8 Solutions For When You Can’t Focus

As students we have all been there. You have an important deadline to study for but you just can’t get yourselves to focus. This article aims to provide some solutions for when you find yourself here and some precautions to prevent this from happening again.

1. ) Pick Ideal Times (For You)

Referring back to one of our previous articles, the first piece of advice is to determine what time you are most productive and tailor your work around those times. If you do your best work at night then you can craft a schedule that allows you to get most of that work during that time. In this example maybe you schedule some sleep during the day so you can don’t have to compromise too much rest.

2. ) Schedule Specific Times

After isolating the times that work best for you the next thing is to create your schedule around that. One of the best parts of this step is it helps you build your skills at planning and fortify your discipline. These skills can be applied to almost any task and are essential life skills so take this very seriously. Even if you haven’t done this already, its never too late. Fill your calendar with all the predetermined dates (i.e. classes, labs, tests, exams etc.) and then fit in times you intend to either prepare for a class, review a new topic, or prepare for a quiz/test/exam. If you have a project you allocate some time each week you have to work on it, and make sure to make use of all scheduled time.

Also try to be flexible, so if you scheduled a reading but can’t focus perhaps work on something else so the session isn’t completely wasted.

3. ) Keep your Focus

Once the allocated time has been set it is paramount to maximize each study session so whatever is needed to ensure full focus on the task. This means no phones, no unsanctioned websites, or anything that is not related to the work ahead.  Knowing fully well this is very hard to achieve there are some things that can help with this such as StayFocused. StayFocused is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that restricts the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites.

4. ) Change Locations

These articles are written for a person who is aware of their study habits and preferences. This means knowing where you work best and where not to be is. An easy example is studying/working at home is not ideal for most for people. So these sessions should be had in the location where work gets done. The less time spent fighting distractions the better.

5. ) Schedule Breaks

The experienced know you need short breaks between bursts of productivity so it is beneficial to schedule those ahead. You can either be strict with these predetermined breaks or you can use them as guidelines. But it is important to keep those in the work because they ensure efficiency and prolong productivity, minimizing fatigue.

6. ) Realistic Targets

When you plan out your work schedule for each session, it is important to set goals that you can realistically achieve. This helps build up positive reinforcement that comes with achieving milestones which energizes you to want to hit the new goals and it snowballs.

7. ) Small Meals/Snacks

We’ve all had those moments when we had a large meal right before a work session and we now regret because we’re sluggish and unfocused. Since you are a great planner and organizer you will schedule your big meals hours ahead or after your set study time circumventing this entirely. To keep your blood sugar levels steady you instead have your snacks ready ahead of time and eat those through the session.

8. ) Earlier Deadlines

When you get your due dates for assignments, projects, tests etc. one advantage you can give yourself is to set earlier deadlines than required to force yourself into finishing sooner. This requires a strong mind and discipline, so keep in mind it will be challenging since deep down you know you have time. What you will have to do here is to relearn how you plan so finishing ahead becomes your standard. Understanding this is should help you be patient with yourself as it will take some time to readjust.

These are just a couple of examples of ideas that could help jump start your study schedule or power through that last session when you really don’t want to.

en_CAEnglish (Canada)