How to Stay Focused

Many times as I slave away at my homework at 10 o’clock at night, no matter how hard I try, I just cannot stay focused. And it really annoys me because obviously I want to finish my homework, but some days, my brain decides that it does not want to take part in any homework related activities. Because this dilemma pretty much happens every other day, I learned a few tricks on staying focused.

Tip #1: Set a small goal, and stick to it. DON’T make big, vague goals.

Don’t: I’m going to finish all my homework tonight!

Do: I’m going to finish the last 15 pages of this chapter right now.

Tip #2: Make to-do lists! These help so much. I usually write down every assignment I have to do for the night, and I write down how long I’ll take on it.

Example:

– Read chapter 1 of Great Gatsby (30 minutes)

– Complete second half of Chemistry study guide (35 minutes)

– Do 5.1 Math HW (40 minutes)

Tip #3: Don’t have your phone next to do while you do your work!

When your phone is sitting right next to your pencil or paper faced up, it’s just too much of a temptation to check it every other second. I usually mute it, turn it on ‘Do Not Disturb,’ and put it in another room.

Tip #4: Give yourself small breaks in between.

Whenever I finish an assignment, I usually allow myself a 5-10 minute break in between assignments, or I take a break in between HW that’s really long to give my brain a little rest.

Tip #5: Don’t do your work in your room or a room with a lot of distractions.

I’ve always found that I’m the most efficient when I work in the dining room because there’s nothing to distract me.

Tip #6: Think about the rewards once you are finished with HW and use that motivate and keep you focused. 

To get me motivated to finish all of my homework fast and efficiently, I tell myself something to look forward once I finish, for example, “Once I’m done with this, I’ll be able to watch Criminal Minds, or I’ll get to continue reading my book.”

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