Whether you are preparing for a new school year or have been taking classes all year long, you know that sometimes studying is not on the top of your list of “fun” activities. Sometimes half the battle is getting started or figuring out a way to make studying a little more tolerable. The thought of having to sit in the same spot for hours on end, studying material that you may or may not have an interest in, can definitely make you want to run the other way as fast you can.
To help ease the process, I've put together three smart ways to study with ADHD:
1) Active Studying - Honestly, one of the worst things to do is sit on your bed and try to study. Most likely, you will fall asleep. I suggest being as active as you can. Stand up and walk back and forth while reading a chapter. Highlight as you read and take notes on the most important information. Read out loud to yourself. Attend study groups, processing what you're learning out loud can be extremely helpful. Change study locations periodically, a change of scenery can actually help you retain what you are learning.
2) Body Double - Staying focused and on-task is not an easy thing to do with ADHD. A body double helps with these things by being in the same room as you. Pretend like you are a big ship in the sea and they are your anchor. They can be studying themselves or doing whatever they want to do. Their presence alone can make a world of difference.
3) Take Breaks - Don’t fool yourself thinking you should study for hours straight as this can backfire. For better focus and retention, it’s a better idea to take breaks within your study sessions, especially for those subjects you find particularly boring. Study for 20 minutes and then take a five minute break. You can play around with these numbers, maybe for you, it’s 30 minutes study time and a 10 minute break. The idea is to focus on one thing for a period time that works best for you. Be careful about the kind of break you are taking as well. You don’t want to forget studying. Set a timer to remind yourself to take the break and a timer to return to work.
These are just a few suggestions that I've found helpful. Feel free to make them work for you by modifying them as needed. And if sleep is impacting your study habits, you won't want to miss the Podcast this week. Pete talks about how sleep impacts information retention and gives some ideas on how to make it a priority. Click here to listen!
For more tips and ideas on Back-To-School, here are a couple of recent posts:
Back-To-School: What's the Parent's Real Job? - Interview with ImpactADHD.com
Until Next Time,