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Five Tricks to Stay Focused While Reading

Five Tricks to Stay Focused While Reading

How to stay focused while reading? That is the question. Whether it’s because you think you might enjoy the hobby or because your college is forcing you to read the endless droning of whatever-their-names-are, you might find that it’s hard to get past a single section or chapter before your mind starts wandering, and it feels like you’re reading the same words over the same words over the same words over and over and over again. Again...

So what can you do about it? How does one stay focused while reading?



Five Tips from eSmartr:

  • Read only in a comfortable, happy environment. Seriously, environment is everything, as everyone who has tried to study on the bus on their way to an exam will unhappily tell you. Trying to read in the wrong environment can lead to distraction from any number of external forces,1 all of which are conspiring to steal your attention and put it somewhere else.
  • Know what you’re reading first. If you’re having trouble focusing, you can get a head start on the whole how to stay focused while reading thing by not going in blind for a change. Read the back of the book. Is it an academic paper? Read the abstract, then the conclusion. Know what you’re getting into. You won’t feel as lost, which will help you to keep focused.
  • Work with a routine. Don’t read at dinner time. Don’t eat dinner at 11:00pm. These are simple rules that keep our lives running on some kind of order. In the same way you get hungry just in time for dinner, if you create a routine out of reading, your mind will be in a good place to absorb information when you begin. Same place, same time – make as much as you can the same. Your brain is easily fooled that way.
  • Take notes. Doesn’t matter why you’re reading, writing stuff down makes remembering stuff easier. Not only that, but if you do lose your place in the text, you won’t have to start from the beginning because you weren’t paying attention as you went! Even if you’re reading for fun, try taking the occasional note as you go, after each section or chapter. 
  • Wear a smart compression sleeve! Come on, you know we had to. Our products are designed to naturally improve your ability to focus, just by wearing them! No electricity, no drugs, nothing more than putting on a specially-designed compression sleeve and letting the magic happen.

  • Fun science-y fact: According to a 2017 study,2 selective attention is the aspect of executive function (brain power) that is the most constantly engaged while reading. Selective attention is your ability to focus on one thing while ignoring everything else.3 If you can sneak a university textbook into a heavy metal concert and read it during the show, you have outstandingly good selective attention! 

    If you’re still not sure you know how to stay focused while reading, I’d like to point out that you are currently five hundred and fourteen words into this webpage (unless you cheated), which is no small feat! Give a few new things a try; take some notes, try reading someplace new, and try to make it a natural process. You might be pleasantly surprised and how pleasant reading can be.


    1. Kuzmičová, A. (2016), Does it Matter Where You Read? Situating Narrative in Physical Environment. Commun Theor, 26: 290-308.
    2. Elena, C. (2017). Novice readers: The role of focused, selective, distributed and alternating attention at the first year of the academic curriculum. I-Perception, 8(4) doi:

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