Image from Stocksnap.

Image from Stocksnap.

Sometimes, getting into the study zone can get really difficult. There are just some days where you feel like doing anything except bury your head into the books. So, how do you overcome the lack of concentration? (Don’t worry: I’ve got your back.)

If you get bored because you’re sleepy… try and chew on some peppermint flavoured bubblegum.  No, seriously. According to old tales, peppermint is a great way to wake yourself up and to invigorate your will so that you end up being more alert and awake while studying. Peppermint in other products, like tea, can also help to calm you down and keep you focused on the task at hand.

If you get bored by the lack of “fun” in your notes… try to liven things up. Write your notes in a different colour pen every alternating page, or put some candies at certain paragraphs as a reward for studying further (i.e., when you reach the paragraph that has a gummy bear, you can eat the bear as a reward). Small, seemingly menial tasks like these help to keep your mind alert and serve to associate studying with good rewards.

If you get bored because you lose concentration… then definitely doodle! Doodling is often connected with airheads and daydreamers, but doodling when you’re not in a study mood can actually help to alleviate your boredom and get distractions out of the way faster, making you more willing to study. Another way to get rid of your boredom is to go for a walk. Getting up every now and then to get some fresh air won’t hurt.

If you get bored by the way your notes are portrayed… find another study method. When you’re in college, you’ve often found a study method that sorta works for you and you don’t really want to reinvent that, but when your study methods consistently bore you and make you want to fly away from all your responsibilities, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your study method. What type of learner are you? Do you prefer learning with drawn demonstrations or do you like to read a lot to understand your work? Do you like videos of your professors explaining things on a Smartboard or do you prefer to work alone? The answers you have in response to these questions can really help you determine what kind of study method is best for you.

If you get bored because you don’t understand… of course, the only answer to this is to seek help! I’ve sat in front of a textbook so many times just getting bored and getting less motivated all because I don’t understand one question. Not only does it leave gaps in your knowledge, but it also causes you to lose focus on the task at hand and you break immersion. If you’re struggling, text a friend or visit your professor to get them to help you understand. The best part of studying, in my opinion, is when you finally understand a difficult question!

There are so many ways to break the chain of boredom while studying, but some methods will work better than others. It all depends on who you are. If you have any other great ideas, pop them in a comment below or tweet me @nkhayapm!

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the author

Nkhaya is a Psychology student who's still a little bit unsure about how to go about being an adult (even though she flew halfway across the world for her dream school). She has an unhealthy devotion to anything with chocolate in it, and loves to write in her spare time. When she's not busy studying, writing or marathon-watching series on Netflix, you'll find her on Twitter or Instagram (@nkhayapm).

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