Concentration strategies checklist
How many of these strategies are you currently using?
Watch your health
Get enough rest
Get enough exercise
Address any health concerns
Build in time for leisure
Create the right environment
Comfortable, but engaging
Free of things that distract you
Well-equipped (office supplies, dictionary, snacks, water, etc.)
Manage your time effectively
Determine how much time you need to study
Budget frequent, short, specific study sessions
Set study goals (e.g. Read 5 pages in the next 30 minutes)
Take breaks (@10 minutes per hour)
Consider changing subjects or activities when you lose concentration
Maximize the use of your peak energy times (…am? …pm?)
Give yourself rewards for tasks well done!
Create questions from headings and read to answer the questions
Write summaries of readings and lectures
Take notes of readings
Discuss ideas with other students
Other ACTIVE strategies??
Address your worries
Keep a worry journal –- get your worries down on paper
Schedule worry time
Seek out support
Learn relaxation strategies
After completing the checklist, mark one or two new strategies you will try.
Factors affecting concentration
Concentration can be affected by both “internal” and “external” factors. Which factors are affecting your concentration?
- Physical distractions: Irregular eating, sleep, and exercise patterns, depression, anxiety, chronic pain or other related health and mental health issues.
- Emotional preoccupation or distraction:Personal issues or crisis e.g. relationship break–up, job loss etc.
- Excessive worry: Preoccupation and fear about future, failure, etc.
- Negative self-talk: Critical, comparative or perfectionist thinking.
- Lack of career direction
- Lack of clarity or confusion regarding course work or expectations.
- Other people in your study space.
- Noise distractions (TV, people talking, music, phone).
- Light too dim or bright.
- Temperature too high or low.
- Time pressures.
- Social distractions (invitations, family needs, time with friends).
- Discouraging words from others.
- Lack of adequate materials or resources to complete the task.
- Physical danger or threat.
You can also download a worksheet (printable version) of this page with space for your notes.