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What are the things you do to keep you focused?
Lately I have been distracted with a lot of things which made my focus out of control. I can't study well and I'm looking for some advice to make me focus.
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I had similar problems during the first quarter of my preparation for the board exam as I was so distracted by a lot of things and the travel going back home makes me feel exhausted that I do not have the ability to study anymore. Here are some ways I can suggest that might help you:

  • Get rid of the distractions. I think to solve the problem, you should be able to find the root of what makes you distracted and find a way to get rid of it. For example, I really love watching tv series and during my review, my favorite shows constantly release new episodes that I often spend time watching them. To be able to get rid of this distraction, I only allow myself to watch the episodes after my exams as a sort of reward. However, if you are dealing with personal problems as a distraction, just like what I did during my time, I ask the people close to me to understand me as I am reviewing and that I cannot focus if I have lots of problems in my mind. This include telling my family that I might not be able to go out of my room often to concentrate and telling my friends that as much as possible we should avoid disagreements that might cause me to lose my focus. If they truly love and care for you, they will understand and be supportive of your endeavors instead of stressing you out. Also, during my review, I deactivated some of my social media to get rid of distractions. List all the distractions in a paper and find a way to get rid of them one by one. 
  • Set a realistic schedule. Plan your day ahead, list what you want to achieve daily or weekly. By realistic, I mean do not over plan. Do not give yourself too much things that you cannot handle because giving yourself too much tasks to do will make you feel disappointed of yourself when you do not achieve it. Every day, I write my goals in my board and tick off every task that I finish. This will help me focus on my priorities and give time to those least of my priority only during my free time.
  • Listen to some music. Well, this does not work to everybody but I find listening to soothing music very relaxing. Choose those with mellow beats but not the ones that could make you feel sleepy. Whatever you prefer, you can listen to it while studying or during your free time to help you feel relaxed.
  • Talk to some friends. When preparing for an exam, just what I did, I had a tendency of being easily distracted to my personal life that I just moved away from some of the people that might trigger these problems. And to those people who inspire me and motivate me, I talk to them often about what happened to my day and a dose of phone calls from the people I love the most will help me become more motivated and energized to perform better in the exam.
  • Keep track of your performance. Just like what you've said, you are preparing for a very important exam. The time for board preparation is very short, so you really need to have a strategy to be able to have a good rating. My strategy was during the 1st half of my review, I focused on my strengths. I give an extra hour during morning before I go to my review center and answer mathematics which was my strength so that I will be able to have a high rating with this subject that will help my overall rating increase.  During the 2nd half of my review, I focused on my weaknesses. That is answering problems that I am not familiar or that I am having a hard time grasping the concepts. I use MS Excel and tabulated all the topics for the board exam and put my scores for the evaluation exams and find out which topics do I need to spend time on. This will help me focus because I will not waste my time and choose only the important topics to dig in.
  • Eat healthy and sleep well. Eat fruits and vegetables. Also, you can take vitamins if you want to. A healthy lifestyle is the key to focus. I have observed that when I do not have enough sleep, I tend to become sleepy at class and I cannot focus well. So I suggest, sleep if you are sleepy. Do not force yourself.
  • Use Pomodoro technique. To utilize your time in having fun and doing tasks, you can use the pomodoro technique to keep you stay focused on your daily goals and avoid wasting time on things that does not help you in achieving your goals.
  • Know your priorities. I suggest, give a day for relaxation and the rest of the week, use it properly for your goals. During my time, I only give half day during Sunday for relaxation because I was too hard on my self and that I do not want to waste time. The rest of the week, I dedicate it to studying. Choose a study buddy if you want. Surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you and motivate each other. Set your priorities. List them from top to bottom. Only those belonging to the top, give them much time. For the things at the bottom, give them least time. 
  • Pray. If you believe in God, pray always. Pray before you start studying, pray after you study, pray before you start your day and pray before sleeping. Talk to the Lord, surrender your worries and He will help you. You just need to ask. Never be afraid to ask, and if you ask, ask specifically. If you do not believe in God however, you can skip this step. 

I always tell myself during my preparation for the board, who am I really doing this for? Yes, I know for my family but really, you are studying because you want to put the title "Engr." to your name so at the end of the day, you are working hard for yourself. I hope you keep in mind the importance of this exam and how it might change your life. I wish you the best and I hope you achieve what you endeavor. I hope my answer helps!

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"Focus" can be interpreted as concentrating and thinking about problems, such as studying, and others by concentrating our thoughts and concentrations only on that.

For students, the end of the semester becomes a stressful time for them. That's when it will be determined how they understand the subjects that have been studied in the last semester. Poor understanding and poor grades, they must repeat in the next semester.

Not a few of them (students) are still applying the Semester Credit System, aka the overnight system. Learning is only done one night before the exam. If you can focus it might not be a problem, but what if you fail to focus?

To deal with such situations, you are required to know how to focus on learning. So, even though the broadcasting system, the material to be tested tomorrow can still be understood. So that the test scores can be sufficient. So I will share my experience on how to stay focused on learning without being bothered by anything. Let's look at the following methods.

1. Arrange room and study desk well

The first thing you have to do is arrange a comfortable place to study. A comfortable room is can make you focus of learning there with comfortable. 

Clean and comfortable rooms will make the mood of the mind calm. So you can also learn in focus. Not bothered by the chaotic view of the messy items in the room.

Because, when the room is in a cluttered and messy condition, your focus will be divided between wanting to study and clean up the room.

Don't forget to set the study table as neat and comfortable as possible. Prepare a book or material to be studied on the study table. Make sure all the lecture material is easy to find when you need it.

2. Keep the Gadgets from Your Reach and View

One object that must be kept away during the learning process is your gadget or smartphone. Write "I am busy" status on your social media and chat applications. Don't forget to set the ringtone to silence.

Next, save your smartphone in a place that is not visible or unreachable by hand. So you won't be tempted to open and browse your smartphone in the middle of studying a lesson.

You can put it on a table in the TV room or put it in a bag placed far behind the study desk.

Don't put it in a drawer on the study table. Because this will make you tempted to take it, which ends with not focus on learning.

3. Don't let your stomach empty (hungry)

The way that the focus of learning is no less important is not to study on an empty stomach (hungry). Why?

Because certainly you will never be able to focus on learning. Empty stomach sounds because hungry conditions will be a disorder that makes it difficult for you to study well.

Therefore, make sure the stomach is filled enough before learning. Don't be too full. Because, when the stomach is full, people will tend to be sleepy. Try to eat only 1/3 of your stomach.

If this happens (too full), then you will certainly fail in learning. Because, drowsiness will make you unable to focus.

Can bring snacks while studying, but just enough. So that you can stay focused on the course than to the contents of snacks that have run out.

4. Get enough sleep (rest)

It has become a habit for many students or students when studying at home they will tend to be fast drowsy. But, when contemplating a movie on television, you can stand for hours without feeling sleepy.

Understandably, learning requires energy and thoughts that are far greater than watching television. When energy has begun to diminish, the body responds by giving rise to sleepiness. That is a sign that your body must rest.

To be able to focus while studying, you really need to be able to be in shape. So, make sure you have enough rest and sleep. Both before studying and when going to face an exam.

Do not because you pursue material that is not understood, you are even exhausted and unable to focus on the exam.

5. Arrange and Determine Learning Deadlines

Something excessive is not good. Also includes study time. Forcing yourself to study for a long time will only make you get nothing.

Determine how early you will study. The ideal time to study is around 1-2 hours. As long as, in that time you really focus on the material being studied.

If you still want to continue to study other material, pause first. So that your brain can be more ready to accommodate and understand new material. Take a break of about 30 minutes before returning to pursue a course material.

Remember, excessive questions about study time will only drain your body and energy. Don't come when it's time for your exam, your body and mind aren't ready because it's too forced before.

6. White Water Consumption As Needed

Do you still remember the bottled water that shows someone who is drinking less becomes unfocused? The fact is so. When a person lacks fluids in the body, the concentration will be disrupted.

Therefore, a way to focus on learning is of course by filling the body with sufficient fluids. Ideally, you drink 2 liters of water a day. And remember, you don't have to wait for thirst to drink water. The thirst can't be used as an indicator to determine your drinking time.

So during the learning process at home, always prepare a glass of water. If you need to bring a tumbler into the room so you don't have to bother turning back and forth to fill the glass.

7. Lightweight sports are more beneficial than a glass of coffee

Many people rely on coffee to concentrate more. The content of caffeine in coffee does make you more literate. But that does not mean being able to keep the focus longer.

Precisely doing light exercise, such as jogging or gymnastics, for 15 minutes is better able to keep the mind more focused when studying. A fresh body will help the brain process the various course material that you learn.

Mild exercise for 15 to 30 minutes can activate brain functions that are directly related to concentration. In addition to focusing more awake, a healthy body will also make you more prepared to take the test.

9. Give bonuses and appreciation for yourself

Give bonuses and appreciation for yourself? Why not. Give yourself bonuses and appreciation after you are able to complete your study time.

This will actually be an enhancer of your enthusiasm to continue to commit to learning well.

No need to be complicated, you can buy your favorite food like ice cream, then eat it while watching the continued television series that you like. You can also go eat with friends in a place that is indeed a favorite place to gather.

But remember, there is still a maximum limit of appreciation and giving this bonus. Do not take the bonus continuously and instead become lazy to go back to learning.

Hopefully this can be useful and become things that apply in general. There are other ways that might only apply to yourself, but cannot be applied to others.

Therefore, find the way that best suits yourself. So that you really can maximize the time to learn and achieve the best value and good learning achievement.

I hope this you can apply so that you can stay focused on learning. 

Thanks

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What I did during my student days and still do whenever I joined any new course for the purpose of being updated or to any training courses, is:

  • Divide all the courses into months (minus one month to examination date)
  • Further divide them into days. 
  • A day must be divide into the periods of study and breaks. Periods of study could be 2 hrs initially, and after following them for a few days could be increased to 2 and half hours and then 3-4 hours. Breaks should be between 15 to 30 minutes (Try not to think about study during breaks)
  • At the beginning of the day, set the priority of the course/subject and divide the topics/tasks into smaller manageable tasks/goals. (This should be done everyday)
  • Fix one hour at the end of the day for the repetition of whatever you learned that day. 
  • Remember, whatever you learn, remain on top of your brain for 3 days and then it lost if not repeated, so fix some time to repeat previous studies after every 2 days. This could be one hour and with practice, this time will also minimize.

Furthermore, it would be better to go to public library for the study. This will save you from any distraction caused by the temptation to use computer/TV etc for entertainment purposes etc.

Thanks & wish you success in your studies.

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Being focused in a busy world as this can be very tasking. There's always distractions here and there that tends to take us away from our goal or plan to maintain adequate serenity.

Despite the "busyness", we can learn to maintain focus by taking heed of these few things.

  • Meditation: Meditation is one of the things that can help you maintain focus. Practice daily meditation for at least ten minutes daily and you will naturally become more focused. Meditation helps you relax and keeps you calm, which also makes you keep focused.
  • Music: I listen to music whenever I'm confused or distracted. There are some specific music you can listen to that'll help you maintain focus. These types of music are generally the serene and slow kind of music that are capable of helping you relax.
  • Letting Go: If you are constantly distracted and losing focus, then it means you are probably holding on to something you should let go of. What's distracting you? Let go of those things, if it's people, forgive them and move on, it will help you maintain focus.
  • Sleep: Most times, when we are continuously distracted, it is likely because we are stressed and need sleep. Shut down whatever it is you are working on and just sleep. You will realize that you'd feel a lot better when you wake up.
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1 Comment

It's quite easy to say "Eliminate distractions" but in all honesty it's all easier said than done.

Now this might be an unpopular idea and might not work on you, but what I did to focus when I was still a student (and even until now) was to "shift" my attention to something else for some time then go back to what I was supposed to be doing.

Picture this: The day before my finals and I am just too distracted to do any studying.

What I did back then was shift some of my attention to an activity I truly enjoy (like playing 1 match of DOTA2). The game normally takes around 30-45mins and that's it! After 1 round/match I go back to studying.

Instead of allowing your mind to freely wander elsewhere or allow it to think of things you wanted to do, why not just give in or shift your attention to an activity you truly enjoy doing.

You might think that this doesn't work as you will be tempted to play another game again but surprisingly this works (for some) because you gave your mind the taste of satisfaction. After doing a thing you love, you will feel more relaxed and often than not less distracted.

I say, let your mind rest once in a while. XD

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Understanding yourself

Recognize what is your most noteworthy issue with regards to focusing, and what is the inspiration for focusing. For me, I need to be focused with the goal that I can be productive or really beneficial However, my most prominent trouble is that I have a great deal of things I need to do, or my mind endeavors to occupy me from my present work.

Arranging your objectives

Realizing that I need to be gainful, I recorded down all that I need or need to do. You can classify them in anyway way you need to (individual, work, ventures). I for the most part do this toward the start of the week, on Monday, or Sunday night. I would conceptualize all that I have to do.

Mindset is essential

Try not to be excessively cruel on yourself toward the start. When you understand you are occupied, tenderly draw yourself back to center. In the event that after one full session (3-4 25mins), you are as yet unfit to center, attempt (1) taking a shot at different stuffs on your plan for the day, or (2) attempt an alternate time or technique to work.

Work in the mornings: awakening promptly in the first part of the day is the best change I've made in my life. I wake up as ahead of schedule as 5:00 am and I begin taking a shot at my errands immediately. Actually, I take a shot at the most requesting errands first. By 8 am, I've officially finished more than a few people complete in an entire day.

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I find it easier these days as i set out goals. You lose focus if you have no goals laid out.

Once you lay out a plan with whatever goals you need to achieve write them down daily. If you are able to use a graph or a chart then use this as well. You will find by simplifying your goals in this fashion that you will be more focused and driven.

Once you start achieving your goals you will surpass everything you aimed for initially.

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If you are a 21st century society, your attention will definitely be diverted every three minutes or so by entering messages or with anything on your mobile according to Gloria Mark's informatics professor, from the University of California at Irvine. In addition, factors that exist within yourself, such as fatigue, interference, lack of motivation, etc., can bother you to concentrate. Therefore, let's look at various good ways to stay focused on the following. Ways to stay focused:

1. Meditate

Meditation can provide solutions to solve problems in paying attention to something. In May, a report in the Brain Research Bulletin journal illustrates that mindfulness training or meditation can improve one's focus. In a study led by Christopher Moore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, participants underwent two months of training to improve their perception with general sensations, such as breathing.

When Moore and his team measured the brain activity of each participant with a magnetoencephalography scan, they observed an increase in area related to selective focus. A study at the University of North Carolina revealed that students who meditated for only 20 minutes per four days could do some better cognitive tests.

2. Reducing multitasking

Multitasking people may look like supermen, but according to a 2009 study at Stanford, they have fatal weaknesses. In a sample of 100 Stanford students, about half of them identified themselves as multitasker media, and the other half did not.

Research examines focus ranges, memory capacity, and the ability to switch from one task to the next, and multitasker performs each test with worse results. "They are weak for irrelevance. Everything can shift their focus, "according to Clifford Nass, one of the researchers.

3. Exercise regularly

Exercise is not only better for the body, but it is also important to promote brain health that is important for memory capacity and concentration, says John Ratey, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

In particular, scientists think that regular exercise can help to stimulate the release of neurotropic chemicals derived from the brain. Some studies also state that exercise can help repair damaged memory circuits to improve brain function.

4. Try to find a quiet place

Noise, like the sound of a car horn or screaming children, can stimulate the release of the stress hormone cortisol, according to Mark A.W. Andrews, a former director of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill University Pennsylvania. Too much cortisol can damage function and block focus. And unfortunately, the more we hear noise, the more our body responds to cortisol.

5. Drink caffeinated drinks

Caffeine and its effects on the body, including its ability to increase alertness have been extensively studied. And it turns out, coffee can also increase our focus, even if indirectly. This might happen because caffeine increases physiological arousal, which can also make a person not easily distracted and more able to maintain attention in doing tasks, obviously, Astrid Nehlig, a French psychologist.

6. Look at a distant object for a few minutes

Many people spend their time staring at screens, such as TV screens, computers, cellphones, and others. Therefore, tension in the eye can make it difficult to stay focused. To restore focus to the eyes, you only need to stare at a distant object for a few minutes. Some doctors recommend "rules 20-20-20" to LifeHacker reporters. The point is that every 20 minutes, you rest for 20 seconds to stare at an object in the distance 20 feet (6 meters).

7. Works without internet connection

If you can disconnect your internet connection, then there are only a few things that can bother you. Experts think that every time you do something else between jobs, such as seeing new messages, social media, etc., you will only have a little attention to the task that you just left behind.

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I'm just going to suggest a 5-step method that I apply. It is efficient and easy to set up.

Step 1 Fight Distractions:

 Remove the elements that distract you from your field of vision or change places. The essential action is to turn off your phone or put it in airplane mode. With each message, a friend, a colleague, or more embarrassing of a group whats app ... we lose our concentration and we lose precious time to refocus. So turn off your phone or put it in airplane mode.

Step 2 Motivation: 

When we love a subject, we can study without seeing the time pass (1 hour, 2 hours ...). If you do not like it, find your motivation. Why are you doing this ? What benefit will you draw? If you have no advantage, your brain will focus on something that will bring immediate satisfaction, to please yourself right away (beginning of procrastination). Find the why, the benefits, to motivate you that will help you focus.

Step 3 Breathing: 

Take some deep ventral breaths to relax, this promotes concentration. Inhale, block, exhale, block ... each step lasts between 7 and 10 seconds. I am not a breathing specialist or a sophrologist. So, do it according to your convenience, the goal is that you feel good.

Step 4 Pomodoro: 

The pomodoro technique is powerful. Tell you, OK, I concentrate thoroughly on my task for 25 minutes, just 25 minutes, normally you will succeed, it is not long. Commit to holding the 25 minutes. If you can not make 20 minutes and progress slowly. You will add 5 minutes the next week and another 5 minutes if you feel fit.

Your brain will want to focus on a few things else to avoid the task ahead. Your brain is embarrassed and so it will seek more immediate pleasure to dodge this discomfort. Researchers have discovered that shortly after starting to work on something we do not like, this brain discomfort disappears. The goal is to get started, to start working.

Makes cycles of 25 minutes and pauses of 5 to 15 minutes maximum maximum. This is great because your brain continues to work in the background during your break.

Step 5 Reward: 

After each cycle, give yourself a reward during the break. A breath of fresh air, a conversation with a friend ... something that makes you happy. So your brain will do this association, a work cycle is followed by a reward (it's a pretty interesting deal ;-) This will greatly help you to focus. At least, it works for me and I hope it will work for you.

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I will answer it straight-forwardly. Everytime I have something to do, or something needs done ASAP, I always ask God for guidance and the grace of to overcome all distractions that may arise. Just trust in Him for He never fails. I hope it helped.

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