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I can’t speak for all students, but I can say for sure that I am not studious enough to enjoy studying. Maybe that’s the same for you, and that is okay. We just need to figure out a way to trick our brains into thinking that we aren’t studying. I have discovered five methods of doing so, read them below!

1. Walk Around
That is right, walk. Walk before you study, walk as you study, and walk after you study. Research shows that walking boosts your mood for the day and makes us more creative. Because it’s exercise, walking stimulates the growth of neurons, which powers up your brain function. Walking sets your brain on ready-mode. While sitting down may help you focus, walking as you study does not do the opposite. Walking involves a number of neurons that coordinate posture, balance and more. Significantly, this prevents your brain cells from noticing distractions, leaving more brain cells to focus on the information. It works for me; it could work with you too. Walking after studying is a bit more straightforward. Walking calms you down and de-stresses the mind. Just as sleeping is vital to remember what you’ve studied, walking can help your mind relax and not experience an overdrive. Everyone knows an exhausted brain functions less ideally than a healthily alert mind. It’s a way to take care of your mental state, literally.

2. Hide Your Phone
None of us wants to admit it, but it is true. Phones are a distraction and they rarely, if ever, encourage focus in academic settings. A survey conducted by Sana, Weston, and Cepeda with college students (“Laptop Multitasking Hinders Classroom Learning for Both Users and Nearby Peers,” Computers & Education, 62 (24), 2013) claims that 80% of students who use mobile phones in class admit to having a diminished attention span as well as lower quality notes. There is no use trying to concentrate on studying if you’re just going to check on incoming text messages every five minutes. Not to mention your stash of entertainment apps waiting for you in the background once you’re done with social media. I’ve been there, and let me just say that only a few of us can resist the temptations of the phone.

3. Music
This one is flexible and dependent on the individual. Music can be used to either motivate concentration or completely wreck focus. Speaking from personal experience, the genre or type of music can make or break an ideal study atmosphere. For example, if I play relaxing video game music on the background, I can study better than if a trending pop-song is playing. But there are also times when complete silence is more favorable than any sort of sound. So really, the appropriateness of playing music during study sessions comes down to your situation. Get to know yourself and figure out when it’s a good time to play music or study in silence.

4. Remember Why You Are Studying
Sounds a little cliché, but reminding yourself why you’re studying can go a long way. It may be to achieve a certain goal, make somebody proud, or even just to practice academic excellence. Whatever the reason, having a goal can be motivating, and it’s better than studying for the sake of studying.

5. Know Your Limits
This one may sound a little harsh, but bear with me. I am not suggesting taking breaks after long consecutive hours of studying, although breaks are also important. Here I am referring to knowing how much you can actually take in from studying on your own.Knowing your limits should prompt you to ask someone who knows the subject better. As a lazy introvert, I can testify this is the last thing I want to do while studying. Having to reach out to others for help with my studies is really out of my comfort zone.But, speaking from experience, I cannot deny that reaching out to others for help can benefit your studies, making them more effective and productive. You could spend three days rereading the same line about mathematical equations, or you could spend a solid hour understanding the concept with someone who just finds it easier.

I know on a deep level that the mere idea of studying may bring a great sense of demotivation, but I am here to tell you that there are ways to study and feel positive about it. Try any of the tips to see if they make any difference.

About the Author
Aaron Theophilus Setiawan is a student studying at Simon Fraser University. Majoring in Communication and minoring in Interactive Arts, two fields that he finds to be relevant to both worldly events and his passions, Aaron made it to currently undergoing his Co-op term at TextbookHub as a content writer and a marketing assistant. Learning all he can about content writing and marketing, Aaron plans to become an expert in writing content for any subject or topic as long as there are resources to research from. When not studying or working, Aaron spends his time drawing digitally, eating alone or with friends, and appreciating nature. He is currently writing content for the TextbookHub blog. Aaron can be commonly spotted at the office, at SFU’s Burnaby campus, or at home and is contactable through his personal email

Five steps to studying effectively

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