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15 ways to stop thinking while studying

Thinking is one of the processes of the mind which we can't easily stop with our will. But thinking unnecessary thoughts while studying is something we need to stop if we want to save our time while studying.

When we think while studying, we just tend to glance over the words of the book and our mind drifts off without our will. If this becomes a daily habit, the mind becomes very difficult to control and we always try to work so hard to concentrate but we can't and studying starts to feel like a burden.

This leads to stress since we become unable to take control of the mind. We just tend to waste a lot of time while studying and the information our mind tends to retain from our study time becomes very less.

So, the solution is to stop thinking while studying. But how do we do that? How do we focus, concentrate and control our thoughts while studying?

Here are the steps you can take to stop thinking and focus while studying:


1. Learn the art of avoiding thoughts

While studying, you might have encountered lots of thoughts about the past, about the future and about anything that just comes to disturb you and waste your time and stress you out. These thoughts can be avoided with practice.

When these thoughts come, just pay attention to the words of the book, instead of the thoughts and don't react to them. If you follow this habit daily, not just while studying, the disturbing thoughts will stop annoying you. They will no longer take your time. Just pay attention to something else when these thoughts arise.

When you are studying, pay attention to the study material and while you're not studying, focus on something other than the thoughts.


2. Watch videos about the study material beforehand

If you watch some videos related to your study material before going through the lessons, you will already have an interest in the course material and your mind will recall the things you saw in the videos when you glance over the words of the book, instead of unnecessary thoughts. Do this when you have enough time left for the exams. If it's exam time, it's better to not watch videos if you get easily distracted.


3. Get into the habit of meditating

There are various kinds of meditation you can do, but for the purpose of concentration while studying and to keep thoughts away, there is a unique practice you can follow.

First, take some time out of your schedule only for meditation. During that time, stay away from all kinds of distractions including mobile phones.

Second step - Take a few deep breaths, at least ten. Then just sit. Try to think of nothing. If some thoughts flow from your mind, try not to react to them and don't form connections with them. That means, if you form connections, one thought leads to another and a lot of time is wasted doing that. Instead don't react to them. Even if you don't find this easy, practice it a lot, daily. You will be surprised after a lot of practice sessions that you can stop any thought at your will!

Let the thoughts flow, think of yourself as separate from the thoughts. Let them pass. Day by day, your stressful thoughts will no longer disturb you and you'll be able to fully concentrate on your studies.


4. Don't just rely on the book for your studies

Research about the contents that you need to study from anywhere you can. Watch videos, read some more about them and try to understand the concepts deeply. This will lead to a strong interest in your studies and you'll no longer have to fight thoughts away. Even if you don't like the study contents at first, the more time you spend with them, you'll become very familiar with the concepts of your syllabus and you will be able to accomplish a lot more than other students who doesn't spend time researching the concepts and who just focus on reading or passively studying. That way, you can excel and easily earn good scores.


5. Become self-disciplined in other areas too

If possible, do other activities that need concentration like meditating, writing poems or just writing daily about your experiences and observations. If you focus properly and do them daily, your mind will become more disciplined day by day. 

You will feel great overall and your mind will not easily get fatigued and you will no longer be lazy. Becoming an expert in one domain will increase your self-worth and you will become confident in other areas of your life too. 

Soon, you'll become a much better person than before and things like studying and remembering without thinking will be just effortless.


6. Dedicate your precious time for the future

Don't waste time. The time that flies will never come back. Only you have control over it. Don't waste your time on activities that will not benefit your future. The more you become disciplined, the more sharp will be your mind and you will easily be able to concentrate on your studies. You no longer will have to struggle while studying because of thoughts that disturb you.


7. Study daily, even if it's for a short period of time

Studying before exams is stressful. You'll have a variety of thoughts that take away your little time that you have before the exams. Instead, prepare for the exams long before the actual exams. If you study your material daily, it will become easy and you will not have to face stress before the exams.


8. Change your beliefs

If you study hard but can't concentrate, you will make it a strong belief that "I can't concentrate", "I can't study without thinking" or "I always feel sleepy while studying". These are the beliefs that you need to take out of your mind and stop believing them. 

The more you believe the thoughts, the more it will become true. Instead, practice the ways to stop thinking while studying and believe that you can study without thinking and without feeling sleepy. Don't believe the thoughts that limit yourself and don't tell anyone that you can't study without thinking or you can't concentrate. The more you tell others, the beliefs will become stronger.

If you keep on telling others that you can't study without thinking and it's difficult for you to concentrate on your studies, you will start to strongly believe it and it will not only become a habit but the habit will also become difficult to change. Instead, don't believe in your weaknesses and start working on them with full faith and determination.


9. Become self-motivated

When you become fatigued and no longer want to work or study, that's when you need to motivate yourself. Being self-motivated means that you rely on no one but only yourself to become motivated and you don't lose your motivation if someone lets you down. Don't rely on others for your motivation. That one person that motivates you today may not motivate you forever. That's why instead of feeling sad or negative about that person or yourself in the future, it's better to always depend on yourself for your source of motivation.


10. Don't give up

Never give up. Practice the ways to stop thinking while studying. The more control you have on your mind, the more control you will have on other areas of your life too. 

Once you learn how to properly control your mind and your thoughts, you will have a lot of time since it will no longer be wasted and you will be able to achieve and learn a lot of things than ever before. The key to achieving success is never giving up. 

Even if you face difficulties at the start, don't give up. Take control of your mind. It's only when you give up, you don't realize your potential and you start to believe that you can't be successful at a particular thing. But if you keep on practicing consistently, no one can stop you from achieving success. So get started from today, always be consistent and never give up.

Other than the 10 points listed above about how to stop thinking while studying, you can also follow different techniques that will help with concentration, like:


11. Studying for short periods of time and taking a break

After you study for 20-30 minutes, your concentration level may drop. When your concentration level drops, you should take a break of 5 minutes or so and again continue reading after 5 minutes. Remember to not get distracted by other things in that 5 minutes. Just sit and try to be in a meditative state - a thought free state. It becomes easier with practice.


12. Listen to concentration music

Music can change your mood, your energy level and your state of mind. So, you can use music for concentration purposes too. Whenever you feel like your concentration is dropping, listen to music that can help with focus. Some types of music can distract you. Therefore, listen to only those kinds of music that can benefit your concentration level. Baroque music can help you focus and study. You can find various Baroque music online.


13. Don't focus on the negatives

Whenever you feel like you are falling behind in your studies and there is not much time left for your exams, focus on the positives. Don't think "there's so little time left!", "I haven't studied anything!". Instead, think about how easily you can study if you use your remaining time carefully without wasting it. But if you focus on the negatives, the time that you have left will also be wasted. Therefore, remind yourself constantly how much you've already studied and actually there's not much left to study. Don't think of it as hard work. Study the contents one step at a time and you can excel at your exams.


14. Teach others

You can teach others about what you've learned by using YouTube or blogging. In the process of teaching, you can also learn a lot about the subjects which will make you more interested in them and will definitely help with concentration.



15. Write about what you know

Even if you don't want to teach others about what you've learned, you can write or take notes about what you've learned so far. You can also add notes you find online and save them for future use. The key is repetition. If you repeat the things you learn and surround yourself constantly with it, concentration and thinking while studying will never be a problem. 

Useful Resources:

Memex - A very helpful tool for bookmarking, history and bookmark search, highlights, annotations and lots more. 

Tabby - Save your windows and tabs for later so that you get the same feeling of concentration later while doing research for studying. 
Tabli - Tab manager for Chrome. It can save tabs as bookmarks and windows as bookmark folders. (Extension)

Joplin - A note taking and to-do application. 
Toby Mini - Great tab saving and organizing tool. You can save tabs into different collections and name them for proper categorization.
Just like listening to some songs evokes special and unique feelings and you get the same feeling each time you listen to the song, similarly saving tabs while you're deep into research and the mind is deeply focused and concentrated and revisiting them later can evoke unique feelings of interest and attachment to a particular subject or topic. 
It's working and improving on little details like this is what will make you a top level performer in any field or any skill, not just in studying and remembering. 

Single File - Save an entire webpage including images, styling etc. as a single HTML file.

Conifer - Collect and revisit web pages. The content will stay with you even if the actual page goes offline.

Hypothesis - Annotate the web with anyone, anywhere.

Kiwix - Makes online content accessible for everyone.

Zotero - Collect, organize, cite and share research. Your personal research assistant. 

Dynalist - Organize your tasks and ideas in simple lists.

Obsidian - Your second brain.

Zettlr - Makes the act of writing an experience filled with fun.

Zenkit - Organize anything.

Zenkit To Do - Task management tool to help you study and work productively. 

Anki - Remember anything. Decrease your time spent studying and increase the amount you learn. 
Memorai - AI memory assistant for Anki. 

Scan Your PDF - Make any PDF look like it was scanned.  

Espanso - Text Expander.  

Simpdf - Simple and easy-to-use PDF editor.
NeuraCache - A cache for neurons. A tool that facilitates the process of creating curated long-term memory.  
Document Cyborg - Convert any webpage into a document. 
Midterm App - Note taking app for studying.
Apps for meditation - Meditation makes us more focused and apps can make meditation entertaining and fun.
Notes Along - Highlight, annotate and create notes from webpages.
Send as Podcast - Listen to articles and webpages like podcasts (in audio mode). 
Sometimes we want to study more but our body does not allow us in some or the other way. Your eyes may feel strained or your concentration level might drop.
So you can use this tool if you want to take a rest or when you feel too lazy to read. Or when you just want to de-stress and relax but still keep your mind active and your learning mode on.  

Firefox Screenshots - Capture a region or an entire page. Very useful tool in-built on Firefox itself.


Huma Shahper said…
This was much needed. Thank you.
Unknown said…
Appreciate u alot
You already made forget about past
My next step is to start it now
Unknown said…
I'm grateful to u guyz❤πŸ™ŒπŸΏ
Unknown said…
Thanks.It really helped me.
Thank you very much guys.☺☺☺
Student said…
Very helpful ...πŸ™πŸ™
Unknown said… too...imma start fresh now

Unknown said…
Thanks. This was helpful
Gyanist said…
You're welcome. Glad you found it helpful!
Gyanist said…
Thank you. Happy to help!
Gyanist said…
No problem. My pleasure to help.
Unknown said…
Really thank u soo muchhh...well expained and every point is true and your analysis about thinking is extremly great .
Gyanist said…
Thank you for the lovely comment!
Unknown said…
Loved it thank u the most effective was. Teach other and ignore thought
Gyanist said…
You're welcome. Yes, the more we practice avoiding and reacting to thoughts, the more focused we will become day by day. So, in every problem we should try to find an opportunity to improve ourselves.

In the case of being bothered by thoughts while studying, instead of looking it as a problem we can see it as an opportunity to control thoughts even better than before and become an expert at it.
Gyanist said…
You're very welcome.
Unknown said…
Yes in this discuss my big problem πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—thank
Gyanist said…
You're welcome :)
Anonymous said…
These tips are simple and helpful. I really appreciate you sharing this. I bookmarked this webpage to come back to it as needed.
Gyanist said…
Thank you for the kind words. I'm pleased to help.
Sanjeev Kumar said…
I am trying to concentrate on study but I am still distracted by the waves of unnecessary thoughts in my mind.
Gyanist said…
Yes, it's normal to feel that way at the beginning but it will get better with practice. You can use the tools provided in the resources section and by getting involved with tools, the mind will develop more interest in studies.

Using various tools makes studying an activity filled with fun instead of making it feel like work, so try to see it as a skill and keep on practicing. You can also meditate and do breathing exercises to ease out stress and to reduce thoughts.
Anonymous said…
Thank you. This was needed.
Anonymous said…
A Big Thank you!!! to the blogger who ever wrote this.
Gyanist said…
No problem. Always here to help ! :)
Gyanist said…
No worries. Wishing you all the best!
Unknown said…
Thank you so much
Gyanist said…
You're most welcome.
Arun Chauhan said…
Great information I used this things while I was study for MD Degree In USA.
Emma Jasmine said…
Concentrating on studies be difficult today especially with all the distractions including our smartphones, friends, family, and other commitments that we have to deal with every day. Whether your biggest challenge is procrastination, time management, or social media but you shared valuable tricks & this is the most important thing to study without thinking anything for medical students I am a student of Caribbean Medical School I also face difficulties to study with focus but these things will surely help to all the students.
Unknown said…
Great tips.. Really helpful..the effort is really praiseful.I hope this helps me with my concentration problems.
Anonymous said…
Thank you so much :)
Unknown said…
Thankyou so much. Very practical and relatable to my situation. :) Will definitely ace my exams without wasting any time on unnecessary thoughts!
Gyanist said…
You're welcome :)
Gyanist said…
No problem. Good luck!
K.k said…
I have a question that how can we use saving tools?
Gyanist said…
Glad you found it helpful.
Gyanist said…
Which tool are you using?
Gyanist said…
Thank you. Practicing and using study tools and getting deep into studying will develop a love for studying and reading which will definitely help with your concentration problems.
Anonymous said…
Gyanist said…
You're welcome and for the timetable guide, here you go -