When everything is at your fingertips and all messaging is instant, it can be difficult to stay focused. So what’s a person to do when there are distractions around every corner?
Part of the reason it is so important to discover what your individual learning style is because it will help you to identify your ‘weak spot’ when it comes to distractions. For example, if you are a visual learner, you may become easily distracted if you not able to read or look at the content. If you are an auditory learner, you may be easily distracted by silence. If you are a kinaesthetic learner, you may find yourself fidgeting and becoming distracted if you are bored and disengaged.
For all learning styles, a major distraction is technology. We have done blog posts about how technology can be useful in your exam revision, however, it can also distract from the main purpose of your exam revision, which is to revise.
Here are some tips for how to focus:
Temporarily uninstall social media apps
If your Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook feed easily distracts you then perhaps it’s a good idea to remove temptation. You can always reinstall the apps once exams are done.
Work in blocks of time
Set an alarm for 25 minutes. Work on your studies (and only your studies) for the full 25 minutes. Once the alarm goes off, set your alarm for 5-10 minutes, which you can spend doing anything you like. Be disciplined and come back to your study area for another 25 minute cycle once your break is finished, and repeat the cycle.
This is a good way of consistently getting work done because your brain knows that there is a break coming up. Train yourself to really focus on what you’re doing for the 25 minutes that you are doing it.
Have a chat with your family
If your family are constantly interrupting you, it’s time to have a chat with them. Explain that the exam revision period is temporary and that you really need them to respect your space. Agree on a signal with them (for example, a ribbon on the door or if you have your headphones on), and instruct them not to disturb you. Explain what you need from them (for example, ask your little brother to keep the television off before 6 p.m.) and promise them a reward in return for their co-operation (perhaps your little brother needs help with a school project over the weekend?).
Take a break
Often, pushing through and not giving yourself time to rest or do something other than exam revision is counter-productive. Take time out of your day to read, relax, exercise and eat properly. Even just a 30-minute break every few hours is a good idea. Your brain needs time to rest or it won’t be able to work properly. And don’t even think about skimping on sleep!
Keep a to-do list for the day and cross off what you have completed. A study timetable will help you to prioritise what you need to accomplish. The Ace it! study guides can also help you to keep organised because they’re everything you need to get through your exams. Tick off the sections you have revised as you get through them for an at-a-glance view of how your exam revision is going.