By Vihaan and Soven
We all know high school is really tough, and for many of us, focusing on work can be quite tough as well. There are many ways to improve your focus and study skills but the three that have been proved to be the most effective are meditating, taking breaks, and developing a plan for working that works well for you.
Meditation can be used for a variety of things and it is most effective when used to combat overwhelming or stressing feelings. When you notice yourself panicking about anything, you should sit down and meditate for 5-10 minutes in order to obtain a calmer mind.
Meditation consists of sitting down and slowing down. You need to focus on your breathing. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. The goal of meditation is to clear your mind. Don’t think of the test you have tomorrow or the homework you have to do. All you need to focus on while meditating is your breathing. After you sit down and meditate for 5-10 minutes you should feel very relaxed and rejuvenated. Doctors suggest that after you meditate, you should walk into whatever you are doing with a clear mind and relaxed body.
Meditation helps you focus, and focus helps you improve your study skills. One of the main causes of not being able to focus is stressing too much about things that are not worthy of stressing out over. With improved focus and study skills, you will have even less stress which will allow you to focus better, which in turn will improve your study skills. It is a cycle that, over time, brings many positive outcomes.
Another important thing you can do when studying is taking breaks. While these should not interfere with your productivity, they are important. You should take a break, even if it is 10 minutes, every couple or so hours from your work. It can prevent your brain from being fatigued. Additionally, taking breaks can help to lower your stress by giving a few minutes of relaxation, so you can calm down before you get back to work. This can, in turn, improve your creativity, productivity, mental health, and more. Also, having breaks in between your work can make you more motivated to work as you have something to look forward to.
One very popular technique for taking breaks is called the Pomodoro Method. This is a technique in which you study for 25 minutes and take a five-minute break. This helps to keep your mind aware, awake, and active. Some excellent ways to take a break include: going on a quick walk or getting some fresh air, reading a book, talking to someone, or even taking a quick nap. A short, 10-20 minute nap can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to work again.
In high school, it is expected for a student to already have a solid studying plan that works well for them. If a student does not have one of these plans, they will struggle until they find one that works for them. There are many ways to develop a good plan but one of the best ways is to let the homework you get in middle school guide you. You should use this homework to figure out what works for you, so when the homework gets harder, you already have a plan.
I can personally attest that having a work plan increased my ability to study by a factor of 10. Before I developed a study plan that worked well for me, I was struggling. There was a lot of work to manage and I could never seem to find the time that I needed to manage it. This all changed though, when I developed my work plan. My grades improved, I had a lot more leisure time, and my stress levels decreased a lot.
Although the items mentioned above will help you with your passive studying skills, you have to actively improve them as well. There are many things that you can actively do to improve your study skills. These skills include paying attention in class by putting all distractions away, managing your workload by dividing things up, managing time so you don’t procrastinate, making a schedule, paying attention to your homework, and double-checking everything that you have done to make sure that you have not messed it up. Even though these are all study skills that you have to actively think about, if practiced frequently and effectively, these can become passive skills that you would no longer have to think about.