How to Study when you can’t focus

If you have a hard time focusing to study, whether in the library, at home or anywhere else, then this post is for you.

When I get into the library, I see everyone working, with laser focus, getting things done, one after the other, yet... when it’s my time to sit down, I often have trouble focusing. I don’t know where to start and I get easily distracted. You’re in the same situation? Well, here are a few tips I gathered along the way...

1) Remember why you’re doing what you do

It seems futile, but it’s actually the most important part. Whenever you’re trying to do something, try to remember what you’re doing it for. It’s easy to get caught up with the stress of daily life.

"Passion led us here""Passion led us here"

When you have 3 tests and 4 papers to hand down before the end of the week, you don’t really have time to think, right? You just need to get shit done. Yes... but no. We both know that being stressed out won’t help you, so take a few minutes to remember what you’re doing it all for. If you know why you are doing something, then it won’t seem like a chore anymore.

2) Change your workplace

If you are anything like me, then you have periods when you can work at your house, and periods when you just... can’t. If you notice that you are getting too distracted when you’re at your desk, then try to change your workplace.

Going to the library.Going to the library.

The school library, a coffee shop, sometimes even in a park if the weather allows it, don’t be afraid to try and see what works for you. Sometimes knowing that I actually paid to sit in a café forces me to get productive, I think “well... I might as well work”.

3) Use Pomodoro techniques

Often the hardest step in any project is actually... getting started. And that’s when the Pomodoro technique is actually amazing. If you have never heard of it, the concept is quite simple.

You launch a timer for 25 minutes (or any length you want) and dedicate yourself to be completely focused on your project for these 25 minutes. When they are over, you take a 5 minutes pause before starting again. You do this 3-4 times before taking a longer break.

Use the Pomodoro technique.Use the Pomodoro technique.

I don’t always use it but when I do it gets surprisingly effective as it allows me to “break the ice” with a project and see that it’s not that complicated after all. By the first 2 sessions, I’m already hooked and don’t need to use it anymore.

4) Stop judging yourself

I noticed one thing that always prevented me from making any progress or studying effectively... Judging myself. Every time I sit down to study a new subject, I judge myself for not knowing everything already. I feel late compared to others as if I should just have understood everything already and in consequence, will never understand anything.

Someone reading in a library.Someone reading in a library.

There could not be a greater lie. Our brain and our memory are works of wonder and you’ll be amazed by how powerful they are if you decide to trust them and to take things one after the other, without judgment. The horizon seems far and almost impossible to reach, but trust me, you’ll get there.

Well... that’s it for today’s post, I hope it will help you in your workflow. I would love to know what are your times to study and work when you can’t focus!

How to study when you can't focusHow to study when you can't focus

Last updated: 3 years ago

More like that...

2024, a year of exploration

2024, a year of exploration

As we finish one more lap around the sun, here is one more opportunity to reflect on our life and the direction we wish to give it going forward.

What content do I want to create?

What content do I want to create?

After a long and unforeseen hiatus, I finally feel ready to address the causes that prevented me to write and feel creative.