Can't Focus on Homework: Efficient Methods to Help You Stay Concentrated

Focusing your mind on one job at a time can be hard. It is harder still if what you are doing does not interest you. Since many students do not particularly enjoy the homework activity, losing concentration has become quite an epidemic. Concentrating your thoughts and energies on your homework (or any other task) is a necessary skill. It is a skill that you should learn to make life efficient and easy. If you are finding it difficult to keep yourself focused through your homework, here are a few methods you can employ:

  1. Create the right environment: An uncluttered and clean environment is conducive to better concentration. Organize your room and desk to minimize confusion. Get rid of any distracters in the work environment. Besides clutter, a TV, music system or even a novel can act to distract your attention. Keep remote controls away from your reach. Pay attention to temperature and comfort levels. Your room should be comfortable enough to work but not to put you to sleep.
  2. Streamline your homework: Keeping things listed, marked, and scheduled helps you keep focused on the assignment at hand. Your mind will not need to sift through all the data in your head to find out what to do next. When your homework is broken down into smaller chunks, it becomes easier to focus on the task. It does not look like a giant monstrosity but a very manageable piece of work.
  3. Study and do your homework in sprints: Do not try keeping your mind engaged with your homework for extended periods. 20-minute sessions of complete focus interspersed with 5-minute breaks do the trick very well. When irrelevant and distracting thoughts interfere with your work “bracket” them, off until the break. Do not forget to attend to the thought in the break. The mind is not fooled; it will stop bracketing thoughts if you cheat on it!
  4. Mindfulness techniques: Practice mindfulness to train your mind to concentrate on the present. The mind has a tendency to swing from branch to branch; from past to future; from one thought to the next. Mindfulness is a way to keep your mind focused on “the now.” To start training your mind, look at everything around you in all its details, feel every feeling; listen to all the sounds that reach your ears. The point of the exercise is to keep you firmly grounded in the present. Stay in the here and now, anchoring yourself with the help of your senses.

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