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Concentration Tips: How to Stay Focused While Reading

*This is a collaborative post.

Staying focused while studying can be a real challenge, especially when juggling multiple responsibilities. I'm currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing while working from home and homeschooling my kids! Honestly, I sometimes wonder how I'm going to get it all done.
Thankfully, I have few concentration techniques to help me Stay focused while studying.

1. Create a dedicated study space

Having a dedicated study space is essential. This space should be free of distractions and used only for study. For me, this means finding a quiet place where I can immerse myself in my creative writing (usually in the garden or at my desk). It's also important to let your family know this is your study time and space so they can support you by minimizing distractions.

2. Set specific goals

Setting specific goals can change your learning process. Breaking down the workload into manageable tasks helps maintain focus and gives a sense of accomplishment. For example, if I'm writing a chapter for my creative writing thesis, I might set a goal to write 500 words or revise one section in an hour. This approach not only keeps me focused but also makes large projects less daunting.

3. take regular breaks

I cannot stress enough the importance of taking regular breaks to stay focused. Taking a breather can help prevent burnout and keep your mind sharp. I apply this technique when I homeschool my children, especially my youngest because he has autism and loses focus easily!
Time limits can make everyone’s study time more efficient.

4. Stay hydrated and eat healthy

Nutrition plays an important role in maintaining focus. Staying hydrated and eating healthy snacks can keep your energy levels stable throughout the day. I always keep a bottle of water and some fruit on my desk. This habit ensures I don’t get distracted by hunger and helps me stay focused.

5. Minimize distractions

Minimizing distractions is easier said than done, especially when there are children around. However, setting boundaries can help. When I'm in the study area, I put my phone on silent and my husband plays with the kids away from my study area.
It may also be beneficial to use apps that block social media while studying. This practice ensures that my study time is as efficient as possible and I don’t fall into the trap of social scrolling!

6. Use learning aids

Use study aids such as flashcards, summaries, and mind maps to make learning more effective. For creative writing, I often use visual aids such as storyboards or character drawings. These tools help organize my thoughts and keep me focused on my work. Additionally, using apps and online resources can provide new perspectives and keep the learning process dynamic.

7. enough sleep

Adequate rest is critical to maintaining focus and cognitive function. Balancing work, study, and homeschooling can be exhausting, but prioritizing sleep is crucial. I make sure to stick to a regular sleep schedule, which helps me stay alert and productive throughout the day. I'm completely useless without a good night's sleep, so I do try to stick to that (as long as my youngest doesn't have other ideas).

What helps you focus?

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