Monday, June 1, 2015

Graduating Class of 2015... need help concentrating and staying focused during your future studies ...?

I am very prone to allowing distractions to consume my time. I have to constantly focus and refocus myself in order to stay concentrated long enough to finish the tasks that I am asked to complete. I make lists, find undistracting places and focus for certain amounts of pre established time in order to get the most work done in the most efficient way. These distractions come to me for work, school, basic day to day obligations, just about everything, and having a phone does not help. There are many times that I turn my phone on silent and put it away in order to get a few hours of work done, however in my experience I always miss the super important phone call that won’t answer when I call back (right now it’s my tax accountant, who seems to call me everyday during my studying time and leaves his office 20 minutes after calling.) When it comes to relationships though i stay on task very well. Not only do I mean this for an intimate relationship where I am not distracted by the urge to cheat but I mean in it in relation to any and all relationships in my life, where as I become consumed in doing for others most of the time, and so I become so focused on doing the task for someone else that it often has the opposite effect. instead of become distracted with other things in my life I become devoted to doing the one thing that can help that person. So for me personally this is a challenge because most of my distractions are internal. My brain never stops working, I actually overthink most things. I also have terrible anxiety which causes me to run through list after list of things that need to get done or didn’t get done, or need to be redone, which is a huge distraction as well. Here is how I cope with distractions.
  1. Write Lists: Not only will this help you to stay organized, and prompt, but for those of you have suffer from anxiety , or just have a huge workload the list serves a physical representation of the weight you no longer need to carry, you can see the things you’ve crossed off, the things you’ve accomplished. You can now see what is left to do, so you do not need to worry about forgetting about it, or over-looking it.
  2. Turn it OFF: Radio, Phone, TV, Social Media. I know it’s hard, when you are sitting down at the computer to do homework and you are on the internet, not to go on facebook, or YouTube, but think back to the last time you were on youtube, you probably started off watching a relevant video and ended up watching grandmothers losing their dentures, and the worst part is you can remember how  this escalated. Point is that if you turn off the music, and the tv, and the phone you have already eliminated distractions such as my jam coming on, your BFF texting you about her BF LOL, the hilarious talking baby commercial, and many others.
  3. Location: Yes your location matters;location and time. Do you have an office? A daycare/sitter? A library pass? A student ID? USE THEM!!! If you are trying to get work done and you are sitting in the kitchen with a toddler running around then chances are you won’t get much done. However if you chose to work when your children and/or loved ones are out then no one has to play 20 questions with you. Sometimes just being alone isn’t right, try going to the public library, the wifi is free, and you are completely alone there and able to work in private. If the library works use it if not trying creating an office setting in your house, or if you are in school using the school campus resources (library, computer lab, tutoring labs). I love suggesting that people go outdoors to concentrate, and this method works for many, unfortunately for me I get distracted in wanting to hear and see the birds chirp or feel the wind more closely and then being outdoors becomes a distraction for me.
  4. Posture: I know this sounds silly, but yes sitting correctly can help. So, when you are laying in bed or sitting in bed doing homework your body is already relaxed and material that does not grab and hold your attention will set you off to sleep. So sit in a chair, and use a desk or table. When you use a desk or a table you back is in a better alignment then if you are slouched over on your bed or on your lap. Your wrists are also in better alignment this way. This might not seem like a big thing, but being comfortable is. If your back or neck or wrists start to hurt, not only are you causing long term damage(carpel tunnel, etc...) but your brain triggers your body to want to move and find a different position or walk around which then causes you to take a break and lose your train of thought.

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