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Counseling Center

Division of Student Affairs

Improving Focus
Staying Focused

 

 

Improving Focus

Many people today express concerns about an inability to concentrate. While it is possible that you may have an underlying issue such as ADHD, a lack of focus may be the result of poor work/study habits.  Here are a few tips:

  1. Write it down. What do you want to accomplish today? However, be wary of listing too many items, as it may increase your anxiety. Try to limit your to-do list to a few critical items.
  2. Create the right environment. Where do you work best? At home? The library? Do you prefer background music? Experiment with different settings to learn where you work best.
  3. Be a single-tasker. Unfortunately, multitasking is not as effective as we would like to believe. In fact, the research suggests that multitasking makes us less productive, by as much as 40%. So log out of your email, turn off your phone, and get to work!
  4. Take short breaks. Walk around, get something to drink, or take a quick stretch. To ensure that your break doesnt result in procrastination, set a time limit.
  5. Pay attention. Learn to recognize factors that contribute to your focus, as well as the obstacles. Here are some additional questions you may ask yourself: What time of day do I focus best? How are my thoughts impacting my ability to focus? Anytime that you notice that youve gotten off task, try to identify the cause.

Want more resources? Focus is a free e-book that provides tools for clearing distractions, prioritizing tasks, and apps aimed at single-tasking  

 

Using Mindfulness to Improve Focus

Research shows that a regular mindfulness practice improves focus over time. At the core of mindfulness training is the ability to notice when the mind wanders and to bring it back.  This is an important skill to have.  We the self-help app Calm.com

 

Anxiety-Based Focusing Problems

Anxiety is also a common source of attention problems.  Consider taking an anxiety screen. You might also try one of our recommended self-help apps. 

 

When Focus Doesn't Improve

If your concentration problems are persistent and/or disrupting your life, consider visiting with us in person.  For more information CLICK HERE. 

 

Forest Focusing App Icon

Forest App--Stay focused, be present

 

Pomodor Technique App  Icon

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