That’s what I need right now, now that school has begun.
I’m one of those people that gets easily distracted. I get distracted by so many things—I get distracted by hunger, the rainbow, cold room temperature, the music I’m listening to, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr—I can name so many. That’s how easily distracted I can be. So distracted that I only get to study 1/4 of the time that I really allotted for studying. I end up cramming the next day, and I don’t even get to finish everything.
In my course, reading is a must. There’s no day that I will not have to read or do something. Not to mention, I also have organization secretary duties to fulfill. This really requires me to really focus so that I can finish my work faster and better, giving me time to rest properly.
I listed down the things that distracts me most and thought of ways to help me focus more.
1. Google Chrome Extension: CONCENTRATE
This is a really helpful extension for Chrome. It allots time for focusing and disables any website that distracts you—so even when you get tempted to use Facebook or Twitter for a while, you can’t.
If CONCENTRATE is not really your taste, you can use alternative focus extensions from Chrome. I highly recommend StayFocusd. It does the same thing as Concentrate, only that it’s site blocker is always activated.
I use Concentrate more than StayFocusd because I don’t always need websites to be blocked because I won’t always need to focus or get serious in work.
2. Motivate yourself by making small banners.
I pasted mine facing me while I study. This way, I’ll realize that I really need to get my shit together and focus.
Not everything comes easy, so seeing this motivates me to work harder in order to achieve my goals.
3. Block your laptop screen with a folder that says “Focus” (or something)
I do this when blocking websites doesn’t work for me. Even without social media, I still manage to distract myself with other things—I’d start taking pictures of myself; or I’ll watch some episodes saved on my laptop; or look at pictures saved on my laptop—so blocking my screen with a reminder helps.
But I normally do this only when I’m reading from handouts or books. Blocking your laptop screen won’t be helpful if your work involves using MS Word or doing research.
If you don’t want to use a folder, just activate your Blank Screen Saver Preview so that all you’ll see is blank, and you won’t be distracted by anything.
4. Listen to instrumental music or Mozart
Listening to songs with lyrics will sometimes make you sing along with it, making you distracted and less focused. This is call the Mozart Effect. This is when Mozart’s music temporarily improves brain activity, helping you study or focus better. There is a saying that “Mozart’s music makes you smarter.” I think it does because not only does it improves brain activity, it also refrains you from getting distracted and it makes your studying more intense.
If it’s really not your thing to listen to classical music, you can also try listening to indie-acoustic music or anything that’s calm and relaxing.
I recommend you guys to listen at 8tracks. It’s a website where you can play other people’s playlist that has a specific genre. You can also use this site for discovering new songs.
5. Trying studying in a coffee shop or a library
Coffee shops and libraries give you an instant study feel. Coffee shops play really relaxing music and most of the people that go there are also there to read or study or do business—most of them are also busy people. Libraries are the ultimate study place. Everybody you see there are studying making it every embarrassing if you’re not. It forces you to study and focus, plus you can have additional book references, and the place is mega quiet—it’ll be impossible for you to get distracted.
Another good thing about libraries is that you can take naps without being embarrassed because almost everyone does that there. People take a short break from studying a lot and take naps. This helps them become unsaturated from too much studying. Just remember to not oversleep, you’ll be wasting time.
There are many ways to help you focus, and these 5 are just a few of my methods. You can have your own way, whatever makes you comfortable. As long as it will help you focus.
One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.
——— Tony Robbins