During the semesters, you may find it especially difficult to focus — especially if you have some not that exciting tasks to do. This is the time when even cleaning the room may be much more interesting than writing a paper or doing a lab report. This is why I have developed the best techniques that will help you to focus even when you are working on the most boring things ever.
Schedule is Everything
Try to make the plan for the next day to know exactly what and when you will be doing. It will make you understand the course of the actions throughout the day and will help not to forget about anything important. Moreover, it’s such a pleasure to cross out the things you have already done — and that’s another thing which will motivate you to focus and do more.
Start in the Morning
It may sound strange to those who like to sleep till the afternoon; however, our brain is more capable of coping with complicated tasks in the morning rather than in the evening or at night. Partially, this is connected with the cervical rhythms as many centuries ago, humans were too dependent on the daylight and could do anything only when the sun was shining. Moreover, when completing the most challenging task in the morning, you will have only less painful tasks left, which is much more pleasurable than thinking about that awful research you have to complete till the end of the day.
Turn Your Phone Off (and Forget About Facebook)
It’s not about you being lazy — rather about your automatic behavior, which makes you check your phone or messages or Instagram feed all the time. That’s why you have to turn the notifications off and hide your phone (out of sight — out of mind!). It will save you A LOT of time, as you won’t be distracted and won’t have to spend additional minutes remembering where you have stopped. If you are too bad with self-control, try to use online tools and add-ons, which will block some of the websites or control the time you spend on them.
Eat Proper Snacks
What do we eat when we are studying? Energetics, chocolate bars, coffee, and other unhealthy food, which we believe can boost our energy. Yes, sugar increases energy level, but not for a long time. Moreover, once its short impact is gone, you will feel more tired and less concentrated. What should you eat instead? The answer is so-called “brain food”: nuts, eggs, fatty fish, berries, and dark chocolate. They feed our brain with correct nutrients and help it to work better.
Set the timer on 25 minutes (you can experiment with time duration and choose the most appropriate) and work during this time with no distractions. Once the timer rings, let yourself have a 5-minute break. This is called a Pomodoro technique, which is based on the idea that the human brain is capable of concentration during 20-30 minutes. So this is the optimal time you can have to work with no distractions.
Forget about Multitasking
The time when multitasking has been considered a new word in productivity has already gone. Lots of studies have proved that multitasking negatively affects concentration, making people more distracted and less focused. Of course, the result is the decrease in productivity, which we don’t need. Therefore, try to order all your tasks one-by-one; even if there is something urgent to do, write it down and put it in a queue.
Create a Routine
Try to do similar tasks during the same time of the day. Even though the routine might sound boring, it will get your brain used to a specific task in a particular period, and, as a result, help you to concentrate. For instance, you may start the day with the most challenging work — in a few weeks, your brain will get used to it and be more productive during the morning.