How to Focus when it’s the Furthest Thing from your Mind

Hey everybody! So it’s been about a week since I last posted and I offer my apologies, I’ve been exceptionally busy! Let me fill you in a little bit: last week I was in Kansas City where my National Agri-Marketing Association team took first place out of 30 teams, I’ve had job interviews, and I’ve had a lot of work in class for my final three weeks. On top of all of that spring is finally here and the nice weather coupled with my senioritis (which is in full effect) have made it exceptionally hard to focus lately.

Our National Champion Team!

With so many distractions around us, what can we do to maintain our focus? For all of my fellow seniors or students having an increasingly hard time focusing, I want to discuss what you can do to get your focus back and maintain it.

Allocate Time Slots

Studies show you are more productive at certain times of the day so you should plan to do your most intensive tasks during this time. I remember last semester I had to write a paper during finals week and I hadn’t started it, so I planned to write it the next day because I am most productive between 9am and noon. The next morning I woke up, ate breakfast, had my coffee because nothing was getting done without coffee, and sat down to write.

In a matter of three hours I had five of the seven necessary pages written and I was able to finish it up the next morning to receive my A. With that being said, my time slot may be different from yours, it all depends on your personal preferences. One of my roommates can do all of his work at 11 o’clock at night and another at one in the afternoon, you decide what works for you.

Work-Life Blend and Educated Breaks

I’ve done posts about these two in the past but I think they are increasingly important to maintain focus specifically when it comes to nice weather distractions. Work-life blend, as I explained in this post, involves blending your work and your life together with each improving the other’s quality. But I also mentioned in another post how the sunshine can improve mood so I promote people working outside, successfully blending the nice weather and work so you feel like you’re getting work done and enjoying the nice weather without the feeling of laziness.

But in the same post I emphasized educated breaks. A person can’t sit there looking at the same problem over and over hoping the answer will come to them. Some times the best thing you can do in these situations is take an educated break. You know your body better than any one else and you know when and for how long you should take a break plus educated breaks increase our performance and attention, always remember that.

Self-Control and Phone Use

Although I can promote these effective ways to maintain and improve focus, it means nothing if you can’t control yourself. This includes using your phones. I was once told every time you do work and stop to check your phone it takes 15 minutes to get your focus back. Think about that and then think about how many times, on average, you check your phone per day, don’t worry I’ll wait. Give up? I’ll tell you then! The average person checks their phone 110 times a day! Now let’s do the math and if you checked your phone that many times per day you would spend 27.5 hours attempting to regain focus.

Now that is a bit extreme and I like to believe we have more control than this especially at work, but the point stands, you lose a lot of time checking your phone while doing work. You need to use self-control with your phone and that may even mean using one of these cool apps that helps do so! These apps allow you to look at your cell phone usage, what apps you use the most, and even allows you to set time limits to “unplug” and not worry about your phone for that time.

With some self-control, some personal understanding of your own study habits, and a little bit of willpower, you’ll be able to regain your focus and be as productive or more soon enough. Good luck and let me know what you do to keep your focus with distractions everywhere!


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