Whether you’re in high school or at college, you probably have a lot of studying to do. But with so many distractions around, it can be tough to sit down and focus.
Even when you’re enjoying the subject you’re learning about, it’s often easy to get off track.
So what can you do to stop procrastinating when you’re supposed to be studying?
1. Study At Your Best Time of Day
If you’re getting enough sleep, you shouldn’t be feeling tired and distractible all day: you’ll have at least one period of time when you feel focused and ready to work.
Where possible, try to reserve that time of day for studying. This might not be possible all the time — if you’re at your most focused from 10 am – 12 noon, but you have class at that point, you’ll need to find a different time that works.
2. Study For Short Chunks of Time
If you find yourself procrastinating after you’ve been studying for a few minutes, then try working for short chunks of time.
For instance, you might make notes about your topic for 25 minutes then take a 5-minute break. This is the Pomodoro technique of focusing and avoiding procrastination.
By working for short periods, you can focus intensely, and then give your brain a chance to recover before you start studying again.
3. Consider Medical Support
While this probably won’t be the first thing you try, at some stage you may want to consider medical support if you’re really struggling to focus.
That could mean talking to your doctor and getting assessed for ADHD. If your difficulty with focusing is fairly mild, you could try CBD oil, which many people believe improves your focus.
It’s cheap per dose, compared with conventional medications: CBD oil prices start from $50 for around 500mg, at a cost per dose of around $1.50.
4. Write Down What You’re Trying to Accomplish
At the start of your study session, set yourself a goal.
Maybe you want to create an outline for your paper, or write the introduction, or go through some practice questions for an upcoming quiz.
It’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re not sure what you’re even supposed to be doing. Having a clear, written goal helps you bring your attention back to the task at hand.
5. Tackle Perfectionism
There are lots of reasons why students procrastinate, but one particularly difficult one is because your standards are too high.
This is perfectionism: where you want to do your absolute best, but it’s hard to even begin because you’re worried about not doing a good job.
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect to get an A grade.
Plus, putting work off then rushing it at the last minute definitely won’t help you achieve the results you want.
Anything you can do is better than nothing: even if the first draft of your paper or your first attempt at a practice quiz has a lot of room for improvement, at least you’ll have something to improve upon.
Don’t let procrastination become a bad habit that knocks you off track for your goals.
Try the techniques above to improve your focus, get better grades, and feel better about your studies.