Staying Focused in College: The Secret to Your Academic Success

College is simultaneously the time when you most need your focus to succeed in your studies, and probably the period of your life when you have the most distractions vying for your attention. On the one hand, you have an unprecedented amount of work on your hands, and how well you deal with this work plays a huge role in determining your future career and way of life. On the other hand, it is most likely the first time you get this amount of freedom. Combined with the exposure to a completely new environment and many new people and potential interests, it creates an explosive combination that makes it extremely hard to concentrate on anything in particular. Meanwhile, concentrating is exactly what you are supposed to be doing – you cannot write an essay or a research paper if you find it difficult to keep your attention on a single thing for a long time. So, what are you supposed to do? In this article, we will discuss some techniques that can make it easier for you to deal with this challenge.

1.​Find or Create a Suitable Environment

Many people do not realize the importance of the environment for the success of their activities, be it study or work. Where we work plays just as important role in our success as how we do it or what kind of effort we apply to it. Indeed, a poorly chosen study location can ruin our chances of successfully writing a paper or preparing for an important test.

Different people have different preferences regarding their study locations. Some easily get distracted by any outside sound. Others feel uncomfortable when it is too quiet. Some things, however, are universal:

● You should pay attention to your sitting (or standing) place. It is what largely determines how comfortable you are going to be as you study;
● You should have enough clear space to hold all your study materials and tools;
● You should have enough power outlets to easily connect all your electronic tools;
● If you are distracted by external sounds, try using noise-canceling headphones.

2.​Remove Distractions

Some people pride themselves in their ability to focus and concentrate irrespectively of where they work and what distractions they have to deal with. You do not have to take a page from their book – it is a much better solution to simply eradicate distractions instead of trying to battle them. This means that you should not have to struggle with a temptation to, for example, check your social media status or email every minute – instead, use a tool like LeechBlock, Freedom, or RescueTime to block the offending websites or apps and prevent yourself from using them during your work time. If you tend to be distracted by your smartphone, turn it off and put it in another room. Often it is enough to create a small obstacle on the way to the temptation to give yourself time to slow down and think a little about it.

Studying Smart

3.​Stick to a Schedule

If you do not have a schedule, the college will turn into either complete chaos or utter hell for you. Probably both. If you do not follow a schedule and make sure it stays updated, you will never be able to find time for anything, be it business or pleasure, and your grades will suffer. If you want to stay focused and find time for both fun and studies, you have to create a schedule and stick to it. Not only will it help you always know what and when you should do; it will make it easier to schedule fun events while feeling less guilty when you engage in them.

4.​Set Goals

Doing well in college means not only always completing all relevant assignments on time. You should also take into account the bigger picture: your plans for the future, your job aspirations, and so on. To do so, you have to always keep an eye on your goals, both long-term and short-term. You should structure your daily schedule while taking them into account. For example, if you consider it important to pass all your classes for the semester, you should be able to find time for all the necessary studies and assignments in the near future. If you intend to pursue a particular career, you have to start preparing to follow this path before you graduate from college: you may have to take additional classes and spend extra time studying the materials related to your desired future area of activity. Keep your eyes on your graduation date and start buying caps and gowns to look forward to it.

5.​Schedule Downtime

It does not matter how much you have to study and how much work you have to complete – you have to take the necessary downtime into consideration. The important thing here is to make it a part of your regular schedule. You should not plan to work all the time – it will only result in you saying one day that you are fed up with it and going off the deep end. Instead, make sure you plan regular periods of time when you do not work and instead participate in pleasurable activities (the nature of activities depends on your preferences).

6.​Look for Help

Depending on your character and personal preferences, some activities forced upon you in college may be just too disagreeable, making it impossible to stay focused on them for long. For example, many people find it extremely difficult to concentrate on writing. If you are one of such people, you may try finding someone you can hire to help you with your assignments of this type. Simply look for an online writing service, contact them and say, “Can someone do my essay? I need someone to help me with my writing assignment”.

As you can see, staying focused in college is far from being a trivial job. You have to apply real effort to succeed in it – but we hope that with the help of our tips, you will be able to do it!