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  • Sam B.

Break Up Long Study Sessions for Better Focus

Studying for Finals

According to You may be tempted to commit yourself to hours-long study sessions. There’s nothing wrong with having the occasional study-athon; just make sure that you give yourself shorts breaks while you work.

What the Research Shows

When people try to focus on a single task for a long period of time, their minds start to wander. You become habituated to the task at hand. Your focus dissolves and you become complacent. When your mind fatigues, it falls back to easy routines - opening the book, writing things down, flipping pages - without actually thinking about what you’re doing. Short breaks can help your regain focus and study more effectively. "If you know you have problems focusing while studying or are simply interested in getting the most out of your study sessions as possible, try this: set a timer for the amount of time you think you can study without your mind wandering (you could even use the timer to measure the time between when you start studying until you notice yourself becoming distracted) then, once that time is up, take a short (~5 minute) break to engage your mind in some other task, such as grabbing a coffee or starting a load of laundry before sitting back down to study. This should allow you to reboot and refocus on studying." Prepping for finals? Check out more research-based study hacks here!

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