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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Starting 2016 Off Strong: Self-Care in the New Year

Starting 2016 Off Strong: Self-Care in the New Year

It’s January, which means for most of us, that it’s time to take down the holiday decorations and get back to the grind.

For me—and I’m sure for a lot of you, too—it feels like I never had a break from the grind. With work, classes, and the holidays all placing demands on my time and attention, I’ve felt a little overwhelmed, like I’ve been trying to keep afloat in a sea of final papers and wrapping paper.

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Jsulli214
To me, an important part of managing self-care is managing stress. While that is a big category, with a lot of possibilities, a fe... Read More
Sunday, 07 February 2016 10:48
Jsulli214
Fiddlesticks. Can I edit this? The line "I not only make the best use of time, though, in addition to feeling in control, is activ... Read More
Sunday, 07 February 2016 10:52
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Introducing Stephanie and Her Road Map to Grad School

Introducing Stephanie and Her Road Map to Grad School

My name is Stephanie, and I'm working on my Masters of Science in Counseling (LPC) at SMU. I've taken a somewhat indirect path to graduate school. In fact, my undergraduate degree is in Writing & Rhetoric. I was especially interested in editing and creative nonfiction, but I often felt like I was on a road trip without a map--like I wasn't moving towards a meaningful destination. I finally had to admit to myself that I was interested in working with people and their stories on a deeper level than I could reach through editing and writing.

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Jsulli214
Hi Stephanie! Glad to be on this journey in your cohort. My own story is leaving behind a life spent in 33, 34 really, years of en... Read More
Saturday, 26 December 2015 10:22
sgrogan
Hi Jsulli214--good to hear from you! It definitely takes courage to trade a successful career to go down a new route and follow yo... Read More
Monday, 28 December 2015 13:22
Jsulli214
I had to think about what self-care really is. For my last year of work, and first year of school, grad school WAS my self-care. T... Read More
Saturday, 02 January 2016 10:45
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PhDStudent