College is an exciting time. You make new friends and explore the town your college is in. There are many activities and options for things to do on campus as well.
It’s also normally the first time you’re out on your own, which means you don’t have your parents there making sure you’re getting your work done and not getting distracted. You have to take your success into your own hands. Try these six tips to keep yourself focused in college:
1. Get Enough Sleep
Yes, getting a good night’s sleep in college is hard, but it’s definitely possible. Try not to let your sleep schedule vary too much, and work into a routine. Sleep is essential for concentrating and working hard.
2. Eliminate Distractions
College has a lot of things vying for your time, but certain things need to be removed if you want to get your work done. To eliminate some of the distractions, try:
- Turning off your cell phone.
It’s hard, we know. However, it’s a huge distraction. Every text message can draw you farther away from your current task. If you don’t turn your phone completely off, keep it on silent and out of sight — or give it to your roommate so it’s not there to tempt you.
- Signing out of social networks.
Chances are you’re working on your laptop, and it’s easy to just check your social networks really “quick.” Often, though, a quick visit doesn’t quite end up being that way. Sign out of all the sites you typically frequent when you’re procrastinating. If you don’t trust yourself, there are apps you can get to block certain websites while you work. Try StayFocusd if you’re using Google Chrome, LeechBlock for Firefox or SelfControl if you’re using a Mac.
- Using music to focus.
If you can work with music on, make a study playlist. It can help you drown out the noise of your dorm so you can focus on what’s in front of you.
- Going somewhere quiet.
If all else fails, go to the library or a study lounge where you won’t have the stuff in your dorm, the noise or the people, to distract you.
3. Cut Down on the Partying
College is a time to have fun and find yourself, but remember why you’re really there. College is meant for higher learning as well as to prepare you for finding a job and the real world. Alcohol can lead to some serious problems, especially with the binge drinking college parties are known for. It’s okay to have a drink or two and let loose every once in a while, but don’t make it the main focus of your college experience.
4. Take Breaks
Breaks are needed to keep you productive. Pushing yourself through and working for hours on end can lead to work that’s not your best. Take a break when you feel yourself really struggling, or try something like the Pomodoro technique that has scheduled blocks of work and breaks.
5. Prioritize Your Tasks
Create a list and organize it from most important to least important. It’s okay to not get your room cleaned up today if you have a ton of assignments due tomorrow. Work from top to bottom, and take note of the things you absolutely have to get done that day. Don’t let the little stuff distract you from the big responsibilities.
6. Don’t Procrastinate on Big Projects
Don’t put off that giant project due at the end of the semester. Work on it slowly, doing small chunks at a time. This will save you a lot of stress in the long run, and you won’t be pulling all-nighters days before it’s due to try and get it finished.
College can be difficult to handle, but getting focused can make it a lot easier. Follow the tips above and get a planner to keep your tasks scheduled. You won’t regret it!