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Facts and figures starting to blend together in a horrible haze? Here's how to keep from getting lost in brain space.
Step 1: Eradicate distractions
Enter a fortress of solitude -- research shows that low-level distractions can make a task feel boring. Hide your cellphone, tell your online social network to de-friend you instantly if they see you log in, and seal yourself in a quiet room.
If you're planning a really long cramming session, break it up with a nap. One study found an hour's worth of shut-eye can increase your ability to focus.
Step 2: Embrace your emotions
Emotional entanglement distracting you? Admit how you're feeling, even out loud -- those who can identify how they feel often have better focus.
Step 3: Engage yourself
Don't just take notes; engage with the material creatively. Invent a song about the topic at hand, or recreate historical events and fictional plotlines. It's easier to stay interested when you make the material come alive.
Step 4: Take a shower
Studied so long you've stopped absorbing material? Take a shower -- the change of pace will stimulate your mind and help refresh your body.
Step 5: Make up a challenge
Make a game out of your work to stave off boredom. Try to score higher and higher throughout your study session, and be sure to reward your triumphs. You've earned it!
Did You Know?
In 2009, a study found that nearly 50 percent of college freshmen that drink spent more time drinking than studying.