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Staying focused

Christmas holiday is pretty much over now, isn’t it? Did you have a fun time? I hope you did, and I also hope you found something interesting to do. But unfortunately, school is going to start up again, and that means it’s back to doing homework and studying for tests.

It can be quite difficult to stay focused on tasks, especially after a long period of relaxation. I myself have attention problems fairly often; when I try to work, sometimes my mind just drifts away, or I have a piece of music stuck in my head that keeps playing and distracts me. Have you had similar experiences? It really is quite annoying. But all that work won’t do itself, so we have no choice but to find ways to force ourselves to focus. If you know you’re prone to getting distracted, perhaps some of these tips can help.

It’s important to rid your surroundings of distractions when trying to work. Some people can just ignore their phone or computer through sheer willpower, but not every one of us are saints… It’s a good idea to put your phone and other distractions far away from you. Of course, that’s hard if you’re going out to a library or café to study. However, perhaps you can set aside a spot in your house specifically for working. Keep any distractions away from that spot, and force yourself to stay there until you have time to relax.

Though, maybe it’s not always the best idea to force yourself to work for too many hours at a time. Even if you sit in front of your homework for long periods of time, staring at it on and off, it won’t be a productive and efficient use of your time. The length of our attention spans may vary, but it’s a pretty good idea to take breaks now and then. For this, it’s important to plan ahead and create a schedule. Make yourself work for an hour or two at a time, and then take a break for an hour or so before getting back at it again. You should also decide how much work you should finish in a given day, so you can set a reasonably attainable goal for yourself.

In addition to those two suggestions, I have a third habit that might be easier to get into—eat something while working! Eating a sweet snack like chocolate while working can actually help you focus. Chocolate has some amount of caffeine, and that can give you a bit of an energy boost, alongside the high of sugar. Perhaps keep a box of chocolate near where you work, and pop one into your mouth once in a while when you feel like drifting away. If you don’t like the taste of chocolate, other kinds of sweet food like oranges could work too. Just don’t overdo it with candy, since it’s not exactly healthy…

I hope you have a great year coming up, and I hope you all do well and stay focused in school!

Can you use some of the underlined words to make sentences?

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