Make it through finals: tips for staying focused

Finals may bring countless all-nighters and long lines at Starbucks, but it’s best to keep in mind that there is a task at hand. The noise of cellphones and social media make it that much easier to allow distractions. The best practice to prevent you from all the “shiny things” is to be aware that those distractions are not going anywhere. The more conscious you are of losing focus, the more productive you can be. Here are three tips to keep focus and minimalize your distractions.

  1. Make a list and check it twice. Organize your thoughts by prioritizing what is most important and what will need more of your attention. Writing out a list will help you make better use of your time and effort. Solely relying on your memory can lead to error. The workload is also less intimidating when you can see the tasks being complete.
  2. Set small goals early on and review them periodically. Multitasking more than one project and endless papers will cause stress and lead your brain to want a distraction. You have to work strategically. Start with smaller assignments, because they will not take as much time to complete and, if left until the last minute, it will pile up. Then break down projects and papers in a way that will make you feel comfortable. For example, if you have a five-page paper, write a paragraph each day from the assigned date until it is complete. Doing this will give you time to look over your work
  3. Test how long you can go without your phone and social media. Yes, “phone is life” but going 20 minutes with your phone off will not break the internet. You have mustered up the energy to focus on a project—now it is time to remove all distraction. Start by turning your phone on silent and removing it from your visual field. Make it a game; test yourself on how long you can stay disconnected from your phone.

In addition to these tips, remember to take a break when you need it, and get plenty of rest. Being in front of a computer screen can cause you to get fatigued much faster. Give your body a break from time to time, so you will have a fresh perspective on your work.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Obioma Oguekwe. 

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