How To Use The Study Duck To Concentrate On Studies

I swear to God, sometimes I just want to punch a clock. Anything that ticks and tocks but Doesn’t. Seem. To. Move. Round. This is how I used to feel at the start of every study session, every class, and the night before every birthday. So I’ve devised a way to concentrate on studies that eliminates all need for a clock.

Concentrate on studies
Need to concentrate on studies? Step 1: get rid of your clocks!!!

“A watched pot never boils.” Said Benjamin Franklin. Smart Guy.

Similarly, a clock above your study desk never helps you study.

Defenestrate it.

Defenestrate it now and replace it with The Duck.

To better concentrate on studies, you are going to need to focus before you start working. Here’s a really easy trick that could make a huge difference, not just to your studies, but how you work on everything from your job to planning your next birthday.

Where Do I Find This Great Study Duck?

The iPhone duck timer

The Duck is the iPhone sound that was added specifically for this purpose. (I mean, why else would they add a duck alarm…?)


  1. Pick a very specific topic. The smaller the better. Studying takes more time than you think and must therefore be cut down into smaller steps, rather than trying to leapfrog the whole damn mountain.
  2. Pick a very specific question. Ideally a key question from your exams or homework that is really important to a topic. Read more about studying through questions with Backwards Revision: The Best Way To Revise.
  3. Set a timer on your phone (or laptop, stop watch, Old English Gentleman’s pocket watch, whatever). I suggest 30 mins for Under 16s and 45 mins for everyone else. But you’ll find the time that works best for you. (I’ve set 31 mins for this post – I’m currently ahead of schedule – get in!)
  4. Now get to it soldier! Fight the clock. You only have a few minutes to answer that question, really well. Your aim is to create the perfect answer that can be reused in your exam.

Make sure that the timer is by your work space so that you can feel its icy cold breath urging you on. Every minute of your revision should be spent answering questions (rather than blankly starting at readings, or your bedroom wall). Boom. Hello working less and scoring higher grades!

If you have an iPhone, it must be The Duck sound. I honestly have no idea why, but it just works so much better to help concentrate on studies. Seriously. I don’t make the rules of the universe, I just observe them and try to pass them on: It’s gotta be The Duck.

If you don’t have an iPhone – find something equally ridiculous. Own it.

Rubber ducks
Get your ducks in a row first to help you concentrate on studies.

On A Serious Note – Why Is This So Effective?

  • The reason I’ve found that most students struggle with their studies is that they are hoping that just sitting down for an afternoon will make the learning magically happen. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way.
  • Instead, you need to utilise the time. By breaking down the material you need to study and focusing instead on the amount of time you have left you’ll be far more focused in your studies.

Good luck!


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