June 21st, 2019

Saskia Budke

Do you have a hard time concentrating for your exams? I think every student can relate to procrastinating and other issues. Check out this list of lifehacks for that so much needed concentration boost!!

Lifehack 1: Your environment

Choose a quiet, clean place to study. Indeed, not so much fun, but good for your concentration (the sooner you finish studying, the sooner you can socialize with your friends!). Make sure that you have everything you might need for studying near you: books, pens, notebook, calculator etc. and that things that you don’t need or that will distract you are out of your sight. Take a moment to pick a quiet Spotify playlist, such as Deep Concentration, Just Focus, Intense Studying or Brain Food. The titles of the playlists should already help to set you in the right mood ;)!

Lifehack 2: Make your to do-list

This might be a no-brainer, but it is really helpful. Don’t waste your first 30 minutes of energy on making a planning, but have this ready in advance, for example the evening before you start studying. Make a list with everything what you want to achieve that day. Write down your chores (and even divide them into smaller sub-chores). Start with the most important things to do and try to switch between type of chores (reading, making assignments etc.). Try to estimate how much time you need for every chore and make a day planning. Try to focus for approximately 45 minutes (depends on your concentration span) and take a 10-minute break in between. Having your list ready beforehand serves as a kick-starter for your day. Moreover, it will be very fulfilling to cross off things you’ve done and these deadlines will help you to focus better. Final tip: be realistic with your planning, otherwise a planning will be counterproductive.

Lifehack 3: Don’t get disturbed

Prevent people for disturbing you. Yes, this also includes turning off your phone and your laptop. Only keep it on in case you really need it. If you are using your phone for listening to music, you can also use the app Forest to prevent you from scrolling through your Facebook timeline. Coming back to the first point: let people know when not to disturb you and try to isolate yourself until your chore is done. Use short breaks to connect with them. Do you encounter interrupting thoughts or important ideas? Write them down briefly and decide to think about them later. This will help you to get your focus back faster.

Lifehack 4: Be patient

Allow yourself 5 minutes to get in the right mood. You can’t expect to be instantly concentrated. Take a minute to relax, get in the flow and start your work. If you get distracted, think of Lifehack 3 ;)! Additionally, avoid multitasking and try to focus on one chore at the time, because this will enhance your concentration and the quality of your attention.

Lifehack 5: Take care of yourself

Take care of yourself and your health. This will benefit your productivity. Having a daily rhythm contributes to your health and your ability to focus: get enough sleep (around 8 hours), take some time to be outside in the fresh air, be active and eat healthy food. Make sure that you’ve got enough healthy food snacks before you start studying: some apple slices and other fresh fruits, loads of water, some cookies or muesli bars, nuts etc. Don’t drink too much coffee (max. 4 to 5 cups) because it could lead to insomnia and drowsiness and that’s not what you want for a productive day.