Tomorrow is my first day back to school after winter break, it is also my last semester at my undergrad university (which is both sad and happy at the same time). Sometimes life throws so many different things in your direction at the same time, you become disoriented and unable to focus on one task to the next. This becomes especially challenging when you are working and in school, or even if you aren’t working just somehow setting aside the time to be in the “zone” can be super frustrating. But I have learned ways to stay focused as a student. Here are some tips from one stressed college student to another, or to someone who’s just looking to boost productivity
- Get up and get moving. Ok so this may not sound like a tip to stay focused but I find when I do start to drift and not be productive anymore the best thing I can do is walk away and take a breather. Usually I will just do a couple loops around the house, or some energizing wake up yoga from youtube (this always seems to really help me!) It gets my heart rate going and makes me feel less restless and ready to get back on task.
- Have a set time to study. Perhaps this is something you have already thought of, but if you have a set time to study you are more likely to do so. Make studying your job, just like you would clock in from time a to time b, do the same thing with studying! If you make it part of your routine, like eating, working out, and Netflix (don’t lie you know it’s true) you can and you will accomplish more if you just make it like anything else.
- Plan Plan Plan. This can go hand in hand with point 2. But more specifically invest in a planner, or a planner app. I prefer a physical planner I can write it, studies have shown that the act of writing is a very powerful thing. Plan your week, plan everything you need to do, everything that is due, and anything else you think you might forget. Let’s be real here for anyone who has used a planner before, often times you have the best intentions and then stop using it after a few weeks. Don’t let that happen, take it everywhere with you, it’s your new best friend
- Apps CAN change your life. I know what you are thinking “aren’t apps the biggest distracter of all?” Yes you are right, I personally have devoted many a sleepless night, and long class scrolling through Instagram. But they can also help you! Here are two apps that I would HIGHLY recommend. Firstly the Self Control App is a game changer! This little guy allows you to add a “Blacklist” of websites that are your personal black hole, then set a timer and TADAH! You can no longer use those websites no matter how hard you try, and even if you shut your computer down it won’t undo it. Secondly (this is a more recent addition to my Iphone) is the Forest App, GUYS SERIOUSLY! This is the most frustrating yet perfect app ever. Basically like the Self Control app you set a timer and during that time your tree grows, but however if you leave the app to answer a text or scroll Insta your tree dies. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have had a whole lot of dead trees, and realized how many times I had failed that day, but the wonderful thing is if you succeed you get a cute happy little tree. Another really nice thing about this app is that it keeps track of the amount of time you were focused each day, makes you accountable.
These are just a few things I have learned over the years that make a dramatic difference in my attention span and my focus. Good luck!