When you’re busy studying, living and maybe even working too, it’s easy to get into a state where you feel completely scattered and stressed out. That can get in the way of actually doing what you need to do, never mind enjoying life as you do it. When you are struggling to focus enough to get things done, one of these techniques might help:
Find your ‘focus’ time
Do the things that need intense focus either early in the day (if you’re a morning person) or late at night (if you’re a night owl). There are usually fewer other things going on to distract you then.
Turn off your phone, email and internet for whatever period of time you can manage
Constantly checking and responding to messages, or jumping onto the internet to distract yourself, breaks your concentration every time you do it.
Decide what needs to be done first, second, third, etc. Refer to How to Wrangle Your To Do List to help you with this. Write your priority list down and follow it.
Be clear on the ‘why’
Instead of feeling resentful about doing something you may think is boring (“because I have to”), find a positive motivation e.g. “I’m studying this subject because it’s a step towards the career I want to follow” or “I’m exercising because I like feeling energetic/looking good/seeing who else is at the gym”.
Do only one thing at a time
Even if you are a pretty good multi-tasker, it’s less stressful and more productive to follow through with one thing rather than jumping between things.
Get yourself in a focussed space
Once you have the above things sorted, start the actual task by doing something that brings your focus completely to the present moment. It could be something like focussing only on your breath for a minute or two to clear your mind, or trying to draw a triangle with your right hand, while you draw a square with your left. If nothing else, that will make you laugh, which is a good place to start from!
Image credit: Bart Everson via Flickr