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7 Ways For Students With ADHD To Maintain Focus

22/02/2021
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For students with ADHD, it’s often a big challenge to stay focused. This can affect your ability to study even when you’re trying your best. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours studying and getting nowhere. The following tips are designed to help students with ADHD maintain better focus to allow them to reach their full potential.


Choose Your Own Study Space

It’s important to identify a distraction-free zone of your own where you can study. Ideally choose somewhere quiet, comfortable, and clutter-free.

Move Around

It’s often challenging to sit still when you have ADHD but you don’t have to fight it. Try walking around while reading or sitting in a chair that rocks. This will allow you to move in a calm and gentle way and focus more on studying.

Readout Loud

By reading out loud you will engage your auditory as well as your visual senses. This helps your brain to process information at a deeper level than just reading in your head. To take it one step further – read a section of text to yourself, then try to paraphrase it to yourself (or somebody else) using your own words. This will help you to retain the information and recall it more effectively.

Switch Subjects Regularly

Once your attention begins to drift – change subjects. This is known as ‘shifting’. To make the transition easy, make sure you have a different subject ready and close by. You can also shift back and forth between tasks until you have completed all your work. This helps you to stay productive and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.


Identify Your Distractions

Make a list of what distracts you and where you are most likely to find these distractions. Use this list to identify which environments will work best for you. Some people with ADHD prefer white noise in the background while others prefer to study in a silent environment. Also, you might find studying in a library difficult if you are easily distracted by the sound of whispers or page-turning. If you find yourself distracted by your phone notifications, try putting your phone on silent during study times, or even turning it off.

The Pomodoro Technique

To effectively maximise your study, break down each session into manageable chunks of time. One way to do this is by using The Pomodoro Technique. This method uses a timer to break down work into intervals, usually 25 minutes in length, separated by short five minute breaks. Each interval is known as a Pomodoro from the Italian word for ‘tomato’.


There are six steps in the original technique:

  1. Decide on the task to be done.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  3. Work on the task.
  4. End work when the timer sounds and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (five minutes) then go to step 2.
  6. After four Pomodoros take a longer break (15-30 minutes), reset your checkmark point to zero, and return to the beginning.

Take Regular Breaks

Make sure you take regular relaxation breaks and exercise (preferably in the fresh air). This is essential to leading a balanced study life and not getting stressed and burnt out. Allow yourself to take full days off too to recharge your mind and body. You will learn more effectively if you are feeling energised and refreshed.

If you find yourself struggling to manage ADHD alongside studying, make sure you seek some support. Our FREE Ebook Practical Tips and Techniques for Students with ADHD is a good place to start.

Please contact us if you would like to find out more about the online ADHD assessment and evidence-based treatments available at The ADHD Centre. You can reach us on 0800 061 4276 or by email at connect@adhdcentre.co.uk.

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