Inner Game of Golf, but for studying?

Happy New Year, everyone! It should be filled with lots of success and good luck.

My problem in studying is not the material. Obviously it’s hard, but what can you do? Do the problems, right?

My concern is that my attention span is shot. After correcting for too much coffee, depression, Facebook, etc., there’s still a problem. I need some sort of attention span self-help book or program for extremely nerdy people. Does anyone know the Inner Game of Golf, Tennis, etc.? Something like that.

My first degree was in philosophy. My best work there was done by reading little bits at a time, letting them percolate, and then coming up with a good idea while doing something else (in the tub?). This approach cuts no ice here, as y’all know.

In some other thread, someone made the very good point that a poor attention span may be a sign of lack of interest (and need to pursue something else). After a lot of introspection (which continues), I’m fairly sure that I’m not repressing boredom and that I’m genuinely interested in the material. So that’s not it.

Thanks for any suggestions!


I run into the same issues. I get bored and distracted easily. I cannot study hard subjects at Starbucks. When I was writing papers I had no problems but with math, chemistry … I need less distractions. Anyway … Study in a library for no longer than two hours.

Go to the below website to see how you are wired. Are you Auditory, Visual, Kinaesthetic-tactual? I found out that I was more Visual and a little of Kinaesthetic-tactual. This helped me to use more pictures and colors for studying.

The below website will give you some study tips. I hope it helps. learn.html


Someone had written a few years ago (while I was studying for the MCAT) that the strategy used by the individual was to study for 50 minutes and then break for 10 minutes. This was done without making excuses or diverging from the schedule. I tried it and found I really liked it for the MCAT and for my post-bacc studies. I didn’t like it as much for med school as I felt like losing 10 minutes every hour was too much, but now having gone through it, I think I should have continued to use it even during that time.

I cannot study at Starbucks because there’s just too much activity. However, I do study at another coffee shop (Caribou) which I find to be perfect for me as it has some moderate activity in the background but the tables are larger (as is the space). For me, the library is WAY too quiet.

Besides the first suggestion, I’d say just continue to try different environments until you find one that works. It is said that it is best to not study in one’s home and instead to keep that as a place used only for relaxing–I personally find this to be useful, but clearly others will disagree.

Best wishes!

Thanks, guys. I actually went to the self-help section (!!!) and looked at a couple of moderately flaky, but maybe even helpful, tomes. I think the 50 minutes on/10 min. off thing has real promise. Maybe 30 on/5 off if I can stick to it.

Good luck with the upcoming semester!


I’m glad you brought this up as it’s a problem for me as well. Sounds like you got some good ideas. I’ll be trying them myself!