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9 scientific ways to improve focus for online study

9 (Scientific) Ways to Improve Your Focus for Online Study

There are many benefits to online study, but with so many distractions at our digital fingertips these days (Facebook newsfeed, The Iconic sale) it can be hard to stay focused. As a result, finishing an online study course can take longer than it should.

So, how do you remain focused and graduate faster? The following 9 tips are scientifically proven ways to enhance your concentration and eliminate time-zapping distractions.


  1. Monotask

If you think people who multitask get more done, you’re mistaken. In fact, it’s one of the worst things you can do for your focus, concentration and productivity – so important for self-directed online study!


An online study into multitasking found that it can reduce IQ by as much as 15 points – leaving you with an average IQ of an 8-year-old child. That’s not going to be helpful for your academic performance in online study.


So, next time you’re writing an assignment while simultaneously checking Facebook and eating lunch, consider your inner 8-year-old, and whether they’ve got the smarts to pass your course.


  1. Meditate or Practise Mindfulness

You don’t have to be a master yogi to reap the benefits of meditating or practising mindfulness.  If you regularly practice meditation techniques, you can improve your focus and clarity by altering your brain function, according to Italian neuroscientist Giuseppe Pagnoni.


In the study, Pagnoni found that mediation changes brain patterns and may improve focus and cognitive function.


So, next time you’re feeling particularly frazzled, sit quietly and practise some quick mindfulness exercises to regain focus on your online study.


  1. Make Lists

The simple act of planning has positive psychological effects, including enhanced focus according to Dr. Cynthia Green. List-making can boost your brain power and help you regain focus. Dr. Green says list making will focus your attention more actively on the information you need to remember and help you pay closer attention to it. So, start a to-do list for online study today and you will ace that assignment in no time.


  1. Exercise

Let’s face it, there are many great reasons to exercise both for physical and mental health benefits. But, in a study by the University of British Columbia, researchers found regular aerobic exercise, think heart pumping runs, appears to increase the size of the hippocampus, which is part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.


So, if you’re intent on improving your online study results it might be a good idea to improve your physical fitness too!


  1. Declutter Your Study

Scientists have found that clutter negatively affects your ability to focus. When your study area is untidy your brain will also feel messy, making study difficult. Research1 from brain scans prove that clutter in your environment has a direct impact on your ability to focus and concentrate. So, tidy up your study for improved online study.


  1. Take a Break

Constantly studying without taking breaks will result in mental fatigue. Even just taking a few minutes away from online study can help improve your focus and concentration, according to a University of Illinois study. The study found that the brain’s ability to focus drops after long periods of concentrating on a single task, decreasing our focus and performance.


  1. Eat Brain Foods

According to WebMD smart foods are those that improve brain function and cognition. So, if you want to enhance your focus to study smarter, eat more of the following:


Wild Salmon              Rich in omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain function.


Blueberries                High in antioxidants, one cup a day keeps oxidative stress away.


Nuts/Seeds                High in vitamin E, associated with reduced cognitive decline.


Avocado                     Contains monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow and as a result, healthy brain.


Whole-grains          Foods such as oatmeal, whole-grain breads and brown rice are high in fibre, vitamin E and omega-3s, which improve cardiovascular health and blood flow.


Beans                         Lentils and black beans stablise glucose (blood sugar), which the brain uses as fuel.


Pomegranate             A fruit that’s high in potent antioxidants, which protect the brain from the damage of free radicals.


Fresh Brewed Tea    Contains a modest caffeine content to enhance memory, focus, and mood. Tea, especially green tea, has potent antioxidants, that promote healthy blood flow.


Dark Chocolate         High in powerful antioxidant properties, contains natural stimulants, like caffeine, which enhance focus and concentration, and stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood.


  1. Chew Gum

Research suggests that simply chewing gum may improve brain function, making you more alert, enhancing your mood and reducing stress. So, next time you’re taking a test for online study don’t forget your chewing gum. It can also help you stay focused on a task for longer.


  1. Get Adequate Sleep

Research shows that getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining attention and the ability to learn new information. If you’re sleep deprived, you can’t focus on large amounts of information over long periods – important for online study, or any kind of study! So, make sure you’re getting your eight hours – or however much sleep you require for optimal function, both physically and mentally.


Hopefully these 9 tips will give you the edge to succeed in your online study by improving your ability to focus, concentrate and self-motivate. Online study can be challenging, so make sure you give yourself the best chance of success to pass your subjects and graduate with a certificate of professional development.


Australian Online Courses

Australian Online Courses offers a comprehensive array of professional development courses, developed in consultation with industry experts to give you the skills and knowledge to pursue new roles or enhance your C.V for career advancement.

Our flexible study timeframes, affordable prices and unmatched customer support are at the heart of what we do. A state-of-the-art eLearning platform means you can study anywhere, anytime.

To find out more, or to enrol in an online study course, call one of our friendly Learning Consultants today on 1300 762 221.