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1. Set aside a place only for study.

  • Room to spread out; good light; out of traffic
  • Music? Instrumental and mood are OK; vocal music and talk are not.

2. Daydreaming?

  • Stand up; face away - look at anything but books to break the association.

3. Strengthen your ability to concentrate by selecting a social symbol related to study.

  • What you wear affects how you feel and think.
  • Wear one particular item of clothing when studying so others will know when you're studying; take it off when you're not studying.

4. Set aside habitual time to begin studying; this will make it a lot easier to start without daydreaming or talking with someone.

5. Don't start unfinished business just before time to start studying.

6. Set small, short-range sub-goals.

  • The closer people get to their goal, the faster they move (and the faster you read, the better your concentration.)
  • Divide assignments into sub-sections and set a time limit for finishing each one; for instance, plan to complete 10 problems in 30 minutes.

7. Keep a record of goal setting. Write down what you plan to do and note what you've accomplished.

8. Keep a reminder pad by you as you study.

  • Jot down what comes to mind.
  • You'll have peace of mind that you won't forget it.

9. Relax completely before studying. Sit quietly for a moment or two to collect your thoughts before you start. 

Adapted from: SYSTEMS FOR STUDY by Alton Raygor and David Wark, McGraw-Hill Book Company at Idaho State University