Applied Psychology

How to concentrate on studies during a pandemic

Jun 02, 2020 | By Signpost
How to concentrate on studies during a pandemic

Students are wondering how to concentrate on studies during the stressful conditions created by the corona lockdown. We offer some tips to get you through it.

Key takeaways

  • Being under lockdown may provide you with more time to focus on studies, but it does contribute to a stressful environment that makes it difficult to focus.
  • Do what you can to create a safe study space, where you can tune out distractions and avoid being disturbed by family members.
  • Focus on the benefits of studying at home, such as being able to determine your own routine, and schedule your own breaks.

Cooped up in their homes as a result of the corona lockdown, many students probably long for the opportunity to venture out to their local library. While the corona pandemic seems like the perfect opportunity to focus on studies; in truth, even a safe space like one’s own home can be a stressful environment under such conditions.

There’s the persistent presence of other family members, as well as the lack of choice in the matter. Being forced to work from home is different from doing so willingly.

So, how to concentrate on studies in the face of such challenges? We provide advice for staying on top of your workload during lockdown, so that when the restrictions finally abate, you’ll return to school without having to worry that you’re off the pace.

How to concentrate on studies: 6 tips for studying during lockdown

To improve your concentration and get the most out of your study hours during the lockdown, follow these six strategies:

1. Take advantage of flexibility

Approach it as if it were a regular distance-learning experience, with all the benefits that provides, such as flexibility. While studying from home, you have the freedom to determine a routine that caters to your strengths and weaknesses.

For example, if you find you concentrate better during the day, and prefer to get more sleep in the morning; you can structure your study routine accordingly, as opposed to having a strict regime imposed on you by the school.

You can also use this flexibility to work around the activity in your household. Getting work done during the day when young children are up and about might be a challenge! Consider using the day to rest and the quieter evenings to keep up with your work.

2. Make a study space

Make sure you have a dedicated study area in your home. Only use this space when you need to work and get into the study ‘mode’. Creating this space might require some negotiation with family members, ensuring that they do not disturb you while you work

3. Protect your focus

Tuning out distractions is an important part of the study process. Research by Dr Glenn Wilson, a psychologist formerly from King’s College, London University, found that workers who were constantly distracted by phones and emails performed 10% lower in exams than their IQ predicted.

Avoiding distractions is more of a challenge during lockdown, since you likely have family members or roommates wandering around. An article on The Economist recommends wearing headphones with your favourite background music on, allowing you to block out the sound of activity in the house and immerse yourself in your work.

4. Reward yourself for completing goals

At school, you have scheduled break times, whereas at home you can take breaks whenever you want. But be sure to incorporate these break times into your routine. You can schedule breaks for certain times, while also reward yourself with breaks when you complete certain milestones.

You can also use these breaks to indulge in some of your favourite activities, such as checking social media, or perhaps by fetching yourself a snack. Knowing you’ve got this to look forward to if you complete a task or a portion of work will help keep your brain focused.

5. Read more

Taking some time off every now and then to read is a great way to keep yourself occupied during the lockdown, as well as providing benefits that will help your studying. Studies have shown that reading brings about neurological changes in the brain, such as improving connectivity and improving its ability to process information.

In a way, reading is like an exercise for your brain, giving it the muscles it needs to do the heavy lifting that studying requires. You may find that the studying goes a lot more smoothly when your brain becomes accustomed to processing information.

6. Try stress management techniques

Being stuck at home during the corona pandemic can be stressful in other ways, beside the stress brought about by studying. It can be helpful to investigate ways of dealing with stress at home, such as mindfulness, listening to music or cuddling a pet. The release brought about by these activities will also make it easier to study.

SACAP offers the option to study online with many of its courses. When the time comes to advance your education, you may wish to pursue such opportunities provided by distance learning, such as engaging in SACAP online courses that can help pave the way for careers in counselling and psychology. For more information, enquire now.

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