Tips on How to Stay Focused: Improve Your Concentration

Tips on How to Stay Focused: Improve Your Concentration

How many times have you sat and tried to focus on a project or assignment, only to find your mind wandering? Despite your best efforts, you just can't concentrate. We've all been in this familiar, frustrating situation. Many students complain about their lack of ability to focus and concentrate as their minds race from one thing to another as their thoughts run all over the place. The trick is to use the right strategies to help improve your concentration skills and apply them to your studies. Don’t panic or be overly discouraged, almost everyone has the ability to concentrate.

We’ve all had days where we can’t seem to focus. For some of us, those days are more common than we’d like, but you don’t have to go to extremes. Here are some easy tips to help increase your productivity:

Getting Started

Environment is everything. Dedicate a space for completing work and other assignments; whether it’s the library, your room, or a friend’s home, it is essential to have a place that will enhance your concentration, not impede it. Keep this study area a distraction free zone- this means no TV, video games, or phones anywhere near this space. Consider stocking this space with all of the things you will need to complete your tasks, so that you don’t break your concentration by getting up to retrieve supplies. Some other tips include:

  • Calming music
  • Draw up a study timetable in correlation with energy levels at different times of the day
  • Divide your work into sections

Having a million things to do can create a major focus problem for anyone. If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of projects and assignments, extracurricular activities, and social obligations you have, it can be difficult to clear your head long enough to concentrate on any one task. This is why prioritizing is imperative. Determine the most important responsibilities and forget the rest. The less you have to do, the more you’ll be able to focus on the things that matter.

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Being Sick as a College Student

Being Sick as a College Student

We’ve all been there: sick in bed and unsure if it would be good to grin and bear it and carry on about our day, or call in sick to stay at home and rest.  Many graduate students probably end up ignoring their sicknesses and acting like they’re okay, but this isn’t always the best decision.  There are plenty of reasons why you might want to think twice about going to classes, work, lab hours, etc. while you’re sick: getting others sick if you’re contagious, potentially getting sicker, and not allowing your body to rest and recuperate properly.

Self-Care

I understand not wanting to get sick when you have a ton of things going on as a college student, but the answer to getting better will usually not consist of continuing to do everything on your schedule.  Sometimes, we get sick because our body needs us to slow down, take a break, and take better care of ourselves.  I’m not telling you to ignore your priorities as a student (and any other roles you play in your professional and personal life), but give yourself some time every month or so to relax and not worry about grad school stresses.  One of our other bloggers, John, even wrote about this subject last March; take a look at what he had to say.

As the infographic above describes, there are plenty of ways to stay healthy and allow your immune system to do its job in protecting your body.  However, things we do to prevent sickness might not work all the time.  If you happen to get ill, think about taking a day or two to recuperate so you can get back to being 100% again.  Be careful with ignoring your symptoms and going about your days because you could end up worse and have to spend even more time to heal; plus, you could get classmates and coworkers sick, which they would not appreciate.

Communication

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What Are the Best Coffee Shops?

What Are the Best Coffee Shops?

Do you like having a morning boost to get your day going, or do you enjoy having caffeine to get some work done later in the day and into the night?  However you like to have your caffeine fix, you might be interested to know which popular coffee shops around you have the largest caffeine count.  I’ve picked four of the most popular coffee places in America and compared their caffeine counts so you know which brands of coffee will be best at any time of the day.  I found this information from Caffeine Informer.

Starbucks

Starbucks’ brewed coffee that comes in a 12-ounce cup, called a Tall, contains 260 mg of caffeine.  The brewed coffee has more caffeine than any of their other drinks in this size.  You can also grab Starbucks’ instant coffee, cans, or bottles at grocery stores; these store-bought options contain anywhere from about 40 mg to 130 mg.  Take a look at caffeineinformer’s article about Starbucks’ caffeine counts to learn about your other favorite drinks from this iconic shop.

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7-Eleven

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