There are many things you can do to reduce getting distracted when you are studying and reading. You have to start by actually removing the normal distractions. These can be notifications on your phone or computer and having only the right tools in front of you. There is more you can do. Let’s have a look at them in this article.
You have to become more aware of what you are getting distracted by. Some people can study in a room that is filled with “stuff”. Their desks are barely showing any place to put their books on. They can study this way, while others are already distracted when there is a toy on their clean desk. Knowing the cause of your distraction is key.
Furthermore, you should be actively taking care of more focus when you read and study. You should not be daydreaming while reading. This will only make you forget what you read. And that slows you down. You have to re-read your text again. Stop wasting time. Become a smart student. Here’s how you identify why you get distracted…
Why Do I Keep Getting Distracted When I Read? (5 Causes)
We all get distracted. We live in a distraction-rich environment. Your phone could be asking for your attention. You may have worries about what you study. You may have to use the bathroom after drinking too much. Some everyday distractions are for example…
You are staring at your book, while your head is only focused on something else. When you are daydreaming, you are thinking about the future. Is that where you feel you should be thinking about? If not, regain focus and start reading again. It is very good that you noticed what you were doing. It all starts right there!
Another way you can reduce daydreaming is by reading out loud. This helps you to hear your text as well. Daydreaming usually stops when you do this.
2. Your Messy Desk
Distractions happen when your eyes have something to look at. Remove all the items from your desk that you don’t need. You can even choose to put your desk facing a white wall. Don’t make it face your window, because that helps you to find distractions outside.
When you only have your desk with your book and a computer, distractions are less likely to occur. The same applies to your computer desktop and your open tabs in your browser. Only open the ones that you need!
3. You Are Bored!
The moment you are bored, you start to do other things. You won’t focus on your book or study materials. Are you bored and are you not reading? Or is the text itself boring you? Make sure you have a clear goal going through the materials. If you don’t want to because it is too boring… Try and prove the writer wrong! Find flaws in their reasoning. Draw your notes instead of writing them.
4. Your Mental State
When you feel tired, this stops you from reading. You can look at the text, but nothing will stick in your head. You are wasting your time. Make sure you sleep well enough. Have a glass of water. Eat a light meal.
5. The Text Is Too Difficult (Right Now)
When a text is too difficult, your brain tries to escape from it. Why would it stay focused when it can’t even understand the words or context anyway! There are two simple solutions. The first one is you read slower and hope you will understand it better this way.
The second solution is to take a step back. Start by reading an introduction to this topic. Visit Wikipedia, asking a teacher, or a fellow student, you can make the text more accessible. You can also watch a Youtube video! There is more than enough information to help you get a good basic understanding of topics out there!
One thing to understand is that the underlying cause of you getting distracted is only one thing… YOU!
You are the reason you get distracted. It could be that you allow yourself to be distracted. For example by the environment or by something within your mind and body. The root is the same. When you decide you will regain your focus, you are most likely to have more focus. This doesn’t mean that every distraction is no longer a threat.
You probably have to remind yourself again and bring your focus back to your book. No problem with that! Distractions are a very powerful negative influence when studying. Now that you know, use this and become less distracted.
Ask yourself these questions: Why am I not getting distracted when I do something I like to do? For example, watching a movie or playing a game! You don’t allow yourself to be distracted then. Stop it as well when studying and reading!
How Can I Focus While Reading?
There are 3 simple tactics you can do to instantly improve your focus when reading. Improve your focus and reduce the influence of your distractions. Implement one of the following solutions.
The first tactic is to go offline or use airplane mode on your phone. You will not receive any distracting messages. You will be challenged less to check your social media accounts.
If you still need to be online, use an app blocker or limit yourself to having open only one tab. Block websites like Facebook and Youtube. You can use browser extensions to do this. Simply add your distraction (and not useful) websites and start blocking the websites. Usually, you can also schedule this. This helps you to stay focused for example for one hour. After that time, your browser allows all websites again.
Here is a website blocker for chrome (use at your own risk): Blocksite
The second tactic is to understand your WHY. Why are you studying? What are you trying to accomplish? Are you doing all this because you want to have a better job? Or is it to learn a language for your next holiday? There is always a WHY that you can use to get back on track again.
Remain consistent as well. There is no problem getting distracted now and then. The consistency should be that you study every day, preferably at the same time. Make sure your brain and body know that every day at 6 AM you sit down and study for 1 hour. This makes it so much easier to get started and achieve a good study result daily.
The third and last tip for improving your focus when reading has to do with blocking noises. You can start listening to music or ambient sounds. Go to Youtube Music and look for classical music or game music (for example Mario Galaxy or Minecraft). The most important thing about this music is that it does not contain any lyrics. This is often a distraction (unless it is in a foreign language for you).
Pick a video, compilation, or song that is about 1 hour long. That way you will have the same sort of music during your entire study session.
You can also use ambient sounds. This could be a music clip of rain, a waterfall, a coffee shop, or a library. You can use this clip (one hour). Make sure you don’t get distracted looking at the video of that ambient clip 🙂
Always come prepared for your next study session. Have your books and other materials ready. Also, remove as many distractions as possible before you start. You can choose to sit in a room alone so people around you don’t bother or distract you. Have something to drink with you on your desk. You don’t have to get up and get something. And as you know, staying hydrated is important!
Like to take focus and remove distractions to another level? Here is one more tip.
Study in less time! That’s right! You should take less time than you usually take. Use a timer like this egg timer (start a 25 minutes countdown). The rationale behind working this way is simple. When you give your brain all the time it wants to study, it takes all the time! By limiting your time, your brain may panic a little. It feels that focus is needed to complete this task. This increases your focus 🙂 Try it, this works really well!
Oh… don’t set a timer to 25 minutes when you normally take 60 minutes. This is too much and creates only stress. Start by studying in 45 or 50 minutes first. After that, reduce your time by 5 minutes a couple of times, Let me know how this works for you!
There are many distractions when you are reading. Some are external, like your desk, the study room, or people and things around you. Others distractions are internal, for instance, your mental state, daydreaming, and feeling bored.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent distractions. Remember that distractions start within you. This is a good thing because you can prevent them from happening. You are the solution to create focus in reading and studying.