is learning how to be accountable in the presence of a group. If you can, try to take the lead role in making sure everyone excels academically. Say no to excessive partying and arrange group study sessions instead.
Regardless if you believe in feng shui or not, the arrangement of furniture in a room can affect your focus. Having clutter within your field of vision, for example, can increase stress levels and prevent you from attaining maximum learning efficiency. Being cramped up with no room to stretch will also make it harder for you to sustain your productivity.
A good strategy is to practice de-cluttering and organize your study area often. Make sure everything has a proper storage location to keep your desk distraction-free.
Studying, like other professions, take preparation and commitment. By understanding the factors that disrupt your productivity, you can come up with healthier study habits that will help you succeed.