Some of the Best Tips for How to Stay Focused and On Task
When college students take the summer off from their rigorous academic workload, the brain gets a much-needed rest – but it also may lose a bit of its sharpness. Indeed, there’s a phenomenon known as the summer “brain drain” where students lose some of what they learned during the academic year.
If you’re returning to college classes or grad school in the next few weeks – or perhaps to a work environment – you may need to brush up on how to stay focused at work or school, and how to improve concentration.
To help you make a smooth transition back into memorizing, studying, writing papers, taking exams, and learning, here are some tips for how to stay organized and on task.
4 of the Best Ways College Students Can Stay Focused & On Task!
- Make Sleep a Priority
If you want to have full command of your mental faculties to memorize, concentrate, and make good decisions, adequate sleep is essential.
A lack of quality sleep decreases blood flow to the brain, which can compromise your concentration and memory while reducing your energy and motivation. Less sleep also can lead to slower response times in tasks.
How much sleep do you need? Experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep each night. Improve your sleep with these helpful tips:
- Power down electronic devices and LED TVs at least an hour before bedtime. These devices emit blue light, which can delay the secretion of melatonin.
- Limit caffeine consumption to mornings only and avoid alcohol and late-night meals. All can make getting restful sleep difficult.
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
- Get Organized
Organization is a learned skill. You can learn how to be organized at work and with your academic life with these useful strategies.
Use Your Calendar
Free up mental space by entering your class times, office hours, meetings, and appointments into your calendar on your phone or computer – and synchronize them! Block out time for schoolwork. Be sure to enter important deadlines and exams, and don’t forget to schedule some time for fun!
Keep a “To Do” List
When you think of tasks that need to be done, write them down and keep an ongoing master list. Each day, plan to tackle a few of the most important items on your list.
Have a Place for Everything
Make a home for everything that you use daily and put everything in its place – especially the critical items that make your life work (wallet, keys, laptop, backpack, phone, etc.).
Maintain a Clean Workspace
Research shows that clutter on your desk diffuses your focus and attention. Take a few minutes every day to tidy things up.
Discard What You Don’t Need
More stuff means more clutter, which can steal your attention. Dispose, recycle, or donate what you don’t need on a regular basis. Keep only what’s essential.
- Eliminate Distractions and Stay Focused
In our digital age with information, social media, and myriad other distractions at our fingertips 24/7, it’s critical to be disciplined when it comes to a work project or assignment. That means turning off the phone and moving it out of sight, closing distracting windows on your computer, turning off the television, and closing your door.
To remain on task, set a timer so you can stay focused on your work for a period. It might be as little as 15 minutes or as many as 50, and then get up and stretch, exercise, or just be away from your work for 10 minutes.
Some data shows that the most productive people work for 52 minutes and take a 17-minute break. However, other research indicates that taking regular momentary breaks actually can help you maintain focus on a singular subject.
When you work, don’t multitask. It’s been proven that you can only concentrate on one thing at a time. If you toggle between several tasks, it takes time to transition and focus when you move from one task to another – making it inefficient. Do one thing at a time and give it your full attention.
- Embrace Exercise, Brain Healthy Foods, and Targeted Supplements
You can support your cognition by exercising regularly, and consuming foods and nutrients that nourish your brain.
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain. This is especially important to help support optimal function of your prefrontal cortex, which influences cognitive control thereby affecting attention, impulse control, prospective memory (needed for planning), and cognitive flexibility.
Consuming nutrient-dense vegetables and fruits, plenty of lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats like olive oil, fatty fish such as salmon, and avocados are all wonderful for your brain function. Avoid consuming a lot or refined carbohydrates and sugar, which can affect your blood sugar levels and cause erratic brain cell firing – ultimately compromising attention and energy levels.
Don’t forget to take targeted supplements to support brain function! Our recommendation for those who need to stay focused is…
Our expertly formulated Attention Support helps to increase attention span, memory, and learning while promoting relaxation and calm. These benefits are especially helpful to college students who routinely deal with exams and deadlines (much better than jitter-inducing caffeine).
One of the formula’s main ingredients, choline, is essential to the brain’s production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mental function. Choline provides support for healthy memory function, focus, and calm.
Another key ingredient, phosphatidylserine (PS), is a building block for cell membranes. PS is highly concentrated in the brain and is clinically proven to support healthy attention, learning, and memory.
Attention Support also contains a powerful and well-studied antioxidant extracted from the French maritime pine bark called Pycnogenol®. It promotes blood flow to the brain, and research indicates that it may help improve attention span, memory, decision-making and overall cognitive function.
The good organizational skills and brain healthy habits you begin practicing now as you ease back into a college routine will also benefit you long after you earn a degree. They will set you up for success in life.
Start now with these practical tips to help you stay focused and organized!
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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