Did you know that since the invention of the smartphone, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds?

That's a third of our total attention span!

hasan minhaj fake gesturing scrolling a phone

If you're trying to study, whether it's for an exam or an interview, finding ways to control your focus is becoming more important in today's digital world.

A Distraction-Free Environment

50% of all distractions are actually self-created, which means we have the power to control how distracting we want our environment to be when focusing on study tasks.

Out of sight, out of mind. We've all heard this term before, and yet it's still tried and true.

A desk with a lot distractions and clutter around. Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

That means when studying, you should:

  • silence your phone or remove it by placing it in another room.

  • remove any clutter around your desk/studying space.

  • have no loud or distracting noises in the area.

The Pomodoro Technique

Studies have shown that people become distracted after 23 minutes and 15 seconds of studying.

The Pomodoro technique is a time management method that benefits focusing. It's a great way to focus if you get easily distracted or have difficulty managing time.

  • Set a timer and work for 25 minutes.

  • Take a 5-minute break.

  • Repeat.

  • After 4 loops of the steps above, take a 15-30 minute break.

 an hourglass in rocky landscape Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

The Power of Music

Research has shown that music changes our brain activity. So, listening to the right music may improve your concentration, mood, motivation, and even memory.

Bart Simpson listening to music But, which kind of music? You should opt for music that has a slow tempo with no distracting lyrics to help set the mood.

  • Classical music has been proven to change your brain activity in a way that makes it easier for you to absorb information.

  • Ambient music is another good choice, since it sets a calm tone and allows you to immerse yourself while studying.

  • Lo-fi music is another popular option for those that enjoy low-tempo hip hop beats.


Jake, a highschool student is about to study for his upcoming exam. Which of the following are effective ways to focus while studying? Select all that apply.

Take Action

Are you ready to focus for your next study session?

A young woman closing her eyes to focus Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


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