No matter who you ask, everyone will say they can only study when they are in ‘the zone’. The only problem is that ‘zone’ is different for almost everybody. Some people study best in absolute silence, some will study best with music on, and then it breaks down further into the time of day and psychology. This article is going to help you find your zone, to improve how well you study and how much concentration you can direct towards it.
Times of the Day
To find out your ideal concentration and best working conditions you need to start experimenting. One day, try studying straight after you wake up, the next day, try studying later in the evening when everyone is in bed. Some people tend to be more productive in the evening and are classed as ‘night owls’. One morning, wake up and don’t touch your phone or social media, just get some breakfast and go straight into studying. It’s all about figuring out what time of the day you are most productive, and to avoid the parts of the day where you feel sluggish and tired.
It may sound bizarre, but there is something psychological about feeling fresh and ready to start the day after showering in the morning that puts you in a productive mood. Try to position this with your preferred time of day to study. For example, if you concentrate well during the night and tend to do all your studying in one go until 1-2am, shower before doing so. Knowing you have to have a shower after you have finished studying will put a small amount of stress on how much time you need or want to spend studying.
Once you’ve found your most productive time of the day, there is no better way of studying than creating a schedule. By creating a schedule, you are signing yourself up to an invisible contract, that you will subconsciously, after a few days, get in the habit of sticking to. It’s best not to go crazy on this one, so don’t assign yourself 5 hours of studying in one go. Instead, schedule an hour of one thing, take a break, come back for an hour of something else and so forth. By committing yourself to a large amount of hours in one go, you will subconsciously think this is a just a ‘pain’ opposed to seeing it as educating yourself to the best potential. Another big part of organization is keeping everything situated in categories and keeping everything tidy. Creating a pile of mess that you have to scavenge through in order to find what you’re looking for will stress you out, which is highly unwanted when you are trying to concentrate.
For some people music is a great way to channel concentration. Putting on some chilled out, relaxing instrumentals will put you in a relaxed environment, which is what you need to let your brain function to its best possibility. By doing this, you will find a lot of other thoughts that are bombarding you whilst trying to study disappear and let you focus to your best potential. For others, however, it can be a distraction. Most of the younger generation will find music a great way to channel concentration due to their recent upbringing with today’s technology, whereas adult learners may find noise in general a block that will not let them focus.