College is a time for learning and exploring new ideas. Furthermore, it is also a place to grow and develop as an individual. It is essential to balance these two priorities to succeed in both.
It is easy to find yourself distracted and losing focus on what you need to do while in college. There are so many things competing for your attention: friends, social media, Netflix — the list goes on.
However, you need to find ways to stay focused and prioritize your time effectively to succeed in college. Here are seven strategies for staying focused in college:
Make a To-Do List and Schedule
A to-do list is an essential part of staying focused in college. It can help you get things done and stay on track with your assignments and exams.
To Make the Most of Your To-Do List:
Write down all of the things you need to do over a week or month.
Prioritize them according to importance and urgency.
Make sure that the items at the top are urgent. However, not so important that they should take up a lot of time — like emails and phone calls.
Then, add in the tasks you absolutely must do, such as lab reports and presentations. Finally, add extra time-wasters (social media, TV shows). Therefore, you can be mindful of how much time they take up.
Break Down Big Tasks into Smaller Ones
It can be overwhelming and challenging to stay focused when you have a long list of things you need to do. Instead of looking at all the tasks at once, break them down into smaller pieces to be easier to manage. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the things you have planned for tomorrow, you can focus on a tiny step at a time. Also, it removes the feeling of being overwhelmed by the entire task.
Get Rid of Distractions
It sounds simple. However, if there are distractions around you all the time and you can’t get away from them. It won’t be easy to stay focused on what matters most. If this is the case for you, try turning off all notifications on your phone and computer (and even wearing headphones).
Also, consider using an app like SelfControl or Freedom that will block access to certain websites for a set amount of time (like Facebook). Therefore, when you open those sites again, they won’t distract you from the task.
Do the Easy Tasks First
The hardest thing about studying is starting. Once you get going, you will find it easier to keep going. Hence, when you have a big assignment or exam, start on the easy stuff first.
For example, your paper is due next week. However, you have a bunch of reading to do before you can even think about writing it. Start by reading those articles now. Then, when they are done and out of the way, working on your paper will be much easier.
Set Alarms for Yourself
You need reminders from time to time to stay on task. Setting alarms for yourself can help keep you from procrastinating and getting distracted by unimportant things like Facebook or Snapchat. Set the alarm every hour to remind you to go back to work instead of getting distracted by something else (like social media). If necessary, set multiple alarms in different places. Therefore, there’s another one close by if one goes off, reminding you not to get distracted again.
Your professor or adviser can be an excellent resource for staying on track with your studies. They might even have some practical strategies for keeping you on task. If you have trouble focusing outside of class, consider asking them for advice about improving your study habits.
Alternatively, you can turn to a professional paper writing service. These sites hire professionals in different fields of expertise. Therefore, you can hand in your challenging tasks and get back a high-quality paper.
Reward Yourself for Finishing Tasks
You will have a lot of assignments this semester. Hence, give yourself a little reward when you complete each one. For example, if you finish a significant assignment on time and with good grades, treat yourself to a nice dinner. If you finish all your homework by Wednesday morning, take the rest of the day off and do something fun.
It can be hard to stay focused in college. However, it is doable to know what is most important to you. Try to find a good balance between work and play to make the most of your college experience.