As a first-year, discovering a way to focus and study was something I wanted to have figured out. I tried many different methods, but I’ve settled on three, which are my favourite.
The first is the Pomodoro Technique, discovered by Francesco Cirillo, which he came up with while he was a University Student. How the method works is by having 4 - 25 minute sessions with 4-5 minute breaks between each one. The most important thing to note about this method is the 25 minutes of uninterrupted work, so no phones or distractions. You can find a timer made for the Pomodoro method online or set it up yourself. What’s worked best for me is using a guided Pomodoro method on youtube and following along with the other person. Gibi ASMR has quite a few videos about the Pomodoro method that you can find. I think this works so well because it allows you to be entirely focused on the task at hand since when you turn an hour study session into 25-minute chunks with breaks, the tasks or assignment seems a lot less daunting and much more manageable. You also don’t have to work on the same thing for all 4 chunks. If you want to work on multiple things, it’s completely customizable, which is helpful because you can, let’s say, split the chapter you’re going over into 4 parts which might make it easier for you to absorb the information.
My other favourite method is watching “Study With Me” videos on youtube. Playing and hearing the sounds of someone else typing or even watching someone typing allows me to mirror them, and it’s like being in a study group with friends or even working in a library. This method works well for me because I can hold myself accountable to keep going and working and with this method, you can easily apply the Pomodoro technique to have those shorter work blocks and breaks.
My third and final study/focus method just has a pleasant environment to work in. When I’m not on campus and working at home, I like having a nice cozy, functional space to do my work. So I tend to work at my PC, which is another room in the house, and I’ll make a hot drink, grab some snacks, turn on some Lofi music, and maybe even some rain sounds, and let myself get comfortable. The reason I do this is so I can enjoy my work and make it a little more relaxing for myself. I don’t work in my room because I get distracted by the things around me, so finding another space is helpful. I always like, in a way, romanticizing my study/work sessions because, As I said before, it’s a lot more fun for me, so I always turn on a playlist, usually lofi or instrumental this allows me to just focus only on the work in front of me and I can tune out the other distractions around me. I don’t see why we can't make studying or working on our schoolwork more relaxing and less daunting.
These methods have helped me transition into university and have provided me with some ease when working on an essay or studying for an exam. I hope you can find your own ways to make your work more relaxing and efficient!