January 18, 2018

Focus Bursts: Using interval training and controlled panic for better study

Dave Farrow - The Memory Guy - College Speaker

RAISE THE INTENSITY of your studying – but STUDY IN SHORT BURSTS. We call it Focus Bursts™ and it only works when you both raise the Intensity AND study in Short Bursts. It’s the combination of the two that’s going to get you the memory and retention results studying work for you. It’s like in the “Married With Children” theme song “Love and Marriage”  – you can’t have one without the other.

It sounds fairly simple and it is, but it’s part of the neuro-science based, Focus Training System that I used to become a two-time Guinness World Record Holder for Greatest Memory and it’s what I use to help students and adults gain control over their ability to focus. Even if you have ADHD (like I do), my techniques work – if you apply them that is. I invented the Focus Burst method back in 1996 when I was going for my first Guinness World Record. Today, only myself and my certified Farrow Memory Speakers teach this method.

So here’s more on FOCUS BURSTS

Most students study with a TV or radio on in the background claiming it helps them focus. In a way that’s true because the brain is not receiving enough stimulation from studying to be focused. Remember, as humans, we only use a small amount of our brain’s tremendous power. So you’re right, the brain gets bored and wants to listen to some tunes while you do all the heavy lifting.

With the Focus Burst technique I’ve developed, you increase the INTENSITY of the study session by changing things like the time interval and the style of work. Now the brain gets in the game because it has more to keep it focused on the task at hand. Soon, you’ll be doing with out the background music.

Typically study programs will recommend that you study anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes and then take a 15 minute break. The Focus Burst™ method is more extreme. We recommend that you study in extremely short bursts of 5 or 6 minutes, then take a break of equal length. But what the method asks you to do is accomplished much more in that 5 minutes of study than you thought possible. We ask you to accomplish at least twice as much using the extreme study techniques we teach in the live sessions.

Instead of 30 minutes to write one page of a term paper, write it in 5 minutes. If you’re working out problems, work out twice as many as you normally would in 5 minutes. If your working on memory or researching or reading text, again the goal is to get extreme and absorb twice or even three time as much as you normally would. Even though this kind of extreme studying can be difficult, I’ve developed techniques to make it possible – and it’s only for 5-6 minutes at a burst. Anyone can do it.

What we’ve found is that even after just a few minutes break you can go back and do it over and over for hours – burst after burst. You’ll get three to four times the work done without the fatigue, headaches, eyestrain and everything else that often comes with prolonged studying.

Nature shows that naimals in the wild can instinctively operate at high intensity for extremely short periods of time when faced with danger. Athletes from boxers to runners to the most elite athletes have discovered that interval training is the best way for them to reach peak condition. The Focus Burst™ study method is like interval training for the brain and takes advantage of your natural ability for peak performance in short bursts.

Here’s the best part, just like that elite athlete, when test time arrives you’ll be ready for the pressure of competition. Because you’ve been training using Focus Bursts you’re used to operating at an intense level. There’s no panic, no blanking out, no test anxiety – because you’ve essentially trained for a sort of ‘controlled panic’ you can turn out a world-class performance!

I invented the Focus Bursts™ technique. I used it to overcome my ADHD and dyslexia and to set world memory records – twice! Try using this technique on your own and you should see some improvement. With the right practice and Focus Burst training you’ll be able to raise the intensity level and the next thing you know that World Record, Gold Medal, Fist Place trophy or Make-My-Mom-Proud GPA is within reach!

About the Author: Dave Farrow (16 Posts)

Dave Farrow is today's most requested Guest Expert on Memory, two time Guinness World Record Holder for Greatest Memory, an outspoken literacy and education spokesperson and busy speaker and trainer. Because Dave has ADHD and dyslexia he studied memory techniques and developed powerful techniques of his own out of necessity. He used those techniques to become a successful student, businessman and speaker. He's been recognized for his memory programs, speed reading programs, programs for children with learning disabilities, memory competitions and more. Dave is available to speak and deliver ADVANCED MEMORY TRAINING and STUDY SKILLS on college campuses worldwide.


  1. Chidera says:

    Wow interesting!

  2. Dave! we need your products and your presence here in south africa.Please,when can we expect you?

    • I actually have a newly certified speaker of my system in South Africa right now. I would love to connect you two.
      Just email me at dave@davefarrow.com and I will make introductions. He is organizing things for me to travel there and do an event in the future.

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  1. […] scores and assignments will be turned in on time for a change.To discover the Farrow Focus Method click here.  It is specially designed to get students ahead of the homework curve.The Guinness Record rules […]

  2. […] instantly, with heightened focus. Based on current research into Cognitive Focus, these Farrow “Focus Bursts” cut down study time while raising productivity and test scores. Knowing the science of […]

  3. […] techniques for Focus are a must. To help myself stay focused, over the years I’ve perfected a FOCUS BURST method of studying that not only helps with information retention, but also trains the brain to […]

  4. […] drugs are a temporary fix, but if you learn a skill – like Focus Bursts, etc. – you’re training your brain to be brighter and better in the future. You can use […]

  5. […] any student can improve their retention by leaps and bounds. With learned memory techniques (like Focus Bursts) and regular review you can double and triple the amount of time before it fades and retain even […]

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