C hange environments.
  • Find the environment that is best for YOU. Consider whether you like to be away from people or not, whether you like noise or not, and whether you like bright or dim light.

  • If you are distracted for some reason, find a new place to study that will have less distractions.

  • As soon as you are distracted, change environments. Do not waste time trying to shut out distractions or waiting for the distractions to go away.
Sitting at desk to study may help reduce distractions.
H ave all equipment nearby while studying.
  • Before studying, collect the materials you will need (pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, books, paper clips, note cards, etc.).

  • This will save time so you won't have to find equipment during your study time and then have difficulty again getting started studying after you find the equipment.
A collage of equipment, such as scissors, a pencil, a pen, and a pad of paper.
E stablish rewards for yourself.
  • You may have difficulty getting started studying because it looks like you may never finish or because you keep thinking of other things you would rather do than study.

  • To help, you need to set rewards for yourself. For example, you may reward yourself after you finish reading a chapter. Or you may divide your study time into shorter periods (e.g., 30 minutes) and reward yourself at the end of these periods.

  • You can use rewards such as food, TV, video games, computer, talking to a friend on the phone, or using email. If you are using a reward in the middle of your study time, be sure to set a time limit on how long you can devote to the reward (e.g., 10 minutes of talking on the telephone).
A picture of a pear, and apple, and a candy bar.
C reate a checklist of all the tasks you need to do before studying.
  • You may have difficulty getting started studying because you think you have too many tasks to do or you have no idea of what you have to do, so it seems like your studying will be endless.

  • Make a list of what you have to study and prioritize these tasks starting with the most important tasks to be done.

  • After completing each task, check it off to see how much you have accomplished. The list will also let you know what you need to finish.
A checklist of things to do.
K eep a "worry pad" while studying.
  • If distractions are keeping you from concentrating, you create a "worry pad," which is a piece of paper where you write all the ideas that keep popping into your head.

  • After you write an idea down, try to put it out of your mind until you are finished studying. Each time a worry interrupts your studying, write it on the paper.
A worry pad.



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