Tips on staying focused while studying from textbooks

If you are catching up on school or some theory for work, here are some techniques I used to get As in some of my graduate level courses in electrical and electronics engineering.

Study Tips – How you can increase your focus while studying


Pick a location where you can’t be distracted and is very quiet.


Use earphones and study in silence. Even use earplugs to increase the intensity of the silence. For those who learn while listening to music, this may not work for you, or it might. I listen to certain music to get into flow when executing. I go into complete silence while studying. I propose an experiment below to see what works best for you:

Music or No Music? A Test…

I recommend doing a test: Listen to focus music you enjoy while reading through a paragraph of text. Then without looking at the paragraph, see if you can summarize the concepts in your notes. Take note of what you can recall. Then go through two paragraphs without listening to any music, then without looking at the text, see if you can summarize the concepts in your notes. Whichever of the two provided the better result may be the more effective method.

Pomodoro Technique

Work for 25 minutes, break for 5 minutes. Repeat. However, if you get into flow and are really capturing important concepts well, then ignore the 5 minute break and stop at 55 minutes if you want to.…

No distractions

Either turn your phone off (ideally) or switch it to Airplane mode, so nobody can contact you.

Additional Information

You may recognize points 1 and 2 in the embedded video from the book named Ultralearning. As a natural ultra learner, I stumbled upon this book and it has been very helpful in laying out the principles to learn hard skills quickly. In the video, I used this book as a reference to highlight one of the principles I use to study a vast set of material, not limited to Ultralearning.

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