Dazed and Confused – 6 Tips for Students Who Are Struggling to Focus

Even in the best of circumstances, students have trouble focusing on their studies. It has always been difficult for teenagers to fully absorb and retain their coursework, with many needing the help of high school tutors to keep them on track and engaged in the material. In today’s digital world, it is even harder to remain focused, with social media, texts, emails, and other online distractions so easily accessible.

Making use of the following tips and techniques will help students focus on assignments and exam preparation, allowing them to succeed in the classroom and in life.

1. Eliminate Distractions

Setting up the proper study environment is a challenge in the classroom and at home, especially for those forced into eLearning situations dictated by the pandemic. Shutting off mobile devices and keeping study areas clear of other potential distractions makes it easier for students to stay on track and focus on the work that needs to be done. Keep the television off, do not listen to podcasts or watch streaming programs, and avoid any other audio or visual content that can draw attention away from their studies. For those students who are distracted or discomforted by total silence, soft classical music, white noise, or soothing nature sounds can help keep them focused on the materials at hand.

2. Have a Plan

Students often need a clear path to accomplish assigned tasks. Setting up a plan for what needs to be done and a schedule to follow provides direction and specific goals along the way. Writing out a study plan with time frames and objectives helps to make them accountable for their actions and time. Set plenty of breaks and clear finish times so it does not seem like an endless day of all work and no play. Physically marking off tasks as they are completed will show them the progress they are making and drive them to the next item on their to-do list.

3. Break Down Large Projects into Smaller Tasks

Large projects and study plans can be daunting and stressful. Breaking them down into smaller tasks allows students to focus on individual steps rather than being overwhelmed by the volume of work on a bigger scale. An intimidating project becomes far more doable when it’s presented in manageable steps.

A closeup of someone using a laptop

4. Stay Organized

Students studying in cluttered spaces and working without a plan or schedule are far more likely to be distracted and unable to stay on track. Keep work areas clean and organized, removing anything that is not needed for the task at hand.

5. Be Accountable

Writing down a study schedule and detailed task checklist will make a student accountable for their time and efforts. Set up specific time schedules and rewards for the completion of items on the list. Share the schedule with other students, friends, or family members to add another layer of accountability. This commits students to get the work completed and allows them to focus on their studies for longer periods.

Becoming fit by walking

6. Take Breaks

It’s important to set up scheduled breaks throughout the day to allow the mind and body to regroup. Periodically stepping away from studies will get the body’s circulation moving and refresh the mind. Productivity flows naturally when a student has built-in times to get away from intensive work periods.

The habits students develop during their school years will dictate the way they will work for the rest of their adult lives. Creating methods and environments that keep them focused now will serve them well when it comes to their careers and other obligations.

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