So I’ve been receiving this request for a while now, and only recently got around to actually doing it. Here are a few tips for keeping on-task!

  • Respect your space
    • A bit harder than it seems, this one is actually really important. If your study space is your room, keep it organized and tidy. No productive thinking will happen at a cluttered desk.
  • Go somewhere else
    • Your room might also be the place where you sleep, watch Netflix, play video games, etc. If you remove yourself from an environment that enables you to do things unrelated to studying, go somewhere else. 
  • Only light your study space
    • This one is a bit more personal, but I find that if the rest of my room is dimly lit but my desk is bright, it’s less likely for me to get distracted and my mind to drift from what’s right in front of me.
  • Don’t play music with lyrics
    • Language engages your brain! And therefore takes brainpower away from your work! If you can devote all of that energy to your tasks you should be a bit more productive.
  • Video-game music can be helpful!
    • Yup kind of strange, but video-game music is created to keep you focused but not stressed. Personally the Minecraft soundtrack really helps relax and focus me.
  • Keep hydrated
    • If you’re not drinking 2L of water every day, you’re dehydrated. Hydration fuels your body including your brain, don’t neglect it! Especially if you’re sleep deprived :)
  • Eat some fruit
    • Fruits are complex carbohydrates give you quick energy but aren’t as detrimental to your health as candy. Specifically, citrus fruits are great to keep your mind engaged.

Of course, in the end it comes down to your specific habits and needs. Do whatever works best for you, and keep trying new things until you find something that helps. Good luck!

Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.
—  Thomas Merton