How to actually start studying and improve focus using a Study Trigger

I honestly find it pretty hard to start studying. I have mentioned before that I have the attention span of a squirrel. I might be sitting in front of my books, but I keep wandering with my thoughts a lot of the time. In a previous article, I did mention I started using distraction logs to keep my thoughts in check, and it worked to a certain extent. 

How to actually start studying using a Study Trigger
How to actually start studying using a Study Trigger

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    How I found my study trigger - the back story

    I was not able to achieve my optimum efficiency in my study sessions. One of the things I did was to create and implement a routine. As a part of the new routine, I forced myself to wake up at 5 am everyday to study. 

    Also, a huge shoutout to my dad for waking me up; he used to wake up at 4.45 am to make tea for me to wake me up. And I have to say, it was EXTREMELY hard. I've always preferred studying at night and I have been used to waking up between 10 and 11.30 am. 

    This routine creation in itself took my exam preparation up a notch. I felt that since I was anyway awake, I might as well use that energy to study. Now, this is where the study trigger came in. 

    Since everyone in my family wakes up very early, it tends to get a little noisy for me. (And I am hyper sensitive to noise when I am studying). So, I started listening to study music to block out all the noise while I was studying. 

    Since I was studying well whenever I put on study music, I started incorporating it more and more into my study routine. 

    What is my study trigger?

    So, as I mentioned above, I started to playing a specific Spotify playlist (Thomas Frank’s Sunday study playlist) whenever I sat down to study. 

    This was a habit that I subconsciously built. It happened over a period of time, because I kept needing study music to help me focus and to block out distracting noise from the surroundings. 

    About 3 weeks after I got into this routine with study music, I played this specific playlist accidentally. When I heard the familiar study music, my thoughts immediately went to my books and I actually felt like studying. 

    That was when I realized my brain had been wired into understanding that Thomas Frank's study music playlist meant it was study time. 

    My study trigger is my study music playlist
    My study trigger is my study music playlist


    Analogy to understand how a study trigger works

    This might be a weird analogy, but have you heard that some smells trigger certain memories? For example, Youtuber Mridul Sharma in many of her travel videos has mentioned that she tries to use a new perfume for each new place she travels to. So after the trip, when she uses the perfume again, she is reminded of that place. 

    So, just like a smell can trigger memories, certain actions can trigger your brain to get into study or work mode. 

    How to build a study trigger?

    Do something that you will exclusively do only during or before your study/ work session, so that over a period of time, your brain gets the message that it is time to study when you do that specific activity. Doing something that is reserved exclusively only for when you study.

    Examples of Study triggers

    It need not necessarily be study music that triggers you. Maybe you could make a special kind of tea or coffee for you to have during your study session. Make it something you don't normally drink, like chamomile tea or cold coffee, so that it can be an "only study thing". Or it could be lighting a specific scented candle. It could be anything at all. 

    You could even have a specific area or desk allocated only for your studies. As in, when you sit in that specific place or at that particular desk, you should not allow yourself to do anything other than studying. 

    It could be hard at first, especially if you have a hard time concentrating like me, or if you are getting into studies after a long time. But slowly, your brain will start getting the message and you can build this up into a productive habit over a period of time.  

    Do you need to use a study trigger to study?

    Maybe using a study trigger sounds weird, but you should give it a try. It is, of course, not necessary for you to use a study trigger. If you are able to study and focus on that without this, that is great. But, if you need an external factor to get you started, then using a study trigger could be a great option. 

    Let me know in the comments whether you already do this, and if you do, what is your “study trigger”?

    Don't forget to follow me on my Instagram, where I put up bite sized informative posts from time-to-time, and my YouTube channel, for study and stationery related content. 

    Keep creating! Keep planning! 💞



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