How to Stay Focused While Studying

How to Stay Focused While Studying

How to Stay Focused While Studying- Are you a frustrated college student who just can't study from lack of focus? Here are some tips to help you study more effectively and to help get your brain focused!


Hey college student! Ever have a hard time focusing while trying to study for that exam you have in the morning? Need to cram in hours of reading, but just can’t find the motivation to get started? Here are some ways YOU can take control of the situation and find the focus you need to get work done!

  1. Keep Your Phone in Another Room

I know, this is a tough one. You are just waiting for your best friend to respond to your text about that new awesome show on ABC that’s going to be coming out soon! I mean, c’mon. Has she SEEN the trailer? It’s awesome (*ehem* Designated Survivor…).

I’m telling you, resist this temptation. Get as far away as possible from that phone. Don’t fall into the loophole. You know which one I’m talking about. The I’m-just-going-to-quickly-check-my-Instagram-notifications-then-I-will-be-done-oh-wait-I’ve-been-on-here-for-an-hour loophole? We’ve all been trapped by this (my personal enemy, but best friend at the same time, is Pinterest).


2. Get Away From People You Know

Okay, yes this sounds kind of harsh, but you need to make sure you won’t be drawn to an interesting conversation and taken away from your work. It’s so hard to focus when I have a fun family around me! I would much rather be talking to them then studying!


3. Find a Clean Space to Study

Make sure your desk is clean and that your bed is made. I don’t know about you, but I get super stressed out if my room is dirty while studying. It’s distracting and then I start thinking of all the other things in the house that need to be cleaned. It’s another loophole to get trapped in.


4. Have Everything You Need With You Before You Start Working

It throws off my study groove if I find that I need an extra pencil or eraser, especially when it’s on the other side of the house (Okay my house isn’t THAT big so this probably sounds lazy, but you actually have to put in an effort to getting what you need). You have to stop mid-thought and go get what you need, but when you come back you lost your train of thought! Great, now you have to reread that page with 600 words on it.


5. Keep Only Academic Tabs Open On Your Computer

If it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to use a computer, STAY AWAY from Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Webkinz…( Do you even remember that website? It was so much fun! Your expensive stuffed animal came to life and you were able to build a cute little house for them!) or any other non-academic website that would sway your attention away from your studying! Stop any notifications that normally pop up. Don’t succumb to the dark side!


6.  Stay Away From Pandora

I know some people like to listen to music while studying, but this could actually do more damage than you thought. Those annoying, and all of a sudden LOUD ads pop up and throw your grove off once again. Also, if you don’t like a song, you HAVE to press skip until you find a good song you like. If you NEED music, or some sort of noise, I would recommend creating a playlist with songs from iTunes or those CDs you have at home (remember those?) so you know EXACTLY what you will be listening to. You know which songs you would skip and which songs might evoke a spontaneous dance break.


7. Take Breaks

Nothing is worse than mindlessly reading for two hours straight and then realizing you never retained any of the information. Force yourself to take breaks! I would recommend 1 hour bursts of studying, if you HAVE to cram in info, then a 10 to 15 minute coffee, water, food, walking, or 1/4 of a Gilmore Girls episode break (But beware if you do watch TV. Make sure you have enough self-control to STOP after 15 minutes. I recommend setting a timer).



Make sure you listen to your stomach. It is so important to eat before, and during, a big study day. You will last so much longer with all the energy given to you! Also, drink water constantly! Keep a pitcher of water near you and drink as much as possible! Stay hydrated and your eyes won’t get as tired.


9. Switch Between Subjects/Classes

It can be pretty discouraging when you have been working on one class or subject for half a day and learned NOTHING! Then you don’t feel like continuing on and are left to have to finish up everything else the next day (which you don’t really have time for). Make sure to switch between subjects so you don’t get bored or burnt out from one class. You will last so much longer by switching things up.


10. Create a List of Tasks to Complete

Create a list of all the assignments, or tasks, you need to complete that day. Then organize them by most important to least important, or hardest to easiest. I recommend doing the most important and hardest assignments first so your energy isn’t spent by doing those hundreds of itty bitty tasks first. Also, I have a rule of spending no more than one hour on a task. Once that hour is up, move on to the next item on your list and come back to it later.


I hope these tips work for you and good luck with your studies!

Anything that you do to keep you focused? Comment in the section below!

Hey! If you liked this content you will LOVE this post I wrote about the Top 10 Website & Apps to Help You in College! Check it out and tell us what you think!

6 thoughts on “How to Stay Focused While Studying

  1. What college student couldn’t use more study hacks in their life? I especially loved the idea of keeping only academic tabs open in your browser. I struggle with that just as much as the next girl! Anyways, this post was great – from a fellow blogger, keep on writing amazing content xo

    • Post Author curlywcf

      Keeping the academic tabs up is my biggest struggle too! I sometimes find myself on YouTube watching Jimmy Fallon or even checking up on my blog! Haha Thank you so much! Good luck!

  2. What a great list! I will say that Pandora (I pay for it so there’s no ads) actually has been a great tool for me only because of one station: 2Cellos. It is popular music but done to string instruments only so there’s no words to distract you. I do agree though having a playlist is definitely helpful! If I listen to anything but the 2Cellos playlist on Pandora then I’m easily distracted trying to find songs that I like. Good job on this post, love it!

  3. These tips are most helpful, I’ve learned from years of studying which works best for me. I have to turn my phone off, be in seclusion and have no distractions around me. I make sure I find something to eat during my break and watch an episode of my show.

  4. This is such an awesomely helpful list. Having a clean study area, keeping a to do list, and staying away from my phone and interesting websites are definitely the most helpful for me. However, I have found that listening to music without lyrics or a different language can actually help me focus and study better.

    Emma |

    • Post Author curlywcf

      Thank you! Yeah, sometimes it is the only way to keep yourself focused. I have a classical playlist that I like to listen too on iTunes. However, I make sure it is a playlist that I won’t skip songs too because that would totally throw off my study groove! 🙂

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