Some people have no trouble staying focused when it comes to school, but others have difficulty doing the same thing over and over without becoming bored or easily distracted. Staying on track can be harder than it looks and grades can suffer as a result.
There are some easy ways to stay focused and engaged in class, whether you're in high-school or college, and it's important to know how to keep yourself on task even when you feel it's impossible. Here are some of the best tips on how to do just that.
Make it a point to get involved in your classes. If you've been a passive learner — wherein you sit back and listen rather than participate — it will benefit you to change things up a little and get engaged. Don’t just focus, participate! Get active in class discussions, group projects, and debates and be sure to ask questions to keep your brain firing on all cylinders.
Play Brain Games
Keep your mind sharp by doing puzzles and word games designed to make you think. You can download these games on your phone and try them out whenever you have a few spare minutes — waiting at the doctor's office, for instance — and work on your ability to think in new ways. Crossword puzzles and Sudoku are like exercise for the brain.
Use All of Your Resources
Many college courses have supplemental learning resources — videos, message boards, extra reading, etc. — that go unused by a lot of students who don't want to take the time. They may be optional, but these resources can help you get the most out of the course, so set aside extra time during study hour to at least check them out.
Train Your Brain
It may sound silly, but training your brain to pay attention to more than one thing at once can help you narrow your focus. If you play an instrument, try playing it while you sing. Put two things together and see how well you multitask. It may sound counter-intuitive but multitasking in new ways (different from being scattered or distracted) can actually sharpen your focus. If you find it difficult at first, don't worry; many people do. Just keep trying until it becomes easier. You can do more than you think!
Get moving! The mind and the body are integrated so treating one well benefits the other. Join a sports team, start jogging, or get up a little earlier than normal and go for a brisk walk. Daily exercise floods the brain with oxygen-rich blood and can boost mood and energy levels, so help yourself feel good by getting in a workout.
Consider Hiring a Tutor
If you find you're having trouble in a specific class, don't let it undermine your confidence. No one is great at everything. Consider hiring a tutor to help boost your grades — and your self-esteem. Tutors don’t just help with subject matter, they can actually help with study skills so that you can become a better learner.
Guest post by Lawrence Mager, ReadyBrain.net.